Apache Concerns

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by redwin11, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. redwin11 macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006
    First post, so hello to everyone.

    I'm currently in the middle of designing my first website (iWeb, no less!) and am hoping to have it online very soon. However, i'm unsure of the best option to take regarding a host.

    The easiest option will be to do it myself through Apache, but there are two things stopping me.

    Firstly, how secure is it? I mentioned the idea to a friend who thought it would open my Mac up to the world through the site and therefore very dangerous. How realistic is this, in view of the fact my only security is the Mac OSX firewall as well as my ISP's? And i do not want a password on the site (not that it would stop anyone wanting to hack, i'd imagine). I have googled around but come up with no firm answers.

    Secondly, my ISP currently allows me a Monthly Usage of 6GB, which i don't use all of - probably about 3/4Gb per month. Would this rapidly increase if i host my own website? Granted, it may be taking a dozen hits a day at most, but i have examples of work that would be downloaded (300k each or so).

    Is it just easier to get someone to host it for me, rather than putting my only Mac at risk? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This isn't a complete answer, but a few things that may help you make a call:

    1) As long as you keep your Mac up to date as far as security patches go, the firewall turned on, you have a nice solid password on it, and no services but web sharing turned on, then there really isn't that much risk of getting hacked. It's not zero, but it's pretty low.

    2) Regardless of your bandwidth allowance, most ISPs do not allow you to run a server on your account unless you sign up for an account that specifically allows that. Perhaps you have, or perhaps yours does, but I'd check the TOS you signed before trying this. A site with requirements that low is highly unlikely to actually make them care, but still, it's probably not allowed.

    3) Bandwidth used is pretty simple: Number of daily users X amount of data they'll each download X days in a month. Say you have a dozen hits a day and each downloads 5 300K files, that's 12 X 5 X 300 X 30 = 540MB/month.

    4) Unless you have a fixed IP address (unlikely), you're going to need to use one of the roving IP services to let people find your site on your home computer.

    Personally, I'd just go with a proper host, because it's far easier to deal with--you don't need to leave your computer on 24-7, there are no hassles with IP addressing, security and updates are somebody else's problems, and the performance is almost certainly much better than the average DSL or cable connection.

    I see A Small Orange recommended around here as a nice inexpensive host--they have some very cheap plans for lightweight sites--although I've never used them myself. Personally I use DreamHost, which gives you drastically more features than you need for about $10/month, but that might be going overboard for you. The only other host I'm familiar with is Westhost, but they're more targeted at ecommerce.
  3. fall3n macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2006
    Go with hosting, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble and it's not expensive at all. A Small Orange is pretty awesome for small sites. I host my portfolio at it, if you signup you can refer me www.jtfolio.com ;) My other favourite is http://canaca.ca/ they are a canadian company, but the features are just amazingly rediculous. Anyway, that's my two cents.
  4. redwin11 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Thanks for the advice!

    It seems like using a host is the best bet then, and A Small Orange my first port of call!

    In actual fact, i'm looking at having a personal, private site that will be viewed by select people, as well as a more commercial one, so perhaps i'll have a go at both and see which what works best.

    I'm pretty sure i do have a fixed IP address, my ISP (BT) allows me to select a fixed, public IP address on my router setup. So that should make things easier.

    Considering .mac can be bought for half the price off ebay, would anyone recommend going with it for hosting? Especially if I plan to have a handful of sites eventually, and will probably stick with iWeb? Or is it still not a good option?

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