He wasnts to use his home pc to host websites etc.
My recommendations is the commercial standard.
For your webserver -> Apache 1.3 or 1.4 with php 4 / perl 5.8
For an FTP Server ( if you need it ) -> Pure-FTP or BulletproofFTP
Databases -> MySQL 4.1
To Admin MySQL via Web -> phpMyAdmin
Forums/Board -> phpbb2
Some suggestions, as for what exactly you need, or how to set them up/configure them, you need to find that out yourself
Register Domains with a Registrar/Domain Reseller
Setup your Servers on your Computers
Download cPanel and pay a hefty license fee for an 'individual' license, and then install.
Follow the guides if needed on configuring cPanel and setting up domains and websites inside it.
Exactly the reason why 'Home Hosting' is very expensive, more maintenance, less efficient, less stable secure ( unless you spend an absolute fortune ) than datacenters. Even if you just colocate in a datacenter.
Go Ahead and enjoy it anyway, its usually a good experience ( learning wise hehe )
It can be a fun project. Here's what you're gonna want to do:
Find someone to provide the bandwidth to your home, who'll let you host servers. If you've got someone like Speakeasy who offers cheap fast ADSL in your area then you're golden, otherwise you can go with a "business DSL" plan from the local phone company (and be stuck with 256k upload speeds, probably) or cable provider (probably worse at peak hours). I've found SDSL in my area for $300/month 1 Mbit service; a fractional T1 will cost more unless you live in a rural area, where it'll be subsidized compared to other offerings.
Build your local network, so your hosting machines can get to the internet cleanly. Personally, I'd suggest making one a firewall with multiple zones and using that to segregate your home network from the "business" network, but that's just me.
Install the OS and the panel, according to the directions the panel provider gives you.
Make sure you're adhering to a solid backup policy, ideally with redundant hard drives and parts (like power supplies) on-hand in case of failure.
Backup power would be nice -- my home network was down for 10 days (along with a forum I run) when we had the freak accidedent of 3 hurricanes hitting my state. Ouch -- I'd have felt really bad if I was hosting commercial sites from here. (Note that the data line was up the entire time -- I just couldn't get power to the boxes.
Do-able, but if you're looking at it from a cost/benefit perspective, it makes more sense to throw a server up in a data center.
Here's an example: you can buy a server or two that have dual P3 processors, a gig+ of ram, and multiple hot-swap RAIDed hard drives for $3-400 now. They'll be used, but if you test 'em out first they should still serve you well. Now throw them in a 2u space at a datacenter with 1 Mbit connectivity, and you're looking at paying less connection fees per month than you will for real internet access in your home. Add in the advantages of an on-site staff, multiple internet connections in the datacenter, backup power and tested disaster plans and the rest, and it's a no-brainer.
I stumbled into my situation (it started with Bellsouth being a crappy DSL provider and it being worth the extra money to have a good provider for DSL to my home, as I work from there and needed access to client sites reliably), but I don't think I'd plan it that way.
For now, I might suggest that you'd do better with some reseller plan, where someone else needs to deal with all the technical details that are somehow beyond your "superhacker" 'leet skillz.