Home website hosting question

By davids ยท 22 replies
Nov 12, 2007
  1. Hi All,

    Not sure where this post should go, so I picked networking as it seems nearest to the topic I want to discuss.

    Basically, I am thinking about relocating my website hosting to my house - the biggest reason is so I can learn about web-hosting.

    I have already looked at a business internet connection (including a fixed IP as I think I need one).

    My question, preferably to someone who hosts a website from home, is how much upload speed will i need?

    The package Im looking at offers 512kb upload, bearing in mind I have 3 websites I would like to move over - the greatest number of hits I have on any of them is about 60 unique visitors a day/ 150 page loads - so I probably never get concurrent connections:) And i think my home page (shareworld.co.uk) including pictures is about 40kb or there abouts. I want to know if it is feasable to host this site with a 512kb upload, whether it is likely to slow the site down, and whether it would effect my positions in google etc??
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    Apache2 can be downloaded (binary) and installed on any x86 windows platform ; -- even on my Laptop! :) see this page

    it is best that way. You will also need to register a Domain Name
    and apply your fixed IP to that name at the time of registration.
    I've got 3600kbs via a standard cable modem and it is more than enough.
    A DSL connection (~756k) would be low. Suggest you ought to try to get
    at least 1500kbs.

    Your position in Google is information/content dependent, not the speed of the connection.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You can host a site at any speed. It all depends on your content and the number of visitors.

    Apache may be an overkill if your sites are simple. OTOH, you may need to do some serious configuration if you make use of things like PHP and MySQL.
  4. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    Thanks for the replies!

    Jobeard, when you say 3600kbps do you mean downstream? If so my downstream rate would be 5000kbps but upload only 512kb.

    Nodsu, my sites are fairly simple at the moment, they use some php, css and html. However, I am tihnking about adding a forum to one site, including membership etc. I have been told I would need mysql to have that running smoothly is that right? Or would it be posible to do it without? (As the forum will be limited to about 10/20 members) ---sorry branching out to another subject now:)
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Forums do want a database as a backend and MySQL is the most common one. I suppose you could find a forum engine that works without a DB, but that would be too much of a hassle.

    If you are going to use Windows as the host OS (not a good idea), then you probably want to install XAMPP - a nice all-in-one package of Apache+MySQL+PHP
  6. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 243

    Although windows isnt a good host OS, it will probably simplify things for him as he learns.

    I have no doubt you will be fine with 512kb upload if your pages are small. However if you installed a forum this would most likely be slow. It will also slightly depend on your machines capabilities.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    Binaries for PHP and MySQL are available for x86 (windows) hosts that integrate
    well with Apache2. (CSS is a coding standard for HTML pages, not an installable package)

    Personally, I would highly recommend this route (Apache2+PHP+MySQL) on the
    windows platform as you're learning all the configuration and security issues of a
    real standalone webhost without the need of special hardware or another OS you really are not interested in.

    If you want to learn it all in one gulp, install a Linux system and include the server
    packages shown above (this is a BIG step and will slow down your progress however.)
  8. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    well funnily enough I have just started learning to work with linux, but on the basis of how im getting on with ubuntu i think maybe windows would be a good start for now!!

    Apart from security what are the advantages of running it on linux?
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    Linux is usually considered SERVER class software, albeit, some of the desktop
    version are more focused on the end-user market.

    Linux also has a much higher MTBF (mean time between failures) and runs
    quite well 365/24/7.

    The configuration(s) will be challenging, but once mastered, there's far more control at your finger tips.

    Set your priorities: Web Hosting vs. Leaning a new OS and make your choice from there :)
  10. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    "Set your priorities: Web Hosting vs. Leaning a new OS and make your choice from there"

    Now that you've said that Jobeard, I think i may take the linux route:) as it would be more interesting to do it on linux.
    If I did do this, what version of linux should i use... a server version i suppose? and is that free also?

    And if i did it in windows, would you recommend I ran xp or server software?
  11. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Do consider that most guides, hints, tips, instructions, manuals, anything about setting up anything web-related assume that you are not using Windows.
  12. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    Thanks Nodsu.

    I think if I do it i am going to use linux now, it sounds like it would make more sense, even though it might be harder - I have no rush to get it all running perfectly.

    If i do this, what version of linux should I use?

    And what sort of spec machine would i need, barihng in mind i dont want to spend too much!!!
  13. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Any Linux version will do. Since you have already tried Ubuntu and there are a lot of guides for it online, it is the obvious choice.

    For your traffic, the hardware is irrelevant. Ubuntu itself has higher requirements than any of the web stuff :)
  14. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 62

    To answer your questions:

    1) Hosting at home will not effect your Google rank
    2) You can use a third party DNS server to create an A record for your domain that points to your IP
    3) That upload is more than sufficient given your traffic
    4) You could use any old computer laying around for the sort of traffic. Your run of the mill $150 used computer will be more than sufficient. The faster it is, the faster it will be when you work on it, though, and like Nodsu said, you have to meet OS requirements.
    5) You can run your own name servers and DNS server, but this may add unnecessary complications to your learning process.
    6) A MySQL database that connects to a PHP forum front-end would be fast. But given your traffic, you could even just use a flat-file forum. Obviously if you're wanting to learn, the database driven forum would be more interesting.

