Apache’s HTTP web server is one of the most widely used web servers available today. The software is free and open-source, and it comes with a rich set of features. The Apache HTTP web server is also highly versatile; it’s used by many large international companies, including Apple, Baidu, and Paypal. It’s also used to create numerous small personal websites.
Setting up and navigating through Apache’s extensive list of add-ons and features can be an overwhelming task, especially for people that have never set up a web server before. Udemy’s Complete Apache HTTP Server Course by instructor Muhammed Torkey was created to help make this task easier by teaching you everything you need to know to get up and running with a basic home web server. Let’s take a closer look.
The lectures start out with a brief overview of the creation of the Internet and how it functions. This section of the course isn’t particularly important and realistically can be skipped. It’s worth noting, however, this section isn’t entirely accurate, as it states the widely held yet inaccurate belief that the Internet was created by Tim Berners-Lee. Just for those that didn’t know, Berners-Lee was a major player in the creation of the Web, but the Internet itself was created through the efforts of numerous individuals two decades prior.
Next, the course starts to dive more into how to set up an Apache webserver in section 2, but there is a minor issue here. Section 2 kicks off with the lecturer running on CentOS 7.4. The lecturer lists that students should have knowledge of Linux essentials prior to taking this course, so this in itself isn’t a problem, but the lecturer never specified which version of Linux students should use. I’d assume that the lecturer would recommend CentOS 7.4 because that’s what he is running, but there really should have more explanation here as to why students should use this version of Linux over other popular distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora.
The lecturer then installs and starts the Apache HTTP server quickly and easily using terminal, and he then sets it to start automatically each time the system boots. After this, he shows you how to configure your system’s firewall to permit other systems to access your webserver, and then he proceeds to show you how to configure files and create your first page.
With your first page created, the rest of the course is focused on expanding your web site by adding virtual hosts and configuring aliases and redirect links. There is also a long section focused on adding security. This section alone takes up roughly a full third of the course.
Overall I found this course to be highly informative, but I’d strongly recommend potential students to take a few other courses along with it. Unless you work in Linux on a regular basis, you probably should take a Linux-based course before this one. The course is almost entirely conducted from inside of a Linux terminal, and the lecturer doesn’t always explain what the individual commands do particularly well. I personally don’t have extensive experience working with Linux, and as such found sections slightly confusing as I tried to figure out why the lecturer used the commands he did and what exact effect they had.
It’s also important to note this course teaches you how to set up a webserver, but it doesn’t teach you how to design webpages. This may sound confusing, as the lecturer actually does teach you how to create webpages, but these pages are simple with just plain text and no formatting or images. By itself, this course is unlikely to be much use unless you already have experience designing a site. That said, if you do have some experience with Linux and creating webpages and just need to learn how to host them online, then this course is exactly what you need.
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