Before hosting a website, you need to do a few things:
If you want your website to be visible on the Internet, you must own your domain name and register it with a domain name service, such as Network Solutions. (You can find a complete list of domain name registration services at
If you just want your users to access your site from the Internet but don’t need others to see your site, you don’t need a registered domain name. Instead, you can have a private domain name (in the form
.private), as described in Chapters 3 and 4, configured with virtual private networking (VPN). Your users then access your site through a secure (private) connection.
You may want to have domain name service (DNS) configured so that users can type your server host name (such as
server.acme.private). DNS will have your domain name resolve (or point to) the IP address of the web server. This DNS setting could be on a DNS server on your network or on the Mac server itself, if it’s acting as the network’s DNS server.
If Mountain Lion is your only server on the network and you’ve created a
.private host name, the installer will set up DNS for you in Mountain Lion Server.
If DNS isn’t set up, users will have to enter the IP address of the server ...