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Turn Your PC Into a Web Server

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Your Windows PC as a Web Server

  • If you want other people to view your pages, you must publish them.
  • To publish your work, you must save your pages on a web server.
  • Your own PC can act as a web server if you install IIS or PWS.
  • IIS or PWS turns your computer into a web server.
  • Microsoft IIS and PWS are free web server components.

IIS - Internet Information Server

IIS is for Windows system like Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. It is also available for Windows NT.

IIS is easy to install and ideal for developing and testing web applications.

IIS includes Active Server Pages (ASP), a server-side scripting standard that can be used to create dynamic and interactive web applications.

If you want to read more about ASP, you should study our ASP School.

PWS - Personal Web Server

PWS is for older Windows system like Windows 95, 98, and NT.

PWS is easy to install and can be used for developing and testing web applications including ASP.

We don't recommend running PWS for anything else than training. It is outdated and have security issues.

Windows Web Server Versions

  • Windows Vista Professional comes with IIS 6.
  • Windows Vista Home Edition does not support PWS or IIS.
  • Windows XP Professional comes with IIS 5.
  • Windows XP Home Edition does not support IIS or PWS.
  • Windows 2000 Professional comes with IIS 4.
  • Windows NT Professional comes with IIS 3 and also supports IIS 4.
  • Windows NT Workstation supports PWS and IIS 3.
  • Windows ME does not support PWS or IIS.
  • Windows 98 comes with PWS.
  • Windows 95 supports PWS.

How to Install IIS on Windows XP and Windows 2000

Follow these steps to install IIS on Windows XP, and Windows 2000:

  1. On the Start menu, click Settings and select Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  4. Click Internet Information Services (IIS).
  5. Click Details.
  6. Select the check box for World Wide Web Service, and click OK.
  7. In Windows Component selection, click Next to install IIS.

After you have installed IIS, make sure you install all patches for bugs and security problems. (Run Windows Update).

Test Your Web

After you have installed IIS or PWS follow these steps:

  1. Look for a new folder called Inetpub on your hard drive.
  2. Open the Inetpub folder, and find a folder named wwwroot.
  3. Create a new folder, like "MyWeb", under wwwroot.
  4. Write some ASP code and save the file as "test1.asp" in the new folder.
  5. Make sure your Web server is running (see below).
  6. Open your browser and type "http://localhost/MyWeb/test1.asp", to view your first web page.

Note: Look for the IIS (or PWS) symbol in your start menu or task bar. The program has functions for starting and stopping the web server,  disable and enable ASP, and much more.

How to install PWS on Windows 95, 98, and Windows NT

For Windows 98: Open the Add-ons folder on your Windows CD, find the PWS folder and run setup.exe to install PWS.

For Windows 95 or Windows NT: Download "Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack" from Microsoft, and install PWS.

Test your web as described above.

Your Next Step: A Professional Web Server 

  • If you do not want to use PWS or IIS, you must upload your files to a public server.
  • Most Internet Service Providers (ISP's) will offer to host your web pages.
  • If your employer has an Internet Server, you can ask him to host your Web site.
  • If you are really serious about this, you should install your own Internet Server.

Before you select an ISP, make sure you read W3Schools Web Hosting Tutorial !!

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