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How did I set up my website?

Websites are for companies or geeks!

Right, sure.  Geocities.  I had my website up on Geocities in 1998, even before they were purchased by Yahoo.  I'm only a geek because I wouldn't let "I don't know how" stop me from doing it anyway.

Before I started Seattle Webcrafters, I found a way to host my website on my own computer through a high speed connection. That site is no longer up most of the time, but it was fun and it taught me a lot.

So, how did I set this up?  Easy!

I'm getting my Internet service through Earthlink's DSL.  It's fast, easy and nationwide.  I have had very little downtime, and overall I think their service is fantastic.

My operating system is Windows XP Pro from Microsoft.  They're not a Monopoly Giant, and their software works as well as anything else out there.  They're not free, but that's ok.  I have a job that pays my bills.

Earthlink's DSL service is a dialup service, using a high speed modem.  That means my IP address constantly changes whenever I log off or shut down.  A website needs an IP address to identify which location on the web corresponds to the domain name.  For most websites, especially from Internet Service Providers that offer Internet web space, this is a static IP address.

Along comes  This company recently came out with a version of their Dynamic DNS service that works smooth as silk.  I downloaded their client software, and that sends a signal to dynu ever time I log on, telling them what my IP address is for that session.  They plug that IP address into the domain name, and I have my main domain  redirected to that.  Bingo.  Instant website, only for the cost of a domain name ($15 per year), Earthlink DSL (~$40/month) and Windows XP Pro ($199 for the upgrade, or $299 for the fresh install version).

What about security?  Wasn't I afraid of hackers getting in to my system and destroying things?

Not really.  If they do, I have backups.  And I really don't have anything they'd want.  But of course, I like my computer system, so I'm going to protect it.  XP Pro comes with a firewall built in to the Internet Connection, and all I had to do is open port 80 to let people view the website.

Also, I am running XP Pro's NTFS file system, which gives me lots of options on security down to the file level.  And XP Pro comes with Internet Information Services 5.1, which creates a username for people from the outside so they can view the pages.

How do I edit the site?

When I started, I used Microsoft FrontPage 2000 running through FrontPage Server Extensions 2002.  Why FrontPage?  That's the website development software that I started with, and I'm comfortable with it.  I'm sure that other software like Dreamweaver would offer different things that FrontPage doesn't, but since I don't know much about JavaScript or Visual Basic (yet), there's no real rush for me to go out and get fancier software.  I'm running Office 2000 Premium, and everything works just fine.  That's all anyone needs, right?

Now, however, I use Dreamweaver. I took a class in college that taught me a lot about web development, and one of the primary things I learned was how badly FrontPage writes html code. With Dreamweaver, I have 100% control.

Here are some links to support at Microsoft that helped me out, at least to understand what I was looking at.;en-us;Q313075;en-us;Q300691;en-us;Q155253;en-us;Q313398

And here are some other pages that I found useful:

What plans do I have for the website?

Well, when it was hosted on my own system, size limitations don't exist.  I was only limited by the size of my hard drive, and my own skills at programming, which I'm increasing on a daily basis. I have ASP, PHP, Perl, and JavaScript to learn, not to mention advanced HTML.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

I'm thinking of putting up pages for my library, listing the books that we have and what we think about them.

I definitely want to put up the rest of the family pictures.

Who knows what else.  You'll have to wait and see.

© Chad Lupkes, except as noted. I don't see the point of copyrighting my work yet, but if you'd like to use anything on my site, please let me know.