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  • How do I host myself?

    I am wanting to start hosting my own ssite from home. It is not something I expect a massive amount of traffic to/from, and I have a couple of spare computers so I figure I can use one as a server.

    I have cable internet with reliable connection and good speeds, and I have a copy of Microsoft Office XP for Developers which includes the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and the Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server. I run windows 2000 professional usually, but can install win98 or ME as well.

    So, with all that said, I really have no clue as to what I am doing or how to start. I have the site built, and it is hosted on a free server for now. What steps do I take to set it up to host a site myself? I have done a few brief searches online, but get spammed with thousands of free/cheap hosting services no matter how I phrase the search query, and no real FAQs or Tutorials, or info.

    Thanks in advance!

    [edit] - I also forgot to mention/ask . . . I do not currently have access to, well, any serverside programs reall, on the current server. I want to add in features such as a small chatroom, guestbook, password protected area, and so forth if possible when I transfer to my own server. What software do I need to buy/install to be able to run CGI, PHP, ASP, and so forth, and which do you reccomend?
    Last edited by kargrafx; Nov 12, 2003, 11:26 PM.

  • #2
    I'm no expert on this, I've never tried it, but:

    Although it's perfectly possible to run a website off a bog standard Windows 2000 box, unless you're sitting behind some fairly heavy duty hardware firewall you're *notoriously* suceptible to attack. I really wouldn't advise it - and I'm a bit of a MS whore myself.

    Comment


    • #3
      if you have a spare comp with say >=400mhz & say 256Mb+ RAM you could slap *NIX on and have Apache/PHP/MySQL running for nothing.

      An out of the box (eg) RedHat installation gives you everything you need to start serving up dynamic database driven web-pages , if you are not used to linux then there will be a learning curve but you will end up with a better solution than a similar windows setup.

      If you want to stick to windows ...
      The last thing you want to do is run 98 or ME for a server

      2K is OK as is XP but you need to cut down on the services running by default for both security and performance reasons , + remember an unpatched windows machine connected to the internet is an incident waiting to happen...

      If still with windows you have the option of running IIS (comes with XP and 2k) or you can still utilise the apache webserver which runs anywhere , though IIS does provide a mailserver which you would need to setup seperately if you go the apache route.

      If you want to use PHP (and there are a zillion free scripts out there for PHP) then Apache or IIS is ok , if you want to run ASP or .NOT you will need to use IIS , I dont know the liscencing issues of using SQLserver or indeed IIS for what you want to do though I think may be ok though thats something you ought to look into (I dont know how/where you got your copies)

      I think a lot depends on your choice of server-side programming/scripting language and your choice of database , (eg SQLserver && ASP/.NOT only run on windows wheras PHP,MySQL,Interbase etc are x-platform)

      but the (very) basics are
      1) check you have a static IP (or find a forwarding service)
      2) get a web(and mail)server
      3) edit your domains DNS to point to your machine
      4) start serving
      resistance is...

      MVC is the current buzz in web application architectures. It comes from event-driven desktop application design and doesn't fit into web application design very well. But luckily nobody really knows what MVC means, so we can call our presentation layer separation mechanism MVC and move on. (Rasmus Lerdorf)

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      • #4
        Thanks!

        Okay, thank you for the info!

        I kindof had in mind to integrate some Access databases later on when I have a firmer grip on things, as I am awesome with Access, and know next to nothing about SQL. (plus, the databases already exist) - so I would prefer to stick to Windows, even though I do recognize Unix/Linux is more powerful and more stable.

        The better of the machines I have free is a p3/833 I believe, and I have about 256 spare ram to throw in it, can buy more though.

        As far as security issues and such, I realize this can be a problem, but it will be a more or less private website, which I expect to get hits from a dozen or so people . . . low traffic and no advertising to external people. I know this doesn't preclude it from others finding, and/or attacking - but it wont be likely, and I will have backups of everything.

        So, for now, let's go with the Win2kPro assumption. Especially with the integrated email. And I did buy all of my software, so there will be no licensing issues.

        Now, I really know not what I am doing, and I guess I will be going out to buy a book or two, but I'll ask here too anyway...

        1)I do have a static IP from my ISP, and can assign the local IP for each machine on my router, and even separate one or more machines from the rest so that I have multiple independant networks. (not that I have used that functionality yet, but the manual says I can.)

        2) What do I use for a web (and mail) server? if I go with IIS as you mentioned, is it built into Win2kPro, or do I need to buy it separately?

        3) This was more or less the biggest part of my initial question, I don't know how to do that. Now you have given me more to think about, but that is a good thing! So anyway, how do I edit my domain's DNS to point to my machine?

        Thanks again!!!

