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Your Domain Name

To visit your website, you need a domain name. This help page will tell you what you need to know to administer a website with a domain name -- if you already know your domain name, you don't need to read this.

Short Introduction to Your Domain Name

If you don't know what your domain name is, your best bet is to ask your site administrator or computer help desk. They'll be able to tell you. It might be, for example, "hciresearch.hcii.cs.cmu.edu", or "mycomputer.com", or "JanesMachine.res.domainname.com", etc.

Your domain name might also be known as your "host name", "computer name", "IP address", etc. All of these are different ways of accessing your computer through the network, the URL that your computer is named at. Until you find out your domain name, you can just substitute "localhost" or "", both which basically mean the computer you're using, the computer you're sitting in front of.

If you're trying to do this from home -- the short answer is don't try this at home. If you have DSL or a cable modem, your net connection will probably not be stable enough for you to run a server off it. From our experience, servers do not run very well off DSL nor cable-modem. However, if you still want to try, you can get a static domain name from DynDns.org. That site explains how to get a static domain name and how to keep it up to date.


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