Web Server and Internet Access Considerations|
Every Web site needs a properly configured server to store files as
well as the server software to communicate with Web browsers. The
server may be a computer dedicated solely to a single Web site or
shared by multiple sites. While the server may be used for other
purposes at the same time, this is not recommended for high-traffic
There are four primary server options for establishing your Web site:
While many individuals and organizations manage their own servers, most opt to have a vendor or some other provider run complex servers for them. For your Web site to be a serious communications tool, all software and files must be configured and installed properly and they must be maintained, upgraded and serviced when necessary. You will also want the fastest and most reliable connections, 24-hour availability and the ability to deal with many thousands of visits per day. And you'll need to have enough storage space to install all your files and software, plus keep a backup of everything, should disaster fall.
You'll need enough computer speed and power to perform the functions your users expect and the ability to stay up-to-date on the best software and hardware available for your uses. You may, for example, be pleasantly surprised by the traffic you receive on your site, but it may mean you have to upgrade your system to accommodate it. Except in large or very technically savvy organizations, it pays to let someone else handle these concerns, but it also pays to understand the issues when selecting vendors.
In addition to the server, you will need a connection to the Internet as described in Accessing the Internet and Other Network Services. Many access providers will provide space on one of their servers for your Web site or operate a server for you. So will Internet Presence Providers who also offer planning, design, site development and other services. See Using Vendors for more information.
When thinking about connections, you should also consider the speed/bandwidth of the connection you will use. Organizations that expect high traffic or want to use the most sophisticated graphics and multimedia available will want to consider a vendor who can supply them with high-speed access.
If you are interested in setting up your own Web server and acquiring your own Internet connection and/or domain area on the Internet, you will need a thorough grounding in Web server software, Web server configuration and maintenance, acquiring a domain name, and acquiring Internet access. To obtain server software visit either of the following sites:
Yahoo's List of Web Server Software:
For assistance in setting up your own Web server, use the following resources:
Magazine Articles Online:
Newsgroups About Server Issues:
Mailing List Concerned With Technical Issues:
To subscribe, send an
with the following information in the body of the message:
Be sure to remove any signature information.
You may also want to investigate the following
Anyone considering managing their own server will also likely want to manage the creation of Web pages. For resources on HTML coding and page design, see the section on Design Considerations.
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