How to Host a Web Site from Your Computer

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December 20, 2015WebNo comments

In this article, I will be showing you how to host a website on your computer. You might be wondering if there is any importance or even benefit in doing this. The truth is that there are a couple of benefits of doing this, the first being it is free. At the same time, hosting your own website is great if you are looking to host a small website or to share large files with your friends. But if it is your plan to run a website that will be handling high rates of traffic, then I wouldn’t recommend this. For anything more than a few visits a day you’ll need to use a proper web hosting company like HostPresto or HostGator. To start hosting your own website from your computer, these simple steps will make it easy for you to have your very own web server up and working in no time.

Step #1: Visit http://www.snapfiles.com/get/hfs.html and click on the HTTP File Server or HFS file to download it.

Step #2: Double-click the hfs executable file you just downloaded. If your Windows Firewall is enabled, you’ll get a security warning, click on “Unblock” to allow the programme to pass through it.

Step #3: This is where things get a bit tricky. HFS’ default port is 80. If your Internet Service Provider blocks this port, then you’ll need to consider changing it into something else. To change the port, you will need to turn HFS off, and you can do this by clicking on the “On” button that is found on the upper left corner. Once you have changed the port, make sure that you turn it on again. If you are behind a firewall or router, then you’ll have to set up port forwarding. If this is rather complicated for you, then visit http://www.portforward.com/. On this site, you can easily choose the router type you have before highlighting the programme you want to set up forwarding for such as HFS. This site will walk you through the every step of setting up forwarding.

Step #4: Test your setup to see if the settings actually work. To do this, go to Menu and click on “Self-Test”. If the test is successful, that means that your settings have been set up correctly and you should be able to point your browser to your specific IP address to see the pages or files you are sharing.

Step #5: In this step, I am now going to guide you through how to assign a domain name for the website you are hosting. Since there isn’t a DNS server already running on your pc, you will have to get one from a DNS service provider. To do so, we will use a service known as DynDNS. This service offers a variety of sub-domain names that websites can use for free. Visit https://www.dyndns.com/account/entrance/ to create a personal DynDNS account. Login into the account you just created and hit on the Services button. If you already have a dynamic IP address, then click on the “Dynamic DNS”, then on “Add Dynamic DNS”. The next thing that you need to do is to choose a sub-domain and domain name, before adding the host. You now have a domain name you can use and even give out instead of your specific IP address. If you’d like to use your own personal domain name, you’ll be glad to know that DynDNS offers custom DNS services for this sake as well but at a fee charged annually.

Step #6: Now visit https://www.dyndns.com/support/clients/ to download the systems Updater. This updater automatically updates your account in the event your external IP address changes.

After you’ve done all this, you can start hosting a website from your computer. If what you want to change the default page that appears when you surf to your site, right click on the home button – which is the icon looking like a house – on the Virtual File System. Click on “Default File Mask…” and type the file name you want to be served with when someone browses through your site like index.html. If you’d like your Http File Server to start automatically once you log on to Windows, place a shortcut of it under Start > programmes > Startup. Also, make sure that you save your VFS settings or Virtual File System settings so that HFS remembers the files you’re hosting the next time you open it. If you have any questions, take time to go through HFS’s FAQ’s.

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