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.
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.
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.
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).
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 "188.8.131.52," then you could change the address to "184.108.40.206." 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.
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 to forward to that IP address.
Register a domain name and sign up for a static DNS service. Your blog will need a domain name (for example, www.myblog.com) and a service for pointing that domain name to your IP address. DynDNS is a company that offers a free service to accomplish this; simply download their software and keep it running on your computer. When users type your blog's URL into the browser, DynDNS's service will point their browser to the website that you are hosting from your own computer.
Install the necessary software for hosting web content. You will need 3 things to host your blog at home: the Apache web server, the PHP scripting language, and the MySQL database server. You don't actually have to know how any of these work in depth, as you won't need to interface with them directly. The easiest way to install these components is by downloading a free application called XAMPP, which will install all of them with a few simple clicks.
Enable password protection in your XAMPP setup. The default installation for XAMPP doesn't enable any security features, so you will want to add them. Open your web browser, type in the address "" http://localhost" and press Enter. This will take you to the XAMPP configuration screen. Click on the "Security" menu, and select the option to password protect your MySQL root and XAMPP settings. Choose a password to protect the settings.
Store your blog's files in the correct place. The only thing left to do is put all your web content where it needs to be. Navigate to the location where you installed XAMPP, and locate the "htdocs" folder inside the XAMPP folder. Store all of your blog's files (web pages, images, etc.) in this folder. If you are using software such as WordPress to build your blog, refer to their manual for hosting your content from home.