I've included a few links and a few analogies to help illustrate how the Internet works because the better we understand the Internet, then the better we can decentralize the centralized tyranny and censorship control of the world wide web.
The purpose of this post is to give you an overall introduction to aspects of hosting websites. You can scroll through this long article. But this article could have been longer. This is just a quick rough draft. In the future, I may try to post shorter versions of this post. But for now, I wanted to publish this little thing. I'm mostly thinking through the different steps that may be required in evolving towards Internet 3.0.
Keep in mind there may be different ways to host a website. The hard part is if your website runs into censorship. The point of this article is to try to address what you might want to do in order to get around censorship, Internet kill-switches, blocks, etc, etc. So, my overall advice is to start with what you know regarding hosting a website and go from there one step at a time and one day at a time. Start with a simple website. You can use a free website for example. Once you feel like you know how to make a simple website, then you may be interested in moving on to the next level. But take it slow at first. And you can always ask me for advice.
How do you host a website? That is a key question to ask if you're interested in decentralizing the Internet. Now, it's a root question but not necessarily the only question.
I'm thinking out loud, I'm asking not just this key question but a series of questions as I try to build resources that can aid in the development of a new version of the world wide web that can contrast with the centralized components of the online system that we plug into.
I've written a little bit about this desire to decentralized the Internet, I've referenced a few different websites and things out there which relates to some of this. There may be different components and steps that must be taken to decentralize the Internet. Before we can really get to the heart of the issue of trying to really decentralize the Internet, it is important to understand what the Internet is. I've been thinking about these types of issues since at least 2016 if not longer. It's hard to boil down because the Internet is rather complex.
I want to note on top of this that people are trying to decentralize the Internet as we speak. So, for the record, I want to note that I am not saying in absolute terms that we can totally decentralize the Internet. It would take a while to explain why I'm saying that to anybody who doesn't get why I'm saying that. I probably don't have time right now to get into why it may not be totally possible to totally and absolutely decentralize the Internet completely and totally and in all ways. To be frank and to be quick, I can say the Internet is pretty complex and parts of the Internet may be more centralized and other parts may be less centralized.
Most people (if not everyone and everything) access the Internet through Internet Service Providers (ISP) and/or possibly a few other things, etc. But to over-generalize all of this, most of it is ISP related, most likely or so it seems. And the ISP component of the Internet has been pretty centralized. And then there is the Domain Name Servers (DNS) which can contain website addresses. So, for example, if you type in Google . com into a web browser like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (IE), Chromium, Safari, Dissenter, etc, then your browser may need to send that request to a DNS who can then translate the URL, that is the web address being Google.com for example like I said, into an IP address, a series of numbers of where the website may be hosted or housed at. So, the DNS component of the Internet can be pretty centralized too either already or potentially. And that leads me to the purpose of this particular post.
The purpose of this post is to outline the process of hosting a website. In order to understand what the Internet is, we can look at how to access the Internet. We can talk about how we can use a web browser to access a website. We can look through the steps that the computer takes to load a website. That can help us understand what the Internet is and is not. That is an important thing to explore and study.
But at the same time, on the other hand, we should also look at how a website is hosted on the Internet. There may be several steps and several different components to web hosting. But what is a website? Well, there are different kinds of websites. So, think of a website like you would a Microsoft Word Document or a Power Point Presentation. Think of a website like you would a page. For example, this article or post is being published to a web page. You're probably viewing this via a phone or a computer or device of some kind via some kind of app or browser. Right now, you're probably reading this on a web page. So, in a way, this page is an example of a website. You also have video websites like YouTube and other kinds of websites and different combinations of sites and such on the inter-webs.
Websites are generally if not always hosted on computers which we call servers. A website or a web page may be a file. Like for example, a Microsoft Word Document or a PDF is a file. And there are web browsers, apps (applications), and/or other programs that can open these files. So, you're probably using a browser to read this file. This web page is simply a file of some kind. There are different kinds of websites just like there are different kinds of files. And websites and web pages can be a series or a combination of files and programs.
