Introduction to Webservers
If you need your server to publish websites to the internet, you will need to install a webserver! A webserver is a process which runs on your server and which listens on one or more ports for requests using the various web protocols (-such as HTTP, SSL, FTP, etc). When someone types in one of your URLs, the HTTP request will be sent to the port on your server where your webserver is listening; your webserver will then interpret the request and reply to the client with the requested page or resource.
When someone types in one of your URLs, the HTTP request will be sent to the port on your server where your webserver is listening; your webserver will then interpret the request and reply .. with the requested page or resource
By default webservers listen for HTTP requests on port 80 and SSL on port 443, but these can be tied to different ports as required.
Unless your sites consist of static (-e.g. HTML) pages, you will normally require a web scripting language and a backend database. In this section, we will cover how to install the lighttpd webserver (-simpler than Apache for novice users); the PHP scripting language and the mySQL database.
If you do not feel that you want to administer and control your own webserver, then the alternative is to go to a Web Hosting company, who provide you with a webserver environment (-for a monthly fee) where you can upload your files (-e.g. via sFTP) and make them available on the Web. Incidentally, most Web Hosting companies use Linux machines (-because they are more flexible, scaleable and have a lower cost of ownership).