Throughout this book, you’ve been developing and testing your web sites on your local computer. You’ve run all the pages from within Visual Studio 2008, and the web server you’ve been using is the ASP.NET Development Server that’s built into Visual Studio.
This setup is good for testing. However, you can’t run a public web site this way. For starters, it’s unlikely that your computer is set up to be a public-facing web server. (Or at least, you probably haven’t intentionally set it up that way!) In any event, the ASP.NET Development Server that you’ve been using can’t be used to serve a public web site— by design, it accepts requests only from the local computer.
This chapter provides an overview of how you can go about turning the web site you’ve created on your computer into a web site that anyone can access. You have a couple of options that depend on how much of the site administration you want to take on. The easiest and most common option is to rent space from a company that can host your site.
Another option is to host the web site on a computer you maintain yourself. This is less common, but we’ll give you an idea of what’s involved in that.
A hosting company or hosting provider rents space on their servers where you can upload your web site and keep your data. They will handle the web requests that come to your site, and they’ll manage tasks like backup, upgrading the server and .NET Framework software, and so on. ...