Web Hosting

Discussion in 'Community' started by Chad4Mac, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Chad4Mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I could really use your help on this one:(

    My web hosting company, Verio, is charging me to host my webiste, which primarily is used for personal stuff, general info anout myself, and in the future a virtual business card. I think that I can avoid the costs by web hosting myself:)

    My question is, what kind of hardware would I need to support my little website (obviously a Mac)? I can use a normal computer, as opposed to a server, right? What kind of Mhz would be should I be looking for?

    Is a normal Cable internet connection, with a Linksys Router, compatible with allowing internet users to access my site loading on my computer?. In other words, is this set-up ok for web hostings? If not, what is a tipical Internet set-up? My worry is the firewall we have set-up...will people be able to bypass that?

    And OS X, I think I can use the Sharing Preference to turn on Apache, right. Can you lead me to a couple of documents that with help me on the software side.

    In all, I just want to be able to host my site on a computer based at home, so I can save money. Am I over my head here? Or, is this feasable?

    Am I missing something here?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Chad4Mac
     
  2. Rufus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    #2
    There are a couple of problems with hosting your own site :

    1. Additional power for keeping your computer on 24/7. Of course, from your sig, it looks like you already do this. However, for most people, the cost of a hosting service ($10-$25, usually) is cheaper than 24/7 computer power.

    2. Your ISP. They don't want you to host a site. They usually block hosting ports (http and ftp) at their routers, not allowing that traffic to reach your computer. In addition, your IP is most likely dynamically assigned, making it much harder to have a fixed DNS name for your site.

    3. Your Link-sys router is also blocking outside requests of your network.

    Never fear though, there are ways around these problems.

    Dynamic IP Solution :
    Use http://www.dyndns.org : You install a small daemon (background app) on your computer that notifies them what your current IP is. You get to set up a dynamic DNS name at their site that will point to your computer. Something like : http://your-site.home.dyndns.org . Not ideal, but it works and its free.


    Blocked port by ISP :
    Little trickier. You will be hosting your web site on a different port than the standard 80. Make sure you have to do this before going to all this trouble. Most ISP help pages will detail what ports they block if you search hard enough (I know Cox Communication blocks it).

    1. Change the hosting port in Apache. Open the file "/etc/httpd/httpd.conf" (it is hidden and owned by root, so opening it for changes may require using root priviledges from the command line - reply if you need help with this. Save a copy first as a backup). Scroll down to the portion of the config file that describes "Listen" - there will be some commented text describing it). Add a line for a different port (and port 80 if its not already there):

    Listen 80
    Listen 8080

    Now scroll down to the "Port" section, this will also have a commented description. Add your new port here:

    Port 8080

    Save the file and restart Apache by stopping and starting web sharing in the control panel.

    Linksys Router :
    Go to your router setup page (usually http://192.168.1.1 and password "admin"). Click the "Advanced" tab. On the first page "Filters", make sure "Block WAN Requests" is disabled (this blocks all incoming traffic regardless of other filters).

    Now click the "Forwarding" tab. You are going to tell your router to forward your web port to your Mac. Get the IP address of your Mac from Network control panel. Add a line to the forwarding list of your router. Ext port 8080 to 8080, TCP protocol, the IP of your Mac and click "Enable".

    People can now access your website by going to :

    http://your-site.home.dyndns.org:8080

    You can use a redirection service from dyndns.org to redirect http://your-site.home.dyndns.org to the specific port, but it will either cost you money or pop up an advert everytime someone uses it.

    The default web directory on your computer is "/Library/WebServer/Documents". OS X will also create web sites for every user in the "Sites" directory of each Users Home.
     
  3. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #3
    As Rufus pointed out, it's probably a lot more cost effective to have a web site hosted by a company that does it. Depending on how much server space and monthly bandwidth you need, it could cost you under $10 a month (more like $7).

    My own ISP doesn't allow for web hosting and I wouldn't want to suck up my bandwidth with it anyway. You get more then just a site when you go with a host, at least with the good ones.