I apologize if I'm being too wordy and simple, I'm trying to help beginners understand what websites are. We can better develop our own versions of the Internet if we can better understand the different components or parts of the Internet. I am trying my best to describe the different things that may be required for getting the Internet to work. If you have any questions please ask. Please contact me here or somewhere to offer any feedback you may have. I am not trying to make this post too long. But on the other hand, this post is not going to be really short either. So, in the future, I may publish shorter versions of this particular post. But I really want to try very hard to flesh out what the Internet is. You can also Google it or use Duck Duck Go or other search engines to do your own research on trying to understand the Internet. I am trying to describe all the steps required in order to help personify the mysterious thing which we call The Internet. Like, it is so magical in a way. And some of it can be rather complex. But I'm not getting down to the absolute root of how to build a program, how to build a computer, how to program software using code, how binary code works, etc. Instead, I'm talking more about assembling things together regarding hardware and software. The Internet for the most part is a bunch of computers talking to each other. There are Internet Kill-Switches which are located generally or mostly at centralized gateways or ports of the Internet itself.
So, my motivation in writing this comes partly from the understanding that Kill-Switches and Back-Doors could potentially attempt to censor the Internet or worse. Just like with money, the free market, etc, the centralization of the Internet means the accumulation and acceleration of excessive power and control over what is on thy Internet or what is on the Internet.
Like I said already, I would love to make this post all pretty, short and sweet, with diagrams, pictures, drawings, illustrations, highlights, analogies, parodies, memes, photos, cartoons, comics, metaphors, to help people see in simple terms what the Internet is, what a website is, what an ISP is, what a DNS is, what an Internet Kill-Switch is, what a back-door is, what a computer virus or Trojan Horse is, how information flows through the Internet, etc, etc, etc. In future posts, articles, videos, etc, I may try to do that. But for today, I'm just going to try to continue to be as wordy and redundant and repetitive and as insanely simple as possible in trying to explain it out. And also, in other future posts, I want to explore other questions like how a person can access ISP, DNS, etc, and other such questions. Like, is it possible for people to be their own ISP, DNS, etc? Like, why would you want to do that and how? And we're not even talking about the art of designing websites. But I don't have time to talk about all of that right now. Instead, I want to focus on how a website is hosted online. Let's try to look at just that one thing alone.
A common way to host a website would be to go to Go Daddy and to pay them money for the service of keeping your website on their servers. The only question would be, would GoDaddy terminate their contract with you if they're not happy with the content of your website? It is possible they may do that to some people. It reminds me of all the censorship on social media networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc.
In regards to hosting a website, you may want to find somebody you trust who can host your website or you may want to try to host the website on your own computer which you would then have to keep on all the time for people to be able to access.
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) offers a way to register a domain name, AKA a website address name. This might be one way to do it. I've not experimented with ENS yet. But it is one way to have a static page online.
Around 2011, I was helping a friend, Brent Groth or Goth who I met on Comcast Wanted Adventure Host in 2009. We were building Mea Omnia to compete with Facebook, YouTube, online banking, Twitter, etc. We ended up abandoning that project around 2013. Brent was paying Go Daddy for the web hosting services. I probably should have opened with that. In other words, I have some experience with hosting and building websites. So, this kind of thing is very close to my heart. We no longer have or own that domain name we were using, that is MeaOmnia . com. So, that link or URL is dead.
Go Daddy would sometimes tell us our website was too big or too popular. So, we would sometimes upgrade our servers or I mean the web services. So, I cannot totally say if the services are too expensive when compared to other companies which may offer web hosting services. I have not studied specifically in regards to whether Go Daddy is a scam or too expensive or too unfair. I don't remember if they're kicking off websites or not. We do know Amazon kicked off Gab.com. So, tyranny is happening on the web hosting level. So, that is like an Internet Kill-Switch. If they don't like your content or services, they'll terminate you.
