If you have your own computer, and your own Internet connection – then yes, you can host your own website for free. (Or for no more money than you pay for your monthly Internet access)
Is “free” really the right term to use?
I think yes. Well, maybe not entirely free – after all, you’re paying for your Internet access – so that’s already money you’ve spent.
But you really don’t need to spend any more.
Why not use some of your bandwidth to serve webpages back out to the Internet?
Like me, you use your Internet connection to load up websites that you’ve bookmarked, to go to Google to find answers to your questions, and all the rest.
We all do this.
If you want to start your own website though, there are so many choices. You can go with one of the free services, like blogger.com, or weebly.com, or even wordpress.com
All of those choices limit the things you might want to do.
For example, lets assume that you have a vast collection of Batman comics that you might want to sell, or Big Bang Theory photos, or Justin Beiber’s socks. You can start an eBay site with so few clicks, but think about that for a second.
eBay will always take a percentage of the sale price. If you’re ok with that, then eBay is probably the first place you should turn to if/when you want to get yourself online and sell some stuff. Great for a one-off. Better if you have a multitude of products to sell – you can even start your own eBay “store”
But what if you want to go further? Be the leader in your marketplace?
If you use any of the “free” services, you’ll more than likely see advertisements all over your website – obviously, they provide a service you can use for free, but they need to earn money too, so they display advertisements on your site.
This can detract from the primary message of your site. A web surfer may see an ad on your free site, click it, and be taken to a competitors site.
You’ve just lost a potential customer.
And while we’re on the subject of free websites and blogging, you might want to have a look at Blogging to the Bank – especially if you don’t want to be bothered setting up your own blog platform at home.
Running your own system from your own computer on your own Internet connection gives you so many options – there are so many open-source applications that you can download and install. Just go and search sourceforge.net – over 305,000 projects – not all web-apps obviously, but its a good starting point.
Elgg – “is an open, flexible social networking engine, designed to run at the heart of any socially-aware application. ”
vTiger CRM – “is a complete CRM solution that includes Sales, Service & Marketing modules, and ERP modules for Inventory & Projects. ”
And that’s just three, open-source, free web applications you can download, install and host on your very own “server”.
What do you want to do with all that bandwidth that just sits idle for hours a day? You can download to your hearts content while you’re awake, but when you go to sleep, why not use that same bandwidth to serve webpages etc out to the world?
And as more and more smart devices have an active Internet connection, its not just people sitting at home on their computer. Its all those people moving around the planet – and you can be right in their face!
How to start? Start here – the introduction to hosting at home (and a bit of theory )
If this all confuses you, please leave a comment, and the DIYWS community will surely help you understand how you can benefit.
You're invited to add your thoughts, comments and suggestions
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