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        • #5
          You can't use Windows 2000 Professional or XP Pro to host websites on the net. You can only have 10 connections at once. And you can only have one website in IIS and you don't have DNS either. You'll need Windows 2003 (or 2000) Server if you want to go the Windows route. And both products aren't exactly cheap either. I'm using Windows 2003 Server Standard as my primary machine at work and it is pretty nice, and it runs good on my system too. (Dual P3 700, 512megs ram, dual 9gb SCSI)
          OracleGuy

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          • #6
            At the moment, 10 simulataneous connections at once would be fine, as would one website; as I expand further on down the road I will have no problems upgrading to a machine running a Server OS (either 2k or 2003). I could even do so now, but I don't see the need from the points you make; aside from your saying that 'and you don't have DNS either.'

            What do you mean by this? Sorry if I am being especially dense, but I don't quite understand how you mean that.

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by oracleguy
              You can't use Windows 2000 Professional or XP Pro to host websites on the net. You can only have 10 connections at once. And you can only have one website in IIS and you don't have DNS either. You'll need Windows 2003 (or 2000) Server if you want to go the Windows route. And both products aren't exactly cheap either. I'm using Windows 2003 Server Standard as my primary machine at work and it is pretty nice, and it runs good on my system too. (Dual P3 700, 512megs ram, dual 9gb SCSI)

              It was my understanding that anonymous web connection didn't count as a user connection.

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              • #8
                My understanding to?

                Comment


                • #9
                  No... I've even had to test it. At a LAN party our primary server that ran the intranet site had are massive hardware failure and I had to load up the stuff on an XP Pro machine and I kept getting max connection limit errors and it was set to anynmous access.

                  You might be able to squeeze a couple more connections out if you turned off http keep alives but it would increase server response times.
                  OracleGuy

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                  • #10
                    http://www.webattack.com/get/metaedit.html will let you up the max connections among other things for IIS but you need to know what you are doing... I know >< about IIS apart from I don't much like it

                    the tool is from microsoft , but whether you are breaching any liscensing issues by using it I could not say , so read the TAC
                    resistance is...

                    MVC is the current buzz in web application architectures. It comes from event-driven desktop application design and doesn't fit into web application design very well. But luckily nobody really knows what MVC means, so we can call our presentation layer separation mechanism MVC and move on. (Rasmus Lerdorf)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay, thanks for the info, but as I said before; for now, those restrictions are all acceptable given that I want to jump into this with out spending anything more, and as I get it to a stage where I need more functionality I will upgrade to a Server OS at that point.

                      I still don't quite know how you meant, "and you don't have DNS either." Could someone explain what he meant by that, sorry if I am just being dense here.

                      Also, can someone point me to an online resource (tutorial, tech pages, something) that walks me through it step by step for my first time, so I don't have to keep bugging you guys with all of my questions?

                      ((Or else, would someone be willing to tell me step by step what I need to do?))


                      Thanks!

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                      • #12
                        on a side note...
                        as I am awesome with Access, and know next to nothing about SQL
                        If your awesome with Access then you'll know that the view button (top left) has an SQL option when a Query is opened.
                        And then...tadaa! The SQL has already been written for you.

                        I take no responsibility for the above nonsense.


                        Left Justified

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                        • #13
                          As to the Access / SQL thing . . . I am very aware of that, but to write those SQL queries outside of Access... I am lost. And also, from what some friends have said, Access produces very clunky SQL code, which is amazing that it works at all; so . . . . I would rather stick with what I know, until I take the time to learn SQL (if I ever do)

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                          • #14
                            i asked this question too a number of times.

                            you need to purchase a static IP address from you ISP

                            i faught with windows to work as a web server for a long time i finally got fed up and baught two books Absolute BSD and FreeBSD Unleashed and took a dive into UNIX. it took little less then a month, which is over all less then half the time i spent on windows, and i have an apache server running with mysql and php.

                            but if you are going just play with php and mysql and don't intend for anyone to see it but yourself just download the apache,php,mysql,perl packege from firepages.com.au

                            unless you trying to windows server... if that then right down this url, after you get a copy of windows server, then server gets hacked and you get fed up with IIS you can read this again.

                            hint hint
                            Last edited by coffeedemon; Nov 18, 2003, 02:19 PM.
                            PHP | FreeBSD | MySQL |
                            Check documentation... check documentation again and actually read it..do it... doesn't work ask.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I run an IIS server on one drive and Apache for windows www.apache.org on another, they were very easy to install and configure and there's tons of info on securing either server online. I have purchased a domain name and use www.directnic and www.zoneedit to redirect traffic to my server. As my ip keeps changing it's just a matter of changing the ip for the redirect periodicly or you can use a service for dynamic DNS service www.no-ip.com. It works fine as you may see by my website. As to installing IIS it's a nobrainer, all instructions are in the help file.
                              To use PHP you can download it from PHP.org and asp comes with IIS server . Good Luck!
                              lantzvillecomputers.com

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