Meaning at least five levels of Internet Kill-Switches, first on the web hosting level, second on the Internet Service Provider (ISP) level, third on the Domain Name Server (DNS) level, fourth on the web browser level, and fifth on the operating system (OS) level. And there may be programs, apps, viruses, bugs, etc, which may try to get in there to block websites or to do other things to mess you up.
A few steps on how to host your domain or website:
1.Register a domain name. ...
2.Code your website. ...
3.Find out what your IP address is. ...
4.Point your domain name to the IP address of your computer. ...
5.Find out if your ISP supports hosting. ...
6.Ensure your computer at home can support hosting. ...
7.Ensure your computer is secured.
There you have it, seven steps to hosting a website. But this is just a way to do it perhaps. This is a good outline or summary. But this requires registering a domain name, that is step one. But that first step may be problematic if DNS were to block your IP address or domain name.
Perhaps in future posts I should post how to really register for domain names via a decentralized manner. But that is not to say that you cannot ever like trust DNS or ISP or other things. That is the crazy thing about all of this. But that is the nature of the beast. That is the nature of the Internet in a nutshell as they say.
Step five is find out if your ISP supports web hosting as it may require too much bandwidth. And that can be a tricky part. What is bandwidth? Well, that has to do with traffic on the Internet. So, in other words, if one person is visiting your website, then that may be a small amount of bandwidth or traffic. But if millions of people are trying to access or visit your website at the same time, then that may be a higher level of bandwidth. What is the Internet again? Think of the Internet like a series of highways. A website is like a house on a map. So, bandwidth is like traffic on busy highways. A web browser is like a car. So, imagine thousands of cars zooming on over to your house all at the same time. You might run out of parking space or bandwidth. Your ISP may limit your bandwidth or may charge you extra if you go over the limit. Your ISP may not allow you to host a website on your own computer or it may depend on a series of variables. I don't know since I've not done it yet.
So, a website depends on the web host, the ISP, the DNS, the web browsers, operating systems, programs, and don't forget specific protocols involved. What is a protocol? Well, it's like code or a type of language for communicating. The Internet is a collision of computer networks. So, we have computers talking to each other. So, when a web server tries to access a website, it may need to use protocols like HTTPS for example to connect to the website.
I said I wasn't going to talk a lot about code and I'm not saying you have to become a computer nerd or geek in order to host your own website. But suffice to say it is important to understand that different protocols and programs can be used to access websites. And accessing websites involves Internet routing.
What is Internet routing?
Well, since the Internet is like a series of interstate highways, the process of routing would be like exiting or entering a highway. Sometimes, you have to take different routes to get from point A to point B on the Internet and in real life. Sometimes, you may have to take a detour or a scenic route. You might have to find a longer route to get to your destination. If there are Internet Kill-Switches, then you would need to find a different route in order to visit a website or you may find different ways to host your website on the other hand if kill-switches are blocking your website from being accessed by users online.
Many Internet service providers (ISPs) expressly forbid personal hosting unless you have a business plan, which often costs significantly more than a standard use plan. This shouldn't be an issue if your site only generates a few hits per month, but any kind of significant traffic will draw attention to your hosting.
That article on Wiki How is pretty good. It walks you through the steps regarding web hosting via your own computer. You can use a secondary computer, say even an older computer that you leave on 24/7.
And then they talk about downloading a free local server program like MAMP for example which has to do with hosting your website to the Internet.
And then in future articles, I may want to walk you through the steps involving making websites. But this article was supposed to be more about the art of how to host a website.
I must stress that MAMP may be only one option and there may be other programs that can do the job as well. I've not researched what all of the different hosting software things there may be out there and which things may be the best choices for decentralizing the Internet.
The main backbone of the Internet, that is most largest and most central core highways, routes, fiber optic lines, data centers, servers, may be owned by, for example, AT&T, CenturyLink, Cogent Communications, Deutsche Telekom, Global Telecom and Technology (GTT), NTT Communications, Sprint, Tata Communications, Telecom Italia Sparkle, Telia Carrier, and Verizon. In other words, the most centralized aspects of the Internet may be owned by these top companies or groups which govern tier 1 internet service providers (ISP), regional internet providers, and/or global internet providers. That would mean they probably have the most control over the Internet. It would be like getting all your water from the city dam. If they don't want you to have water, they can turn off the dam. That is sort of like what the Internet Kill-Switch is like meaning you better find another source of water or Internet.
