Create a personal webserver on ReadyNAS OS 6
Does this situation apply to you?
- You have a free website that does not quite give you the creative freedom to do what you really want.
- You do not wish to pay to have your website hosted elsewhere.
Use your ReadyNAS unit as your personal web server instead. The ReadyNAS unit that you already use to share, backup, and stream your files and photos can also become your personal web server as well.
The Advantages of Your ReadyNAS Unit
- The ReadyNAS unit can be on 24/7 while using very little power.
- Updates to your web site are quick and easy and require no complicated process to make changes.
You can even drag and drop your changes if you want.
- If you are CGI-savvy, you can create a dynamic site easily with Perl or PHP.
- You can create a dynamic DNS hostname for free and redirect that traffic to your web server.
Or you can sign up for your own domain name and point it to your ReadyNAS unit.
- Your website is protected with RAID.
The Overall Process
You are convinced and now you want to get started. Here are the steps that you follow.
- Create a share on the ReadyNAS where you want to put your website files.
See the Create a Website Share section.
- Redirect default HTTP access to your ReadyNAS to this website share.
See the Redirect Default HTTP Access section.
- Create a test index.html web page and verify access.
See the Create a Test index.html Web Page section.
- Forward external HTTP access to your ReadyNAS unit.
See the Forward External HTTP Access to Your ReadyNAS Unit section.
- (Optional) Set up your own hostname.
See the Set Up Your Own Hotname section.
Create a Website Share
In this example, we call the website share website.
1. Disable access for Everyone to the share over SMB.
2. Enable write access for the users that require it so that they can update the website when necessary.
Do not forget to turn on HTTP for the share with access to Everyone.
Redirect Default HTTP Access
1. Go to System >> Settings and click the HTTP button.
A screen similar to the following displays.
2. To redirect default web access, select the website share from the drop-down list in the HTTP box.
This action prevents the web share list from showing when you access http://192.168.xx.yy. Instead, access automatically redirects to http://website.
Create a Test index.html Web Page
1. Create a test index.html file with the following content.
Welcome to my personal ReadyNAS website!
2. Drag and drop index.html to the website share.
3. In your browser, enter the following addeess: http://192.168.xx.yy/website.
Replace 192.168.xx.yy.with your ReadyNAS IP address.
Forward External HTTP Access to Your ReadyNAS Unit
We are now ready to make the HTTP access to your ReadyNAS unit public. In this section, we modify your router to forward all incoming HTTP access (port 80) to your ReadyNAS unit.
1. Note your router login and password.
2. To forward port 80 to your ReadyNAS IP address, follow the steps outlined in the user manual for your router.
3. Determine your external public IP address.
For more information, visit http://whatsmyip.org.
4. Using this public IP address, test the address to determine if you get the same web page that you created in the previous step.
Enter the public IP address in your browser: http:// (replace with your external IP)
Congratulations — you have just set up your own webserver.
Set Up Your Own Hotname
You can set up a hostname that you and the rest of the world can remember easily.
- Use a number of free and commercial dynamic DNS services, such as no-ip.com (free and commercial), freedns.afraid.org (free), or dyn.com (commercial).
- If you want a domain name such as www.mygreatwebsite.com, you can get your own domain name from commercial services such as yahoo.com and godaddy.com.
Create Compelling Content
Replace the index.html file that you created in a previous section with something more creative. You can use a web page editor such as DreamWeaver to come up with creative static pages.
If you want to create dynamic pages, use CGI. If you are Linux-savvy, you can use the built-in Perl interpreter or you can install PHP. Find the instructions on how to install PHP here.