Requirements


Requirements (more details below):
Website idea
Domain name
DNS - Domain Name Services
Connection
Router
Network
Firewall
Server Hardware
Server Software
Tests/Tools
Troubleshooting
How is it all connected?  This is the chain of webserving.  One link is connected to another. If one link breaks, the whole thing is going down.  Keep this model in mind as you go through the different sections.

Domain name -> DNS -> IP number -> DSL/Cable modem -> Router -> Network -> Webserver

Website idea

What good is a webserver if you don't have anything to serve up? You can make a personal webpage with pictures and bio or you can have an online store selling Christmas cards! The point is that you need content or nobody is going to be interested. Be creative!
Domain name
This is more of an optional item rather than a requirement. If you don't want a domain name, people can still access your webserver by typing in the IP number of your server into their web browser. But it's fairly difficult to remember 12 numbers (4 sets of 3 numbers). A domain name is nice and since you can register one for fairly cheap, it makes sense to pay for one. (Think of the money you're saving by not paying a web host)
DNS - Domain Name System
This is only necessary if you have a domain name. DNS translates a domain name (www.dslwebserver.com) into an IP number (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) This step is what usually causes the most problems but we'll pull you through it!

Connection

Contrary to what some people say, it is not realistically possible to host a website on a modem. Imagine how slow it would be. What you need is a high-speed connection to the web, namely a DSL or cable modem connection. You also need a STATIC IP address. Static IP addresses never change while DYNAMIC IP addresses change every time your computer connects to the Internet.  But if you do have a dynamic IP address, we have solutions for you as well!
Router
This piece of equipment enables you to share your Internet connection among many computers. If you have several computers, this will be necessary. Routers can be either a computer running the proper software or a dedicated piece of hardware. Most routers also offer a level of firewall protection from outside intruders.
Network
This is how your computers in your Local Area Network (LAN) are able to communicate with each other, share data, and connect to the Internet.
Firewall
This is a must! The Internet is full of people just waiting to hack into your computer so you must have the proper defenses in place.  Don't even think about running a webserver without the proper protection.
Server Hardware
This computer will be running the webserver software that will host your website. This computer can be a dedicated computer or your own desktop. If you use your own desktop, you will need to leave that computer on continuously.  More important than speed and gizmos is reliability!  You need a super reliable machine to run your website on.
Server Software
As I mentioned above, this software will run your website on your webserver.
Troubleshooting
Can't get things to work properly?  Don't worry, this step by step algorithm should help.


Introduction