How to Host Web Server: A Beginner's Guide


Table of Contents

Welcome to small tutorial series to host web server on your own Linux machine. This series of articles will teach how to set up a web server on a Linux computer and make it available online. In this article, we will install all the required tools to set up a web server. The website we’ll host on our personal computer can be accessed from around the globe.

Hosting web server

Hosting a web server is an essential aspect of running a website. A web server is a computer that stores and delivers website content to users who request it through their web browser. Hosting a web server involves setting up a computer with web server software and configuring it to deliver user content.

When it comes to hosting a web server, several options are available. One of the most common options is to use a web hosting service. Web hosting services provide a range of hosting plans designed to meet the needs of different websites, from small blogs to large e-commerce sites.

A web hosting service typically provides a server environment that is preconfigured with the necessary software, such as a web server (e.g. Apache or Nginx), database server (e.g. MySQL), and scripting language support (e.g. PHP). The hosting service also provides tools and resources for managing and maintaining the website, such as website builders, control panels, and backup services.

Another web server hosting option is hosting it on your hardware. This requires purchasing or leasing a server, installing the necessary software and configuring it to deliver website content. Hosting a web server on your hardware can give you more control and flexibility, but it also requires technical knowledge and regular maintenance.

Regardless of whether you use a web hosting service or host your web server, there are several factors to consider when selecting a hosting option. These include –

  • Reliability: The hosting option you choose should be reliable and ensure that your website is always available to users. This requires selecting a hosting provider with a reliable infrastructure and uptime guarantee.
  • Security: Hosting a web server also requires implementing security measures to protect your website from attacks, data breaches, and other security risks. This requires selecting a hosting provider with robust security measures and tools.
  • Performance: Your hosting option should also deliver fast and responsive website performance. This requires selecting a hosting provider with a fast, reliable network infrastructure and optimized server environment.
  • Support: The hosting provider you choose should also provide comprehensive support services, including technical support, customer service, and resources for managing and maintaining your website.

How to Host web server

The Linux distro we’ll be using for this setup is Ubuntu. However, this can be implemented in any Linux distro. At the end of this tutorial, you can host your PHP and MySQL-based website on your own Linux machine.

After following this tutorial, you must set up your web server. The real challenge, however, is protecting your server from thousands of active threats. If you’re not an expert in managing Linux servers, it is strongly advised to use web hosting services that take care of security.

The tutorial is divided into two parts. In the first part, we discuss the essential components and their installation. In the next section, we shall write sample PHP code for an essential website and host it under the apache2 webserver.

Prerequisites To host Web Server

To set up a web server on your own Linux computer, we’ll require the following three components to be installed –

  • Apache2: apache2 is open-source HTTP server. It is still the most popular web-server used worldwide today.
  • php and php sqlite component: PHP is a server-side scripting language. PHP and its component will help you to interact with a backend mySQL database for your website.
  • mySQL: mySQL is a database solution in which you shall be storing your data in the table.

If you have installed the above components, you can skip this part and move to the next part here.

​How To Setup A Web Server

Install Apache2

Apache is open-source web-server software that powers much of the web today. It is maintained by apache-http-project. Explore more here.

Open your terminal and type in commands –

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apache2
host web server apache running

To check if apache2 is installed properly –

sudo service apache2 restart

Open your web browser and open the link using ip–address of your server. If you are practicing locally, you can type in localhost or By default, Apache runs on port 80. You need not provide the port number in your browser. Or ip-address of your server. For example

It should show a message as it works! To change the port address, you need to edit the configuration file at /etc/apache2/ports.conf  and change the Listen 80 to your desired port number. After the edit, you need to restart the apache2 server.

edit apache2 port 80

Restart web server –

sudo service apache2 restart

Install mySQL

MySQL is the database management solution that helps you to store and retrieve data in tables. Since we shall be using PHP in this tutorial, we will also need to install the php8-mysql component.

sudo apt-get install mysql-server php8-mysql

To check if MySQL is installed properly, open MySQL on terminal with the command –

mysql -uroot

If you set the password during installation, open with -p parameter –

mysql -uroot -p
setup mysql for setup web server

Install PHP

PHP is an open-source web server scripting language. It is a back-end scripting language that will help you to interact with the MySQL database. For example, if you want to show the tabular employee list stored in your MySQL database on your website, with the help of PHP, you can interact with MySQL, retrieve the employee list and render it on the HTML page.

The php8-mysql library helps you in this regard. PHP provides multiple auxiliary libraries for different needs. php8-mysql is one among them, and we shall use that in our tutorial.

To search the available libraries.

apt-cache search php8-
search libraries php5

To install PHP and php5-mysql.

sudo apt-get install php8 libapache2-mod-php8 php8-mcrypt
sudo apt-get install php8-sqlite
setup php5-sqlite website

To check if PHP is installed correctly, make file /var/www/html/info.php and add the following content to this file -​

create php file in /var/www/html

Restart apache2

sudo service apache2 restart

​Open the web browser and navigate to If you are using a remote server, replace IP with the server’s IP address. Upon success, you should see the following webpage –

web server running successfully

Well, that’s it. You are ready with the basic setup required for this tutorial. In the next section, we code a sample webpage in PHP that would store and retrieve the information in the MySQL table. Then we host it under apache2. If you like this tutorial, share the tutorial with your friends and let them set up their own web server.

Continue reading to learn how to install WordPress on our own server.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I host a webserver on my computer?

Hosting a web server on your computer involves several steps, including setting up the necessary software, configuring your network and firewall settings, and configuring your web server settings.

What are the 3 types of web hosting?

The 3 main types of web hosting are the shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting server.

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible on the internet. When a website is created, its files, images, and other content are stored on a web server.

What is the cheapest way to host a website?

The cheapest way to host a website depends on various factors, such as the type of website, the expected traffic, the level of customization required, and the desired level of support and reliability. Here are some low-cost options to consider – Shared hosting, cloud hosting, and DIY hosting (described in this article).

How much does it cost to host a website?

The cost of hosting a website depends on various factors, such as the type of hosting, the level of customization and support required, the size and complexity of the website, and the amount of traffic it receives.
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