Mac usable as A Web Server?????

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by marioman38, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Ok, i've made a website using dreamweaver, and have the files locally on my mac. Im going to buy (register) a domain name...

    How do i get it so that when someone goes to it'll pull all of the graphics/text off my computer (from the dreamweaver file?) so they view the site at with everything coming off my computer, INSTEAD of having to go to 111.222.333/~name/

    Basically i want to be "linked" to my computer, where all the text/graphics would be stored, and could be retrieved...

    Is this possible?

    This would be instead of using a company such as, where you have to pay, and there are ads, and you have limited storage, and limited bandwith...

    Sorry, I hope it isn't too confusing.

  2. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2006
    I do this with my computer.

    I registered with as I have been with them for some years for other domains. They allow free editing of the name servers.

    You need to sign up with a dynamic DNS provider. I use

    It is a simple case of editing the name servers at to point to those at then making sure knows the IP address of my iMac. I have to manually update it when it changes, but that is not often. On the PC I used to use which has a little program you can run on your "server" to update the IP with the DNS people. Not sure if there is something for the Mac now.

    Anyway, yes it can be done and it is fairly easy once you know what you are doing. Up until that point it can be slightly tricky. You will probably need to edit your Apache settings to get it all running the way you want - you see a default page when visiting my domain (because I keep everything on subdomains/vhosts) but you probably do not want that.
  3. exabytes18 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2006
    Suburb of Chicago
    Yeah, it's possible. I do this with my website, except it's hosted on a Wintel box instead of a Mac. You'll need a static IP address, though. I bought my domain through,edited the DNS record accordingly, and have been happy ever since.
  4. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    I have Comcast cable internet service, and although they charge an extra fee to have a static IP address (an IP address that never changes), and I do not pay for this *service* - my IP address hasn't changed since May when I started hosting System 7 Today from my house (on a server running Mac OS 7, no less). It hasn't failed me once, and your OS X computer won't either.

    Actually setting up OS X as a server is quite easy. Go to System Preferences, click on "Sharing," and enable "Personal Web Sharing." That is all.

    To access the files on your web server, go to your hard drive (Macintosh HD, or whatever) -> Library -> WebServer -> Documents. This is your root web directory.

    All you should have to do is drop all your web site files into this folder. You can even have Dreamweaver edit them directly by defining a new Site (as in site management) in Dreamweaver and associating it with that folder. This can even be done over your home network if you have one (it's usually good to have a dedicated server - as in, a computer whose only purpose is to server your site). You can learn more about this feature here:
  5. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Ok, Thanks!

    Yea, I have comcast, but my ip only changes once every 4 months or so... Is it possible to change the ip the website access every 4 months, or once you enter the ip, you cant change it?

    Thanks guys!

    EDIT: Oh, sorry Allotriophagy, I must've skiped the second half of your post...

    Thanks all for helping!
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Of course this is possible bt do you really want this? This means people will be using your Internet connection to get to your computer. If your site is popular you may even get in trouble with your ISP. They will ask you to pay for a commercial account. Also I'll bet your upstream connection speed is slow. Your users will complain that your web site is slow. But the up side is you have total control over everything and all the space you want.

    First you need to get a static IP address. Likely you now have one that changes periodically. If you ca't have a static Ip then you can use "Dynamic DNS". read more about the as They offer a free service.

    Mac OSX comes with a web server. You will need to learn a little about Apache.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    the technology you need is called "Dynamic DNS" Read about it here:
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    All in all it is FAR simpler just to use DreamWeaver's built in FTP to put your file onto a server at an ISP for $20 - $120 per year, depending on the type of account and services you need. That's less money than your ISP will likely charge you for a static IP and the permission to run a server, and it'll be more reliable. And you won't be inviting the whole frackin' world into your home.
  9. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2005
    Danville, VA
  10. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    You could also use DynDNS, but then forward your 'real' domain to the DynDNS domain. (I do this with my personal domain, hosted on a B&W G3 in the basement. I can also VNC into my home network that way.)
  11. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I run the website for my company, but I also have a network server at home for things like passing on family photos and so on.

    It's useful to separate work and home websites.

    I use the free service at, to redirect, so my home website is something like which is pretty cool, and easy for family to remember.

    The server also runs backups of my home email, serves media files to my xbox and so on, so it's quite hard working.

    I use Dyndns, never had any probs. The server is a an old powermac G3, just running dyndns takes 20% of the cpu but closing the dyndns window takes that down to about 5%.

    Recently discovered that my modem router (ADSL2+) has DynDns built into it, wow, so thats one less thing for my G3 server to do.

    May change to a cheap PC box soon as I want to start running Myth TV which has no Mac backend.

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