A web server is a computer on the World Wide Web that stores HTML documents that can be retrieved via a Web browser. It is a computer that delivers web pages. Each web server has an IP address and a domain name. For example, when we enter a URL http://www.google.com/index.html in your browser, this sends a request to the server whose domain name is google.com. The web server will fetch the index.html page and sends it to your browser. A web browser takes a client request, finds the resource and sends the response to the client. A resource can be a HTML file, a picture (JPEG File), a sound file, or even a PDF document. If the user demands the resource that is not available then the server will send the error code “404 not found”. One of the most popular web servers is Apache. Apache web server has been called the engine of the WWW. It is one of the most successful open-source applications ever. It is available free of cost. To know more about the web server click on the link web server.
Installation Web Server
To install a web server in a local area network we have to set up windows server on our computer. During Windows Setup, when prompted, select NTFS as the file system. After the installation finish is the time to install IIS (Internet Information Service) on the windows to process web server.
Install Internet Information Service (IIS)
Unlike earlier versions of Microsoft Windows, IIS is not installed by default on Windows Server. We have to install on your own. The following show how to install IIS on the computer.
=>Open Add or Remove Programs by Click Start Menu >> Control Panel >> Add and Remove Programs.
=> Click on Add or Remove Windows Components. You will see a panel tell you to wait for a moment then automatically appear a window component wizard.
=> In the components dialog box tick on Application Server then click detail button.
=>After that click the detail button you will see an application dialog box appear. Then tick the check box on Internet Information Server (IIS) then click OK. Then it will go back to Windows Component Wizard
=>Click Next, There will be a dialog box
=>This dialog shows about the process of add component into windows. Wait for several minutes till finish then it will appear a finish dialog box. Click finish button to complete the IIS installation.
Note: In order to make sure that IIS is installed properly in your windows you have to check in Administration tool by go to start menu >> control panel >> administration tools.
If you see the icon name Internet Information Service (IIS) Manager in administration tools dialog box, it means that the installation is successful.
Configuration and Practice
Create a new web site
Now we have to create a web site for all computer users in our local area network can visit. The following will tell how to create a new web site on the server.
In order to put our web site into the web server or in IIS, first go to Start Menu >> control panel >> Administration tools >> Internet Information Service (IIS) or click start menu >> run. In the open text box type the word inetmgr then click Ok.
You will see the dialog box.
In the left panel click on Web Site, then right click on Default web site >> choose New >> web site.
After you click one window will appear and you click button Next to create a new website on your computer.
Then you will see one window appears.
In the description box please name for the website in (IIS) then click next Then click Next… button. You will see another window appears.
In the Enter the IP address to use for this website, choose an IP address or create your own IP address for the web site in order to access the web site when you want to visit. No need to care about other two text box just left them default. Then click next.
With the following picture click Brows… button to choose the web page you want to host on the server. Click next… button.
Please tick Read, Run scripts (such as ASP), and Browse as the picture above.
Then click next. You will see
Click Finish button to finish. Immediately you will see the web pages that you just add in IIS. Congratulation! We have finished creating a new web site
In order to make sure about webpage that we have putted in (IIS), please right click on the file name index.html then browse it.
If the webpage that we just put in (IIS) work, it will show the that webpage but, if it is not, it will the show the page “The page cannot be found”
Note: please note that webpage that can run in (IIS), the homepage must have the name index.html, index.htm, index.aspx, and index. asp.
If we can’t browse the webpage that we just put in (IIS) please right click on the name of our website and choose properties then one window will appear as below:
After that we will see another window appear then click on tab documents.
Please Click on Button Add then we will see one text box appears.
Please fill the word index.html in the text box name Default content page then click OK.
After we click button OK, please select on the word index.html that we just filled and click on button Move up until this word in the top.
Click on button Apply and button OK to finish this configuration.
Now it time to practice this website, open a web browser and enter the address of this website in the address bar type IP Address (http://192.168.176.131/index.html) to test whether it run or not. If it runs the webpage will show the content of the website.
Note: if you want to change IP address to domain that you like, you can by following the step below:
Change host file
Host file is that allow you to change the ip address to a name that you like. To change the host file, you have to open window explorer and then go to drive C:\Widows\System 32\Drivers\etc.
Then open a file name ‘host’ by using WordPad, and you will see the file open as the picture below.
After that, you need to change the IP address and the name of the Web Site that you like.
And then save the file by clicking Ctrl + S, so you can open internet explorer program and type the new name that you have just changed it recently. You will see the Web Page.
Practice with Clients
The purpose of installing web server is to allow the other clients to access the Web Site on the Web Server. So in order to access the Web Site on the server, we have to connect the client to server. After connection configuration finish, the clients can browse the Web Page form the server.