Having dropped a bit of a goolie recently I have a need to move the domain name of my wife's business web site. Basically I registered with Lycos and then paid a lot of cash for Actinic Catalogue V7 without checking that Lycos supported that particular program, which of course they don't because Actinic requires support for Perl and CGI serverside scripting which they can't manage. I also have three months or so of work invested in loading countless images into the catalogue so don't really want to start again.
Anyway, I was relaying my tale of woe to a friend the other night and he thought that I could host it myself on my Linux box. (Suse 9 Pro on an Athlon 2400+ with 512 DDR RAM and 200 Gb of storage).
I have done some reading and think that Apache will do what I want. As ever though I have some (probably lame) questions to ask:
(bear with me as this is a completely new subject for me and I have only been on Linux for about six months).
My domain name is currently still with Lycos. What do I do with it when I want to run it from my own server, ie do I have to re-register it with somebody.
Is Apache as easy to set up as all of the documentation suggests. I want to offer online ordering and payment processing so it needs to be very secure.
Is it best to run it on a seperate machine or can it be run in the background of my day to day box.
Is there any additional registrations needed, or any additional costs to incur in hosting your own web sites.
Thats it for now. Apologies for the ramble. I am just trying to square everything up in my head before I give it a go (not to mention getting a serious tongue lashing off the missus if I can't resolve before she finds out !)
One thing to think about is bandwidth if the site is busy can your connection handle it? And some quick answers.
1) Not sure never used lycos.
2) Its as secure as you make it. But generaly it is secure.
3) Seperate machine in a DMZ IMO.
To create a secure site to handle the ordering, that will be a little more difficult than the rest of it, but most of it is in teh CGI's and whatever else you use to handle that. Again, consider bandwidth, most highspeed providers (I'm assuming you have broadband is some capacity, if you want to host a site over a dial-up then....well no) cap upstream at maybe 100k tops, you will generaly need more then that to handle more than 2 or 3 connections at a time, epecialy in an age of high speed clients and all the images you said you uploaded.
You can run a webserver on your desktop machine, but will suffer major perforamce hits to the site, and also security will become much much more difficult.
For the domain name thing, lycos will probably let you keep it with them, you just have to point it to your IP address for the server.
The setup for a basic Apache system is not to difficult, and with those specs you should have no problems with site load for a while. The online ordering might have an open source solution written in something like php (simmilar to this here phpbb, a set of html/php documents that you can modify to suite a specific need, but are prebuilt to perform one.) a book or good online tut ( here is a good one)
I have the Apache definitive guide which covers most apache stuff well worth the read. Also note writing a secure ecommerce app is quite a job and not for the beginner so maybe try existing soloutions or pay a coder :)