Many businesses their own Web sites. In order to host your own site, however, you need to make special arrangements with an Internet service provider (ISP), and you also need the right hardware and software to do the job right. In addition, you want at least one employee to serve as your Webmaster the person responsible for maintaining your Web server and making sure that your site works as it should.
Here is a short list of the things you’ll need to host your own Web site:
A dedicated Internet connection. This should be a high-speed connection that allows people to visit your Web site 24 hours a day. At the low end, an ISDN or DSL line will cost around $ 200 a month, while a super high-speed T1 line can cost several thousand dollars a month.
IP addresses for your servers. IP addresses are unique numbers that identify a computer to the rest of the Internet. You can’t just make up your own IP address you’ll have to get an authorized set of addresses from your ISP. Some providers throw in a few IP addresses when you sign up for high-speed Internet access, although you’ll have to pay for more addresses if you need them.
A domain name. This is the text name that makes your Web site easy to find for the general public. Most ISPs will help you find an unused domain name and reserve it, usually for less than $ 15 a year and even cheaper if you pay up-front for several years.
A Web server. Web servers are the software that run your Web site. The most popular Web server, called Apache, is a free, collectively developed program that’s famous for its reliability, although it can be hard to configure properly. Software vendors such as Microsoft and Netscape either bundle Web servers with other products or sell them separately in packages that cost anywhere from $ 600 to $ 2,000.
A computer to run your Web server. These also come in all shapes and sizes, from standard PCs running Windows NT to high-end Unix machines. A typical Web server with a good processor, lots of memory and a large hard disk costs at least $ 2,000, although they can run much, much higher.
Someone to run your Web server. Your Webmaster must have the technical skill to keep your site running smoothly. They’ll need to know about your hardware and software, and they may also know a programming language such as C or Perl. Webmasters command large salaries up to $ 90,000 a year in some cases.