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How to Host a Blog

How to Host a Blog
Creating and starting a blog provides a great way to publish your writing, connect with others, or even promote a small business. If you already have a blog, you are likely paying a monthly fee to a web hosting service, or you are using a free service with limited functionality. If you want to enjoy unlimited control of your blog without paying a fee, there is another option: you can host your blog yourself. By using your own computer as a server to make your blog available online, you can take complete control of your website’s configuration without paying anything. Learning how to host a blog can be a challenging process, and may not be suited for novice users. Follow the steps below to understand the process.

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Steps
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1
Check the terms of service agreement used by your Internet service provider. Some service providers will not allow you to host your own web content. Make sure hosting your blog does not violate your agreement before proceeding.

2
Plan to keep your computer online as much as possible. You will be hosting your blog from your own computer, so remember that when your computer is turned off or offline, your blog will be inaccessible over the Internet. Schedule Windows updates to occur at a time when most users will not be online (in the middle of the night, for example), because they will restart your computer. Also, make sure to set your virus scanning software to only scan once per day, instead of scanning in real time. This will free up your computer’s resources for hosting the blog.

3
Disable any firewalls you have running. To host a website, your computer needs unrestricted communications access to the Internet. Open the firewall control panel in Windows, and click on the “Exceptions” tab. Click the “Add Port” button, and enable the following 3 ports: HTTP (80), HTTPS (443), and MYSQL (3306).

4
Assign a static IP address to your machine. For general web use, most computers will be set up to obtain an IP address automatically, which means the address may change. To run a web server, however, you need an IP address that doesn’t change, so that you can point your domain name (your blog’s URL) to that IP address.
Click on the “Start” button and click “Run.” Type “cmd” into the text field and press Enter. In the command prompt that appears, type “ipconfig /all.” This will display the network settings configured for your computer.
Under the heading “Local Area Connection,” look for the entries marked “IP Address,” “Subnet Mask,” “Default Gateway,” and all the IP addresses listed under “DNS Servers.” Write all this information down and then close the window.
Open the Network Connections menu in the Control Panel. Right-click on the “Local Area Connection” icon and click “Properties.” In the window that appears, select the “TCP/IP” option and click the “Properties” button.
The window that appears will have 2 options: “Obtain an IP address automatically,” and “Use the following.” Select “Use the following,” and enter all the information you wrote down into the appropriate fields.
In the IP address field, however, you want to enter a different number. Enter the IP address you wrote down, but change the last set of digits (after the final decimal point) to something much higher than what you wrote down. For example, if you have written “67.168.129.10,” then you could change the address to “67.168.129.250.” Click the “OK” button to save the changes.
Open your web browser to make sure you’re still connected to the Internet after making the changes.

5
Configure your router for port forwarding. Access your router’s configuration screen; this is usually done by opening a web browser and navigating to the address “192.168.0.1.” If that doesn’t work, consult the manual or support website for your particular router. Find the menu for port forwarding in the configuration screen, and specify the static IP address that you chose above in the appropriate field. Then, enable TCP ports 80, 443, and 3306

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