How to Setup a Dedicated Web Server for Free (Windows version)

by Jon Davis 4. January 2009 16:03

So I clicked on StumbleUpon and came across this:

 http://nettuts.com/articles/news/how-to-setup-a-dedicated-web-server-for-free/

And I kept rolling my eyes because you CANNOT have a dedicated web server for free without a not-free Internet connection with a static IP and port 80 unblocked.

If you've overcome that hurdle, though, such as using unblocked DSL instead of cable modem, for example, then the article is worthwhile. However, by the time I scrolled down to the bottom and got to the end to read "That's it!", I was rolling my eyes again, because the article is about 25 pages long!!

If you have Windows Vista (comes "free" with most commercially built PCs these days, or hey surely you have a Windows XP CD lying around... but be warned, XP and earlier OS's only allow for a single site to be enabled at a time), let me tell you how hard it is to have a complete dedicated web server for free in Windows-land.

Click on this: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=958807

(You can read more about it here: http://www.microsoft.com/web/channel/products/WebPlatformInstaller.aspx)

Check off what you want.

That's it!

To be fair, nearly all Linux distros have a "check off what you want" interface, too, but it's still more difficult to set up each component after installation such as mySQL than it is to set up SQL Server Express, IMO.

On a final note, in a word, XAMPP

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
 
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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