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Short course in simple webserver technology

A short course in understanding “servers”.
Your home computer can be made into a server.
(XP Pro, Win 7 and Mac’s all have server features built in)

You can download free server software and install it on your home machine.
When the server software is running, it’s commonly referred to as “localhost” – that’s a name for the server that you just created.
“localhost” is an address – you know that little address window at the top of the browser?

Here’s a typical website  address:

When you run the server software on your local machine – you don’t go on the internet.
Instead, you run your home computer software server – which has an address known as “localhost”.

If you create a website on your local machine and want to see it, you have two choices.
1) Upload it to the internet
2) Use a local server to see it

When you use your localhost, the address looks like the following.

The secure method of developing a website is to do it on your local host.
When all mistakes and bugs are ironed out, the website files are uploaded to the online server.

Beginner website developers typically do their development on line.

Developing on your localhost avoids embarrassment and security issues that can occur online.
It doesn’t matter if the server is a Windows IIS server, a VPS server or whatever server – it’s better to develop the website on your home computer.

The Gig Harbor Directory website was developed on my home computer’s “localhost” server software.
After bugs were worked out, the website files were uploaded to the online server – the website was then “live”.

Once you understand the technology it gets easier.
Heck, you can even download the server software and database to a flash jump drive.
Why? Cause you can share it between computers or friends that are helping you develop websites.