How to Build My First Web Server by Apache With Own Windows PC

Yes, this is the truth. You can build your own Web Server by Apache if you own a PC with Windows installed. The common practice about a Web Server is that people rent Web Server to get their site hosted in form of Hosting Package or others provided by the renowned Server Companies. This is a gigantic Business process that requires vast technological knowledge, dollar and other necessities which a newbie blogger, site-builder or web developer can hardly dream of.

But, at personal level, anybody can build a web server of their own sitting at home in limited extent to host own site and use in home environment at experiment level. I think every person finding themselves in above-mentioned categories should give a try to do this in order to gain a better understanding of Web Server and get benefited.

Below-link follows the details of Web Server for the curious and unsure readers about the topic.

Web Server Basic- The Must-know Things For Beginners

However, practice of building a Web Server by own in home environment would certainly benefit one the following ways—

  • Gaining lucid idea and practical knowledge of Server; especially, Web Server and how it works.
  • Getting clear conception of Domain Hosting process and how Web Language works which appeared to be a remote imaginary thing to him/her.
  • Building own website; either static or dynamic, in hosted environment and view it just as the original before uploading it on commercial server for the world.
  • Using it for preparing and editing post before publishing.
  • Sharing it with anybody around the world by his/her IP Address as alternative to Domain Name.

Why to build own Web Server by Apache

Web Server by Apache focus image

However, building a Commercial Server and building one at home are not the same; there is far difference between them. But the basic conception and procedure are the same.

There are four types of leading Web Server named according to the name of software related to it. They are Apache, IIS, Lighttpd and Jagsaw. We’re going to use APACHE, which is the most popular, widely-used, open source Web Server and supported by almost all of the Browsers, to represent step by step guideline of building a Web Server. Noted, we’re also committed to contribute another article regarding ‘How to build your own web server by using IIS’‘.

How to build up Web Server by Apache

Here is step by step guideline on how you can build a Web Server even with zero technological knowledge regarding it. I’m going not only to set up the Server but show up the site building process and how to find that site from devices in any corner of the world as part of World Wide Web.

My full procedure includes the following subtopic by stages—

  • Downloading Apache
  • Verifying the Integrity
  • Installing Apache
  • Testing the Server
  • Configuring Apache
  • Developing a Demo Site
  • Reaching the Demo Site from remote devices

Apache HTTP Server software is developed by the Apache Software Foundation. So the right place to find the Download is the Apache Home page linked below-

Apache Home

Or, more specifically visit their Download page-

Apache HTTP Server Download

Here you’ll find latest version name of Apache with Download link, Apache’s Mirror sites list, Archive Download site link, Verifying method of downloaded files and others essential information. If you are new handling with such a site cluttered with hundreds of links, this may be very difficult for you to successfully download an Apache Server out of so many Versions and Download options as per your requirement. So, here is clarification of all out complications for our readers.

Apache has so many versions available by now. These are 1.3, 2.0, 2.2, 2.4 version series. Each series has quite a good number of released versions. Present latest available version is 2.4.34 (released on 2018-07-16). All versions are not compatible with all the Operating Systems; especially, with all versions of definite Operating System. So, which version of Apache you’re going to download largely depends on some factors such as your own requirement, operating system and its version of your device and which version of Apache your probable real commercial server uses.

However, for the purpose of launching experiment, you can use version 2.0 or 2.2 with Windows Vista or Windows 7. For upper version of Windows like Windows 10, your option should be version 2.4. For different versions of Apache and Operating System, you may have to follow different Installation Methods.

If you decide to download recommended latest version, you can do that from Apache’s main Distribution Site or their Mirror Sites (List here)

And if you need Older version, you are to enter Archive page linked below-

Apache Archive Download

Here you’ll see the Binary releases of the Apache versions compiled (specified) for particular OS as per their versions and bits (32 or 64) you can choose from.

However, to serve our tutorial purpose, we’re going to download version 2.2 for Windows 7 (32 bit). Here is Direct Download Link-

apache 2.2.14-win32-x86-no ssl.msi

Verifying the Integrity

After Download finishes, it is essential to Verify the Integrity of the downloaded files for security reason which is strongly prompted by Apache. But here, for the purpose of using in limited extent, we won’t need it. So, we skip this step.

Here is step by step installation process with screenshot-—
1 ♦ Double-click the Installation file and hit Run from the Popup. Apache HTTP Server 2.2 Installation Wizard appears. Click→ Next.


Web Server by Apache
2 ♦ Here is License Agreement. Accept this by Clicking first Radio button and click→ Next
Web Server by Apache
3 ♦ Changed Window shows the essential Read Me. Read if you will and click→Next
Web Server by Apache
4 ♦ Here you have to input Server Info. In this case, your Network Domain is your IP Address or Local Host. As IP Address may change; write here ‘localhost‘. Put same in the Server Name field. In Administrator’s Email Address, give any of your email addresses which will be used for Apache Configuration file. At below, select the first Radio Button as recommended to let Apache run as Windows service. Click→ Next.
Web Server by Apache
5 ♦ Changed Window shows Setup Type. Select Typical as we don’t need Customization for now. Click→ Next.
Web Server by Apache
6 ♦ Destination Folder selection window appears. You can change this. It is good to let it be the same. Click→ Next.
Web Server by Apache
7 ♦ Now your installation is ready to go. Click Install.
Web Server by Apache
8 ♦ Installation is in progress. This may take less than a minute.
Web Server by Apache
9 ♦ On completion, click Finish.
Web Server by Apache
Testing the Service
Now our Apache HTTP Server is already setup. Now it is time to get acquainted with it. But first of all, let’s test whether this works in our system or not.

How to test—
How do we enter a site? Firstly by URL. We type the URL (Check details of URL here) in Browser’s address bar; hit Enter and reach the site. Here is also the same process.

Now, we’ve a Server which is my computer. And a web page also however much small may it be. Then what is its URL? Its URL is— http://localhost. You can also type your IP Address in place of localhost. However we’re showing IP Address process in the next step. For now; type http://localhost in your browser’s address bar and ENTER.

Excellent! Browser’s screen shows—

It works!

This is our web page. This is our website whose files are located in Hard Drive of our computer. You can develop it
Noted, this won’t work if you have other local server installed in your device unless you remove or stop it.

Now, where is my Server? Where are my files? How to control my server?

♦ You will find all of your files by following the following path—
Drive (C:)Program FilesApache Software FoundationApache 2.2

Click Apache 2.2, you see the list of all the files. Some important of those are as follows—

  • conf: This is your Configuration Folder. Inside it you’ll find httpd text document. You may change it to give desired setting to Apache Server.
  • htdocs: This is your Root Directory where your site resources are located (Now ‘It works!’ only). To develop it, put all your HTML, CSS, etc. Files and Folders into it.
  • icons: This is Folder of Icons that are used in the total Apache Server.

♦ And Control (Start, Restart, Stop) your Server from either of the following locations—

  • START menu→ All ProgramsApache HTTP Server 2.2 Control Apache ServerRestart/Start/Stop
  • START menu→ Control PanelAdministrative ToolsServicesApache 2.2Restart/Start/Stop

Hope you enjoyed this Server building technology. If you tried to build one of your own, did you came out successful? If no, did you leave it? Or did you face any definite problem. Feel free to cast a comment.

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