    The easiest way to get a quick grasp would be to setup a quick web server on your existing windows based machine and access via your dynamic IP (or use something like DynDNS on your router). That will at least get you serving up pages. You can go from there.

    I don't see any reason why you need to wait. Setup a web server... right now.. today, on your LAN, even. Then that experience will lend itself towards helping you realize what it is that you need.

    You don't really need a business class connection for your traffic. Even your ordinary broadband would serve up pages fine, as long as you weren't trying to dish out audio or video. Like I said, you can use dyndns or a similar feature on a router to bind a domain name that adjusts to your IP address.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    I've been out of town so the discusion has made much progress since your reply:
    "Set your priorities: ....

    Now that you've said that Jobeard, I think i may take the linux route as it would be more interesting to do it on linux.
    If I did do this, what version of linux should i use... a server version i suppose? and is that free also?

    And if i did it in windows, would you recommend I ran xp or server software?​

    Personally, I'm the immediate ROI (return on investment) kind kind of guy.
    You started with the desire to learn webhosting -- I recommend you stick with that approach as it leads directly to insight and understanding without the OS (IE: Linux) tainting the process. All of your requisites for webhosting
    are available on Windows (assuming that's what you already have and understand, so move directly to installing a webserver (Apache2), then add PHP and MySQL to the config. You are then mirroring a full blown webserver
    and pages /cgi /css /DBqueries you create will be portable (assuming only config changes).
  16. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    Ok Jobeard that sounds like good advice, but what OS would you recommend, I asume windows XP? Or server 2003?

    And if I did do it on server 2003 how much would be included in iis? And how much extra would i need to install to get php working etc?

    The reason I say this is because I have been doing quite a bit of work with win 2003 and it would interest me a lot more to learn web hosting on there as aposed to xp and apache???
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    server 2003 should be ok; I'm using XP/Pro.

    I'm going to get flamed for this comment but, if you want to learn webserver that's portable to a commercial site later (and why not!!), then abandon all thought of IIS and stick with Apache2.

    I've been doing this stuff back when the W3C org was being formed and IIS is not conformant (and neither is IE) to web standards. Start off right and you will avoid a ton of bad habits and your web pages will run/port to ANY server
    (yes that even means Apache pages port well back into IIS, but not the reverse).

    PHP is a free download and you only need to configure the Apache2 server to
    use it :) S I M P L E :)
  18. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    apache is one of the best free server soft out there
    don't run as service
    lots of modules for it
    start with xp or W2K learn the web server soft 1st then move to linux
    set xp for background services
    lots more little tweaks Google tuts on them
  19. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    Ok Im going to go for it. I will take your advice and get an XP pc (my dad has some spare pcs at work, they are only like 1ghz processors i think and I can probably make up about 512mb ram. Will this be enough to get me started?

    Then I need to install apache, php and mysql - these are all free right?
    Then I need to optimize xp for background services.

    And then I should be able to transfer my current site (shareworld.co.uk) straight over to it from my current hosting (MS hosting with 1and1) ?

    Jobeard, Im surprised you say IIS is no good, I didnt realise that, so I will take your advice.

    If I get stuck configuring anything I can come and get some advice here right? :)

    Then if all goes well, I may think about moving to linux at some other point.
  20. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 62




    It's not quite that easy, but yes. You would want to test it locally and make sure it worked OK before you changed the DNS. You still have to figure out if your router handles dynamic DNS or get a static IP.
  21. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    you can but until you host it for real public access, it's not necessary. I always install as a service and DISABLE the autostart.
    When I'm testing, I then use NET {START/STOP} APACHE2. When you're
    ready to go live, you can then revert the service to automatic.
    I didn't say that; it's just non-standard and allows you to do things that are not portable and thus you get into BAD habits and don't learn the right way to do things (eg: web standards)
    sure. for server config and other suggestions, let's take it offline with private messages :)
    depends on the tools you can use. The easy way is a TAR or ZIP archive of the site, but your current ISP is unlikely to help you create and email it to you.

    If you know FTP, then you can bring each directory one at a time to your new \apache\htdocs location -- let's table that for now.

    btw: learn in steps and install only what you can use at one time.
    I suggest install Apache in C:\Apache and php at C:\PHP immediately.
    This will allow serving pages and time for you to learn CSS.
    Defer MySQL until you get CGI programming skills (install it @ C:\MySQL).
    These install locations makes maintenance easier and your website more secure.

    Homework: "Why is the cgi-bin directory NOT a subdir of apache\htdocs\ ?"

    best wishes, Jeff
  22. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    Thanks Jeff. I will take you up on the offer to PM as Im sure il get stuck along the way!

    Yes I know ftp, so its easy enough to pull down a copy of all my sites, just wondering if there might be any troubles with versions of php etc, should be fine though i guess.

    Anyway, the broadband is ordered now, should be setup in abuot two weeks i hope:) then i will install apache and php (already have a beginners book ready to learn as well:)) As for mysql I might have to rush into that as I have a website to go up in a few weeks with forum, member login etc - but i will hopefully reseearch that in the next few days. hopefully can just get a sort of ready made forum?
  23. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 96

    Now have my server up and running: dell poweredge 300:
    Single 800mhz P3 processor (max 2), 512mb ram, 80gb hard drive, lan card. Windows XP pro.

    really would like to get a second processor so if anyone heres of one going...

    Now just need to wait for the broadband connection:)
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...