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Hosting my own website


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#1
Spyderturbo007

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I'm looking to host my own website and have read a lot of different information on the subject and I have some basic questions. I know it's not the easiest of things, but everyone has to start somewhere.

I have a spare PC sitting at home with XP Pro installed which I know will run IIS. I was also looking at running something like the full version of Avast! and a firewall (but I'm not sure which one). Unless someone has a better suggestion? I currently have Verizon FIOS and I didn't see anything in their TOU stating you can't host your own website. I'm planning on picking up a static IP and have the 25/15 service, so I'm sure I would have enough bandwidth.

I already purchased a domain name from GoDaddy and I know they along with G2G offer hosting service, but I thought the experience gained doing it myself would benefit me in the future.

So far, I've seen the following things that should be done in an attempt to lock down the server.

  • Use the NTFS file system
  • Rename the Administrator Account and turn off the guest account
  • Install Windows in an unusual location, such as C:\XPPro10
  • Use the Microsoft IIS lockdown tool
  • Host the website on a HDD separate from the OS drive.
  • Make sure Windows updates are set to install automatically
  • Have a rock solid backup plan
  • Disable unused services, such as FTP, SMTP, etc.

I was specifically reading this and this.

I wanted to make my website in iWeb on my Mac because it looks easy to use, but I'm not sure if the format is compatible. I'm assuming it would be, but just wanted to check.

I'm sure I'll find myself lost when I actually get down to business, but I want to give it a shot. I'm also assuming there is about 1000 things I'm missing, but wanted to see if anyone could point me to any good walkthrough articles?

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 25 February 2010 - 10:19 AM.

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#2
TheBug

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It is usually a better choice to use Linux web server using Apache, PHP, mySQL, postgreSQL etc. Linux server has much tighter security. Ubuntu has a server edition ( http://www.ubuntu.co...download-server )

If you plan to use Windows, IIS may offer many extra things like ASP.net, but again Apache is faster and easy to configure. You should use a router and only port forward the ports like 80(HTTP), 82(HTTPS), 21(FTP) etc which you would be making open to public. Make sure you generate all passwords using a password generator with 10 or more characters.
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#3
Spyderturbo007

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I checked out the link you provided, but having never used Ubuntu, Apache, or anything else you listed, I would be in for a very long road trying to learn. Based on what I've read already, it could take years unless I'm not looking at the right thing? :)

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 26 February 2010 - 07:05 AM.

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#4
==SpuD==

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APACHE!

haha, well basically i managed to set up a web proxy in half a day using xampp (Apache, My SQL and a lot more in one bundle easy install) and i have never set anything up like this before!

you can easily use windows, yes its probably best to do what you listed above to help secure it.

Quick guide, download xampp http://www.apachefri...win32-1.7.3.exe

install and follow the guides on there site to set up.

Use portforward.com to set up portforwarding on your router and firewall.

Use dyndns.com to get a free domain name and there ip address update tool.


And what ever program you like to create the webpage files.
as look as you can export in a html, php format.

sorry its only a rough guide, if i ever get the time i will properly write a guide and post it somewhere.

spud

REMEMBER: googles your best friend :)
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#5
amw_drizz

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To the OP:
I strongly advise against using windows XP Pro as a web server. To many possible security issues. Another reason is with IIS included in XP is designed for development usage only. IIRC it is limited to 10 or 15 con-current sessions. XP isn't really designed as a server OS imo.

With that said, if you really still want to use xp (keep in mind the experiance you get may not apply to everything!) I strongly suggest using Apache, PHP, MySQL. Another thing if you want experiance don't use XAMP!!! you won't learn anything all it is a point and click installer. With XAMP you can have a development web server up in less than 5mins. But at the same time you don't do any configuring of Apache, php, or mysql which is where your going to get your experiance.

Apache is pretty straight foward, download the installer and install to a directory of your choice. PHP is slightly more complicated and if you follow their provided directions you will be fine. MySQL is just as easy as Apache, but the intergration into PHP can be a nightmare if you don't pay attention. For MySQL you enable the php module, and copy the client.dll for mysql (from the mysql dir) to your system32 dir and your set. (or you can set the win32 enviroment path to your mysql dir thus doing the samething as copying to the system32 dir)

My personally recommdation is go and download CentOS 5.4 Linux. It has Apache, PHP, MySQL, PorgtesSQL(sp), along with FTP, MAIL, And all other services you will want/need for a webserver. If you go CentOS 5.4 I suggest getting webmin / virtualmin from http://www.webmin.com/ VirtualMin allows creating multiple domains on a single computer and it does all the self configuration of the vhosts file, directories, users, and everything. (makes it less painfull)

Now to wrap up, I currently use CentOS 5.4 configured on a HP 524w with an AMD Athlon 1.8ghz CPU, 768mb ram, 60gb hd. I've modifed my version to install php 5.2.9 instead of 5.1.x versions, and I also have 2 private internal domains serviced by my internal DNS server.

It is fairly easy to do, If you search the correct terms you can have a functional webserver in a weekend.

HTH Jon

Also if you have any questions feel free to ask.
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#6
Spyderturbo007

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Well, you guys pretty much convinced me not to try this using XP. :)

I just picked up a Synology DS209 NAS which says it has a built in web station that works with both HTML, PHP and MySQL. It sounds like that would be safer than trying to use an XP box since it probably runs a Linux based OS?

Would it be safe to have my own stuff on there along with the website?

I also saw where they say there are open source programs that allow you to build your own site in PHP. Does anyone know of one that will be easy to use, or can I just use iWeb on my Mac and do it in HTML?

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 11 March 2010 - 11:59 AM.

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#7
amw_drizz

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You can use iWeb, but you won't get all of the PHP functions. If your storing files on the same machine just make sure permissions and user access is set correctly. But most of all don't store your backup files or files that are not related to web under public_html.

Open source you can try eclipse, it has a php editor as well.
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#8
nates_tips

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I've always wanted to host my own site just for fun and for the experience. :)

If you are hosting a site that need to be online 24/7, it can demand a lot of time and work in keeping your servers running. I had a friend who use to host her own websites not long ago. She found that she had to keep on top of the computers and could never go on vacation because a power outage, a service drop, or a simple Windows blue screen could put her computer in a non-recovery mode. Many a time she would come to work in the morning to find the computer had rebooted or needed to be rebooted or that the connection needed to be re-established. :)

She finally decided to let the local ISP host her sites and she has said that she has never regretted it. So do bear in mind that if you decide to host your own sites, you'll need to stay on top of it or decide it doesn't matter if you lose a few hours or days of service.

Also, be sure to check with your service provider to see if the terms of use allow serving and if the upload bandwidth will handle the load. Broadband is frequently a larger pipe for downloading from the Internet to your computer and a much smaller pipe for uploading from your computer to the Internet. A desktop server is mainly an uploader in that context.
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