If you have some good content to share, but you don’t want to spend any money whatsoever (apart from your monthly Internet connection), then you’ve come to the right place!
I’m going to show you how the entire Internet can access content on your own home computer.
What does this mean for you?
A few things actually. Here’s a few ideas.
But first, we need to take a step back and clarify a few things.
Hey! Skip directly to the good stuff if you don’t want to read all this guff!
Your Internet connection is specified in download/upload terms.
For example, my home Internet connection is rated at 20000/1000. This means 20000 kilobits of data per second coming into, and 1000 kilobits per second going out of, my home connection.
Yours might be rated 256/64 – that’s 256 kilobits per second into, and 64 kilobits out of, your home connection.
So! Lets talk kilobits here. A kilobit is 1000 bits (or more accurately, 1024 bits, but lets leave the 24 bits out of it for a moment to ease the mathematics!). A bit is a digital signal having only one of two states - on or off. A byte, or a normal keyboard character, is made up of 8 bits. Usually, in communications, 1 bit is reserved for the start of the character, and 1 bit is reserved for the end of the character.
So, when I send the letter “A” out to the Internet (or download the letter “A” from the Internet) I have just spent 10 bits – 1 for the start bit, 8 for the character, and 1 for the stop bit. 10 bits, or 10 on/off signals, per character.
So, if I am receiving 256 kilobits per second, (that 256,000 bits per second) I am really receiving 25,600 characters per second. In the same way, if my upload speed is 64 kilobits per second (64,000 bits per second), I am sending 6,400 characters per second back to the Internet.
So. I keep saying that don’t I?
Ok, you have some content, and its a “screenful”. Lets assume that an old style, 25 lines by 80 characters per line, screen full of content, is what you want to send out to readers on the Internet.
Ok – 25 lines by 80 characters per line is? 2000 characters – yes, even including spaces and new line characters.
2000 characters is 20000 bits – remembering that each character is 10 bits. If you have a 64k upload speed, it’ll take (64000 / 20000) 3.2 seconds (at least! and don’t get me started on latency) to send that complete page back to your reader.
Why am I telling you this? Well, think about it for a moment. If you really want to serve your content out to the wider Internet, you will reallyneed to upgrade your Internet connection.
I say this only to warn you – you may have some really good content, and you may be the next big thing in your niche, and people will want to read what you have to say, but if they have to wait for an age for your webpage to load, you’ll be better off paying extra dollars per month to have a dedicated web host that has a faster upload speed to the Internet.
Trust me on this. I browse the Web every single day (as do most of you I expect) and what do we all have in common? If a site takes too long to load, we hit the stop button and go elsewhere….. don’t we?
I know I do.
So! (again with the so!…..that’s another 22 bits!) where do we go from here?
We stay right where we are, and we continue with serving our content from our own server! Yes, we do!
Why? Because we’re going to save ourselves a whole heap of money, even if we’re serving on a 256/64 connection.
I can hear some of you saying… “Are you mad? What was all that stuff about bits and bytes and upload and download speeds, and then saying we need a faster Internet connection, and then telling us that “yes, it’ll all be ok?”
Yes, it will, because no-one knows about your new website yet – so no-one will be visiting it! You can tell friends and family, and they’ll visit it out of curiosity, but until you start promoting your own website, you’ll be ok for the short term.
And I mention all this just to make you aware that running your own web site can incur costs that you may not be aware of – that of excess data charges. Check your current Internet plan if you want to host your own website – make sure you understand the ramifications of excess data charges from your ISP ( Internet Service Provider) and change ISP’s if you need to!
And if nothing else, it will give you the background you need when (not if) you start getting some serious traffic and decide to go with a paid host. You’ll know the questions to ask, and the knowledge to know whether the answers are correct.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction. Stay tuned for Lesson 2.
Please send me comments or questions.