- What is a server and why do you need one?
- How to copy stuff from your computer to the internet
- The problem of anybody being able to read what you write
- Your computer is (probably) not connected to the internet 24/7
If you use a laptop it's almost certainly not connected to the internet all the time, if you have a desktop computer it might not always be left on. If your computer is off it's not connected to the internet and if it's not connected to the internet, it can't serve pages. A server is almost constantly on and connected to the internet.
- Your internet connection is rubbish (when compared to a server's)
Unless you are very lucky you will have an internet connection rated in mbps (megabits per second). A server in one of these rooms has an internet connection at least 10 times faster than you, more likely 100 times faster. This means it can get the page to a user much much faster than you.
- Niggly details
There are lots of them and they all get very techie and boring so we'll leave them alone for now, the above two are a good reason why you need a server anyway.
hosting providers, in fact, looking at that link there are plenty of people that want to compare hosting providers for you. This is good, lots of supply drives down the price. I personally use Siteground and I've been very happy with them, if you decide to use them then please use that link as it'll give me 3 months free hosting with them, think of it as your way of saying thanks for writing this :)
After you get a hosting provider they will give you FTP details and suchlike that I will explain about in the next section of this page. First however I want to suggest that you don't pay for web-hosting at all. If any of my friends asked me for web-space so they could have a personal site I would be more than happy to arrange it for them and give them a part of my server for free (or buy them a beer). If you have friends that have websites, consider asking them for web-space. Obviously, if you're a company you will probably want to get your own server.
- An internet connection (I'm going to assume you have one, you are reading a website after all...)
- An FTP client/application
If for some reason your connection is refused, try looking in the FTP Client's preferences and changing something called "use passive mode" (probably under "preferences" or "advanced"). Once logging in you should (hopefully) see something resembling the following.
Yes, I've altered all the file names because I found that most of those folders were of sites that I am either working on, using as storage or plain don't want the whole world to know about but we'll come onto that one later. If your window looks different to that, don't worry, this is just an example of what it looks like on mine.
Now you have your window open, just drag files to where you want them and your client will upload or download them as needed. One word of warning, if you are uploading files it will cripple your ability to download anything, you also upload at about a quarter of the speed you normally download.
If you are presented by a couple of folders and you have no idea what they do, check the readme on your hosting service provider. The CGI-BIN folder is something you can just ignore.
Thankfully or sadly, neither are true. The internet is not a horrible place but it is by no means safe for anything and everything. However, with the application of common sense you will not create problems for yourself.
It's even possible to do it with sites such as YouTube though it's harder to download a video than an image (normally). The lesson thus is this. Anything you put online can be copied by another person. It goes just beyond visual things such as images but also includes more abstract things such as source code. If you right click and select "view source" you can see the source for this page and copy my design (though that'd be a waste of time because in the CSS Section I'll be explaining how it works anyway).
There are other issues on the internet though they are either not related to hosting a site, beyond your control or so small they can be as good as ignored.