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Operating your own small web server

By photobox54 ·
For a small photography business that could require >5gb of space for customer albums and eventually developing into an ecommerce site, would I be more cost effective to have my own web server in my office connected to my Roadrunner cable? Is this possible? What would I need and what are the cost involved?

What are the downsides?

Thanks for any advice.

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Operating your own small web server

by money In reply to Operating your own small ...

It is possible to operate a web site from your cable. There are some considerations: software, primary and secondary DNS, site up time, speed of cable, assurances of virus protection, protection from power failures, scalability, and security issues. Though I believe that every small business should attempt to operate their own home site, it may be necessary to out source. Goodluck in your future projects.

I am available for limited consult,

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Check your contract

by TheChas In reply to Operating your own small ...

Most ISPs do NOT allow you to host your own site.

So before even looking into what it will take verify that you are allowed to host a site per your contract.
If not, how much would you need to pay to host your own site?

Beyond hosting issues, how much time are you able to spend maintaining the site?

You need to upload the files, create proper links, monitor who is accessing the site, keep up on security issues, and on and on.

It can easily become a full time job to maintain a commercial web site.


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Operating your own small web server

by money In reply to Check your contract

In agreement with TheChas on check your contract. You also may be able to amend your contract for a small upgrade fee. The time to design and implement your site may take up some of your time that you would normally devote to your business, but I can assure you that the fun of design and implementation is immense pleasure. Here are a few sites that you may want to visit to help you with your consideration. For a free windows/apache server:, for a free shopping cart program(perlshop e-commerce):, click on Perlshop Software Suite, how to set up your server using your cable: There are other free servers, such as activestate(windows build)and The best free shoping cart and I mean free is Perl Shop. Waverider does have add ons that for a nominal fee. Check them out. Again check your contract with the ISP/cable company. If not able to or cannot upgrade, don't dispair if you find this is the route for you. At the rate of decline in DSL prices you may find that you may want to invest in DSL. Good Luck. Again security and time are also important but you now have some beginning tools to check out.

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Most ISP's allow you a limited amount of space for a "Personal" Web Site

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Operating your own small ...

However it just won't be found by any search engine because its burried too deeply what you would have to do is approch your ISP or another one to see just how much they will charge you to Host a Business Web Site along with a Domaine Name and then you will have to register thsi site with various search engines so it is findable in a Web Search other wise you are just wasting money.

Of course you could have your personal Web Address printed on all your business litature so any existing customers can find the site but this is sought of self defeting as you want new business to come from the site rather than existing business as they already know about you. However you could have business cards printed up with your web address on them and treat them as throw away items this at least might get you some new business but they are still more likely to ring you rather than have a look at a web page as most people aren't all that computer literate and it is much easier to pickup a phone and ring rather than start a computer and then type in a URL.

One other thing that you have to keep in mind is that not everyone has Broadband internet so you will have to keep the pages realitevly small as not many people will sit back and wait 15 minutes for a page to load on a dialup connection so you will have to use 72DPI for any pictures that you post on the web and this resulition isn't all that great but it loads fast so you will have to chose carefully whatever youu intend to put on the site and don't forget to have a automated mailto point on every page so all a potential customer has to do is click on a Hyperlink to get an e-mail to you.

It can be fun designing and maintaining a Web Page and if you have any links to different areas it takes time to maintain the Web Page and just to make sure that the Hyperlinks are still active and actually take the intended person to the right place and not some unwanted site that wasn't the original site whenyou setup the page. If you Keep It Simple Stupid {KISS} you'll only have to spend a minimal amount of time keeping the page up to date and maintaining it but allow several days to originally design the page and then allow more time to redesign it as you get better ideas on what you require.

As a sample I keep a "Personal Web Page" for some of my clients to see what is involved and you can find it at

it is burried a bit deep and hard to find unless you know exactly where it is but it is a good sample site just to see what is possible. Of course thsi site is devoted to computer business so you will want something different but I think you'll get the general idea from looking at this site.

Of course I'm available to answer any questions that you might have so all you need to do is contact me through the "Peer List" or


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Operating your own small web server

by money In reply to Most ISP's allow you a li ...

I agree with Col Luck that there are free Personal web sites that offer space, however to be able to accept credit cards, e=checks, or even paypal,you will need to run cgi scripts and those script will have to be set to 700 and most free web sites do not allow you this privelege. Since you indicated that you had cable the question I ask is what is your upload speed. Your download speed is not as relevant as the upload. I agree the format you choose for your photos is important,however the beauty of PerlShop is that you do not need a database program and that each item can be placed on a single page or multiple items on a page. This allows you to quickly change any page you want and delete the old off of your website.

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