Hosting a Website Right on your Windows Machine!

Hey cyberfreaks!

Okay, today my bro showed me how to host your own website off of your own computer...and it's REALLY easy, if you've got the right tools.  FYI this post is really for my own reference, but if you have Windows with Internet Information Services (IIS) installed, then this is a quick and dirty tutorial to get to hosting your own site off of that cpu you're reading this post on...right now!  Here we go...

First find your network/router/home's IP address (visible to the entire internet):

1.) Go to, click 'SHIELDSUP!' in the 'Services' drop down menu, and then click proceed.

2.) Now click the 'All Service Ports' button.

3.) Your computer/network/router's IP shows up (the one visible to the entire internet).  Copy it somewhere safe.

Second, you must register a domain name:

1.) Go to and click the link near the bottom left that says 'Dynamic DNS Service'.

2.) Follow the directions and get a host name, and use the IP that we found in the last section, which is the address of your network/router, visible to the entire internet.

Next, you must setup your router to direct incoming requests to your site to go to the right cpu (probably not necessary if you don't have a router) :

1.) Open a command prompt (start > cmd).

2.) Type 'ipconfig' and scroll up to where it says IPv4 address and Default Gateway.

3.) open a new tab in a browser and type in the default gateway IP address.

4.) enter the username and password (it's likely admin for username and blank for password if you haven't set it).

5.) Set up a virtual server by opening port 80 and redirecting all incoming traffic (requests) on your router's port 80, to port 80 of the IPv4 address from the ipconfig call in the command prompt.

6.) Make sure the configuration is enabled before you finish.

What this does is redirect all incoming requests that your router gets on port 80 to port 80 on your local machine (the IPv4 addy from the ipconfig call).

Setup the site in IIS:

1.) Go to the start menu, and type in IIS.  You should get a menu item called Internet Information Service (IIS) Manager.  If you do have it, click it.  If you don't, then you may not have IIS installed on your cpu.  Google it, get it installed and come back here!

2.) In the dialog box, for site name put anything, it doesn't matter.  For the Physical Path, navigate to a directory of your choice.  Preferably put it as close to the C: (or another partitioned drive) as possible.  Otherwise you might run into security/accessibility problems when trying to access the site from a browser.

3.) For the host name, type in the host name that you selected when you set up your account.

4.) Click ok.

5.) If you haven't already, save a file called 'index.html' inside the directory you selected for Physical Path when doing #2 in this section.  Enter some html in the file so you know it's working, like so:

Hi there, I'm a website!

6.) Open a new tab in a browser, and navigate to /index.html

7.) This should navigate to your site!  Congratulations, you're hosting your own custom built website!

Now, when you're not working on it or you don't want it to be running, it's a good idea to go back into the router configuration from the 3rd section, and disable the virtual server.  This protects against attackers trying to get into your network or do something malicious.


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