And I don't know where Facebook, Google, Amazon, other companies, groups, and governments list in all of this, especially agencies like the NSA which Snowden has said has prisms or systems which acts like a sponge as it scans through Internet traffic. The Internet is a big mysterious jungle.
What is the most popular web hosting server?
According to an article on Kingsta - "Apache is a popular open-source, cross-platform web server that is, by the numbers, the most popular web server in existence."
In other words, Apache is the most widely used web server software. Developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation, Apache is an open source software available for free. It runs on 67% of all webservers in the world.
It may be that we may be able to trust Apache and other groups which may be similar to Apache to the extent they can be trusted. Well, Apache seems to be mostly software or just software that is used for web hosting. So, I've not looked exclusively at every single thing that may be required in hosting a website. I'm still vaguely touching on a few different things relating to web hosting. I just wanted to give a very general introduction and outline to web hosting. This is not thorough regarding this one particular topic. So, keep that in mind.
What is web server software?
Web service software would be the governing operating system or program for accessing the files of a website, so it serves as a middle man between the website and the Internet.
Web server software may require a database program like MySQL for making it sure it can do everything it is required to do to host a website.
MySQL is only one example of database software which is to work in concert with web server software. A quick reminder, web server software is to work in concert with web servers. What is a server? Simply put, a server is a computer which you dedicate to serving websites from.
This has not been my first article on these types of topics and it won't be my last. This article is mostly for myself for now but I don't mind if other people read this. But keep in mind this fragmented article can be confusing to read if you're not already an Internet Technology (IT) master or expert.
I'm mostly trying to build a roadmap in the pursuit of decentralizing the Internet as much as possible. I've mentioned that the Internet is complex and it really involves different components in making it all decentralized and competitive and everything else.
I don't have time right now to mention all of the different websites, blockchain networks like Hive Blog and Steemit, different endeavors and groups and movements and programs and people and organizations and projects which are popping up all over the world. I'm reminded of Substratum. I'm reminded of many different things out there.
But I don't really want to get into every single thing that might be out there right now. Instead, I just wanted to display for you a quick introduction to the pursuit of hosting a website. I wanted to highlight the different components and steps involving hosting a website. I wanted to emphasize on how there may be different ways of hosting websites. I want to encourage you to take some of this a step at a time.
Some of this may seem overwhelming or too complex for some people. And I'm mostly thinking out loud as I try to find ways to better explain how the Internet works so that we can better rescue the Internet from the clutches of the globalists or control freaks or Big Tech or those trying to put people under Lockdown and force people Covid Vaccines which are killing people.
My advice is to take it a step at a time and a day at a time regarding some of your own long-term goals and missions and dreams and careers and projects in your own life. I wanted to make some of this to be as interactive as possible. I appreciate feedback, comments, questions, answers, things you want to add. I wanted to try to walk you through some of this.
I believe that all of this can be simplified a whole lot to make it more doable. An elephant is digestible one bite at a time. Big Tech wants to own the Internet Dam or Internet Kill Switches. If they don't like you, then they want to be able to shut you up. And so many people have been censored and shadowed banned. So, more and more people have been getting a taste of what it is like to be censored online. And you can be censored on several levels. The normal level is on the website level like say on Facebook for example. Another level would be to be kicked off an ISP. And an even higher level would be to have DNS block you. And there may be other levels on top of that as I already mentioned involving operating systems, programs, data center servers, viruses, protocols, etc. This is a rough draft outline and summary. I want that to be stated for the record. Some of this is kind of new to me and some of it is potentially self-explanatory to the technically inclined.
I am still walking through all of the components needed to decentralized the Internet. Rome wasn't built in a day and Internet 3.0 is still being developed as we speak.