NOTE: This tutorial may take you a few days to accomplish, but once finished, the server should only require about 15 minutes every week to maintain!

Apache Tutorial
Set up an Ubuntu/Apache cloud-based server


Overview of the Task

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Introductory Comments

NOTE: This tutorial is active. It is being updated, but anything presently recorded here is safe to use. Follow the directions, and you will be on your way to building a personal cloud-based web server. By the way, this is kinda old school server installation. There are other ways to set up a web server online. Maybe you should learn about them later.

Follow these directions at your own risk! I am not responsible for anything on your end in any way. I do promise that these directions are done to the best of my knowledge.

There are many web servers out there, over hundreds of millions of them. I'm going to show you how to set up a cloud-based Apache web server safely and efficiently. I'll show you how to secure it, update it, and provide you with a simple webpage to start you on your way.

I must warn you that operating your web server as an administrator requires more effort than just signing up with a web hosting company. They provide the admin. They provide the troubleshooting. They charge for these services. But web hosting companies also restrict you somewhat. They share your web space with others. Less professional companies provide poor customer service. This is fine for most small applications, like a personal blog or a mom-and-pop store. I'd also like to point out that it may actually cost you more to follow the path I will show you than just using web hosting companies. But if you would like to learn how to do it and you can afford a modest amount of money to accomplish the setup, press on.

If you don't want to operate your own web server, jump into the commercial web hosting provider scene. Here are some great choices!

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Bluehost Webhosting
    
A2 WebhostingA2 Webhosting

If you want simple webhosting, choose one of the above companies.

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The VPS Selection Process

The first thing to do was determine the best cloud-based data center to purchase server space. The important factors are cost, speed, location, reliability, and availability of canned or preloaded software. This selection is harder than you'd think, but in time I narrowed it down to one service out of many that are offered.

The Virtual Private Server(VPS) provider I chose is Contabo. The idea is for us to manage the web server or go to what is called the 'root' level of service at a possibly lower cost of operation. Overall, I think you will find that this will be an interesting learning experience.

Next task: Initial Preparations

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