    I'm sure you can find a good ISP that won't charge you a lot for the site... You COULD use a .mac account if you don't intend to do much with it, but there are some hosts out there that offer plans that are even cheaper, and allow you to pay monthly, not all at once.

    I use dot5hosting, at least for now. My ONLY issue with them is that it is taking too damned long to get the SSL certificate I paid for on Feb. 5th installed and functioning. Check out their hosting plans at http://dot5hosting.com/hosting.php the dot one is only $6.99 a month ($69.99 if you pay for the year). That includes 250MB server side space, and 10GB/month bandwidth. Setup is FREE, which MANY hosting companies WILL charge you for. The plan is for a shared, Linux based server (Red Hat 7.2 I believe) and includes many other items. If you don't already have a domain name, you can get one through them for $15/year. If anyone wants to charge you more then that, you're getting ripped off. I have a banner link on my site's main page (bottom of the page), if you would like to use that, I get a discounted month, provided you sign up with them.

    Peace
    A
     
  4. Chad4Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
  5. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #5
  6. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #6
    If you plan on having very light traffic, then the 1GB/month bandwidth could be enough. Personally, I'd rather have a site plan that I can grow into/with. At this time, I haven't even come close to maxing out my allotments, but I hope to get more traffic to my site (any of the three parts) soon. Especially once the store gets popular.

    I also have a fax-in support document that people can send me for when their computers are dead in the water and they need help. There are enough places all over the country that offer faxing services. ;)

    A
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #7
    who's your isp?

    i'm hosting my own site on a 266 MHz g3 / 160 meg RAM, running jaguar, and it does fine.

    i'm using a linksys 4-port router. it can be configured to send requests on port 80 to a specific machine, specified by an ip address. i hardcode the ip address on my webserver.

    my ISP is earthlink and they don't mind if you host a site. i've talked to them about it and they told me they have no policy prohibiting. (disclaimer -- i didn't ask about commercial sites)

    i expect that if i use too much bandwidth, they'll contact me. but i'm also running an ftp server where i regularly share 1 gig files of audio tracks w/ my band (it's our own music, no copyright violation) and i've yet to hear a complaint.

    i pay an extra $15/mo. for a static ip.

    i use zoneedit for DNS hosting -- it's free -- for directing web/ftp to my machine and pop/smtp to my hosted email.
     
  8. Mazzone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    #8
    Hosting

    Well if you decide to use a webhosting service, may i suggest Powweb. Its 7.77 a month for 500mb of hosting space and 250 POP3 e-mails. Has a bunch of other things to, and is very easy to use with good customer support.
     
  9. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #9
    Mazzone, that may be all well and good for many people, but some of us need more then one mySQL database files (I'm using two at present, and might need to get a third). Powweb doesn't list how many database files you get, just that you get charged for the activation (that's free with dot5). Also, the $1/5MB of space over your allocation is a bit steep. While I can't see needing the full 250 email addresses, it's nice to have unlimited (which you get from dot5).
     
  10. Mazzone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    #10
    Well you've gotta like the 30GB of bandwith you get, and it also has an online e-mail system if you ever wanted to get a group going like i have with Powweb. Either way i was just throughing another suggestion out for anyone to look at.
     
  11. Rufus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    #11
    For a little more industrial strength hosting, I'm very happy with webintellects.com. Very good service, fast connections, fast servers, good plans. A single mySQL dB doesn't bother me, I put all my applications in one - not ideal, but it works fine.
     
  12. Chad4Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    Thanks for all your help guys. I really appreciate it.

    After reading everything, I'm thinking about trying to fully utilize my .Mac account -- getting my money's worth.

    Alpha, I do have a .Mac account and I also own chadmacallister.com. So, I'm guessing what I could do is "forward" the domain to my .Mac account, right. Really, there is no traffic to my site, and I would like use .Mac as much as I can. I guess the only bummer is the fact that I lose my chadmacallister.com e-mail address.

    I'll do some research about .Mac...but if I have questions, I'm coming right back here.

    Chad4Mac
     

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