Mac Mini as website server with own domain


So as per previous post, I have just registered my own domain,, for the purpose having my own email address that can’t be taken away from me by the whim of some iiNet affiliate or other.

Having now acquired that domain, I, of course, have also decided I want to pop up a simple website, like I had in the good old days. Back then my sites were hosted via my ISP, and I would create the pages myself, and upload them via FTP.

I have a ‘spare’ 2011 Mac Mini that I figure could be used for this purpose? But have no idea where to start… Whether I need to use the Mac server OS… how to tell it to use my domain… whether I need a static IP (which would kill this idea straight away)…

Anyone able to point me in the right direction?



Someone on MacRumors suggested reading this blog:

Shows the steps, though it’s not exactly a tutorial.

Someone on GoDaddy also suggested against the idea, noting that

  1. A lot of ISPs do not allow you to host your own website using a ‘residential’ internet plan
  2. Many ISP residential upload speeds are poor
  3. Potential hacking concerns.

I don’t know if iiNet ban you from hosting if you’re on their resi plans… I see that they no longer have commercial plans to actually serve as a web host…

My cable connection gives me something like 100/40… so it’s better than a lot of offerings… And in reality - my intent is to just put up a pretty basic site that will have very little traffic lol.

I look after the IT for a community radio station and we’ve got a Windows PC running Apache inside the studio building which shares over HTTP audio files as part of an On Demand audio service. They’re with iinet so I’d say you’re safe.

If you’re brave enough to play with Terminal and want to dive into a few config files, this tutorial is pretty easy to follow along.
Now I note that you’re running a 2011 Mac mini, but the steps are pretty similar.

Further to the tutorial, you’ll need to set up a static IP address on your Mac and set up Port Forwarding on your router for port 80 to that address.

Once that’s all done, if you have a static IP, you can add an A-Record to your domain’s DNS. If you don’t, for some extra sneak, you can set up something like No-IP if your router supports it, then add a CNAME entry for your domain to your no-ip domain name. ie: → Unfortunately you can’t set a CNAME as a root entry for a domain. An option could be to transfer your DNS hosting to Digital Ocean (who will host it for free) and use their API to update your domain’s records when your IP address changes. Something like cron task run every few minutes to check for a change would sort this perfectly.

As a side note, Aussie Broadband offer $5/month static IP’s and have amazing support - I don’t have any affiliation with them, just a customer of 5 years who’s moved a heap of people to them. My parents have had the same IP address for months and theirs isn’t static. I’m running a site-to-site VPN between theirs and mine which stays up perfectly.

More than happy to have a remote sesh/call with you at some point if you want some help setting this up. I look after websites/servers/hosting for a living and love sharing knowledge and skills.

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Hi @adamd

Thanks for the reply above, much appreciated, as well as the offer to help. :slight_smile: I’d like to think I’m capable of setting something like this up, certainly younger me would have jumped at it. (Cos I’m just soo old lol)

I had Go Daddy call me yesterday to confirm if I wanted to pay them $ to host and build a website, so I told the guy I was going to DIY. He tried his darnedest without being too pushy to get a sale, but eventually made sure that the auto-renew to start charging me for their website deal was turned off.

I will probably dust off my old site from the late 90s and see if it even still works under modern html, before I get too involved with trying to set up the Mac mini host.

After setting up the domain, I then started looking at iiNet’s competition here in Geelong… And Aussie Broadband have a pretty good offering for speed/price. Probably nothing like the cable speeds, but - I am pretty keen to leave iiNet now… (and I’m sure their churn rate will be high this year!)

So - I’ll certainly keep your offer in mind!! :slight_smile:



I’d go for a $5/mth Linode server.

I don’t know why, but I’ve allllways read your username as cosmi-chobo… Only today have I realised that my split character is one off! :joy:

HTML is HTML… it’ll work. I’ve got flat-websites (no CMS/dynamic content) running that I built in 2006, because the client/s see no value in rebuilding or upgrading. They work and still drive clients in, somehow…

Aussie Broadband gets my double thumbs up recommendation - they’ve got a referrer programme so if you’re feeling generous and want $50 credit, let me know and I’ll PM you my code.

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That’s made my day! :crazy_face:

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Wait - you’re not cosmic hobo?? I always read it that way too. :joy:



  • (as seen on YouTube, 2004-2018)


The Second Doctor

Some journalist somewhere called Troughton’s performance “like some cosmic hobo”… I still remember reading that phrase in 1988 in a Doctor Who information book. Loved it. When I could no longer have “travis” as my email address (cos - how dare someone else already have that!), I went with cosmichobo. That was… circa 2002 I think…