Once you have created your own web site, you need to host it in a web server. A web server machine is pretty much same as your local computer where you developed your web application.
However, in order to make your web site publicly available across internet 24 hours a day, your server must meet certain criteria.
1. The machine must be a high speed machine so that it can handle several requests from various users at the same time.
2. When you host a public web site, your machine is open to the outside world. Someone can write a malicious program to hack your machine and destroy your valuable data. An internet web server must be protected with Antivrus and firewall.
3. Must be connected to un interrupted power supply (UPS) so that a power failure will not shutdown your web site.
4. Must be connected to very high speed internet all the time. A DSL or high speed cable internet may be sufficient for small web sites, but large and secured web sites will need a higher speed connections like T1.
5. A good backup mechanism to recover data if the server crash un expectedly.
Large web sites which have several thousand hits every hour must be supported with multiple processors, lot of memory and disk space to ensure high availability of the web sites all the time. Also, consider web farming with multiple web servers so that if one server is down for sometime, the other server can handle the requests.
Even though it is a good idea to have your own web server to host your web sites, it involves lot of efforts to manage the server and ensure it is accessible to the outside world all the time. Also, it is expensive to buy a high configuration server computer with backup mechanisms, UPS and a high speed internet connectivity. You must be watching your server frequently to ensure it is working fine all the time.
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