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Thread: Home Web Hosting

  1. #31
    In the interests of cost saving I am thinking to cancel my auto-responder subscription. You must use a web server for an autoresponder (so that it may immediately respond to a new subscriber), but due to sending restrictions and the risk of spam complaints, most people don't use their own web hosting account for this, but pay a provider on a monthly basis.

    My plan with the home-based server is to code a server-side script to send e-mails via gmail. This should be simple to code since there are cut and paste code examples for how to send email readily available. So instead of a PHP or PERL script, I may code it in C# dot net.

    For the actual email list management I will use an application called SendBlaster. This can download emails and send them, but handles all of the management such as detecting bounces, and broadcasting emails to lists.

    I thought about setting up a mail server but decided against it in case I upset my ISP where I am not paying for a business account.

    For email list management you could also use PHP List, Outlook, or Mozilla Fire Bird etc. And for the autoresponder, you could use a PHP script to drive these packages from the command line maybe (with command line directives)?

    This is all aimed at removing another monthly fee from the web marketing budget.

  2. #32
    It sounds like you are having fun with this project.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

  3. #33
    It sounds like you are having fun with this project.
    He he! It's nice to have such direct access to the server via the keyboard or via the LAN.

    Also, I am getting more acquainted with Apache server configuration such as using aliases to map "under construction" domains to a parking page or to share common scripts (such as WordPress) between sites.

    For the name server, I realized that I would need to set up a DNS server such as with BIND, but decided instead to use my domain registrar's name servers and set the "A" records in the domain zone files to point to my server IP address instead. Gradually, I will move my domains over to where they provide dynamic DNS to allow updating of the IP address via a URL which can be included in a script or batch file etc.

    Happily, I managed to send an email from a C# script via SSL and Gmail (, so that allowed me to cancel my autoresponder subscription in the knowledge that I can code my own solution (another fun project in itself).

    Now I am in the process of re-creating all of my websites on the server before my next hosting renewal date.

    One problem I encountered is that database dumps of old sites can be huge, causing timeouts when you try and export/import them to the new site (need to drastically increase the limitations on file size, and timeouts in the server settings). Or, this can be a time to clean up sites and wipe out the spam etc.
    Last edited by Andy101; 11 April, 2013 at 11:05 AM.

  4. #34
    Even though I got Apache 2.4 web server working OK, today I learned that it is a kind of bashed together bug fest where Apache means something like many patches.

    What seems to be a more modern solution adopted by high traffic sites is NGINX, Inc. "Engine X" I got this working on a test server fairly easily today. Don't worry, it is free software suitable for Linux and Windows.

    Rather than being multi-threaded where the same code can be run unlimited times to eat up server resources, I think that this server is more state-engine driven to track resource utilization (memory and CPU). But I could be wrong.

  5. #35
    Today I discovered some denial of service kind of attacks where remote servers continually request content from your sites. Maybe this has been going on for years on my previous web hosting? But now, with the home server it is easier to spot.

    I was checking on my CPU load via the task monitor before I looked into this.

    So to limit the impact of these attacks, I identified their ip addresses and blocked them with a firewall. Ideally, I would do this in my hardware modem, but I don't understand the Japanese menu screens LOL. Need to track down a Japanese friend who is tech savvy.

    Since I am using Windows XP, I found a cool (Firewall app. it works with servers!) to replace the very basic Windows one.

    From the Apache server logs it was difficult to identify one ip address since it was more like a URL, so I had to capture the ip via a PHP script. An alternative way would be to examine the HTTP packets with wireshark (Wireshark). And find where the Apache log time-stamp correlates with the time of the packet/file update time.
    Last edited by Andy101; 22 April, 2013 at 15:08 PM.

  6. #36
    Do not compromise what had been planned about for the web site just to meet the level of what can just be offered with the cheap web hosting package. Try to search for other cheap web hosting packages that offer the applications needed for the web site.

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