Web server services in the UK April 21, 2001 3:10 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to set-up my own web server (like in the previous thread) in the UK - does anyone know of any reasonably-priced services? Also, what equipment will I need? Can I use ColdFusion for a reasonable price or is it mega-expensive? (more inside)
posted by williamtry to General Weblog-Related at 3:10 AM (9 comments total)

Do you need Cold Fusion to a) design the pages *and* b) to run on the web server to serve them up? I always thought that Fusion was really expensive, is this so?
Secondly, I was thinking about running my own web server because right now, I have hosting accounts all over the place! To run my own server, do I need an ADSL/ISDN/T1 connection? - who's a decent provider? - are they expensive? Then do I need to set up DNS ? Really, I guess I'm asking if it's possible to setup my own server, and what spec. of machine do I need? I have
an old AMD K6 266Mhz which may do the trick.
posted by williamtry at 3:13 AM on April 21, 2001

Well, you'll want ADSL at least, but if you're consolidating several sites, you may find yourself competing for bandwidth with your users. Better for serving is a business-grade SDSL connection, unless your needs are really modest. But Cold Fusion ... well, that's not modest. ;-)

ColdFusion NA pricing.

You can have someone else handle the DNS for you; that's really a domain-name service, you need it whether you or someone else hosts. If you keep one of your hosting accounts, they may have a small add-on fee for hosting another domain and DNS, that you can point anywhere. Otherwise there are a few free services such as dyndns.

The K6 will be fine if you're running Linux, probably less fine for running Windows, but still acceptable.

Unless you have good professional reasons for moving to Cold Fusion, there are many other ways to serve web pages and CMS pages for less cost and greater hands-on toolbox learning. IMHO.
posted by dhartung at 11:33 AM on April 21, 2001

Thanks Dan for the help - much appreciated thus far.
So Matt (in running his sites with ColdFusion) must have paid $1295 at some stage, to buy fusion for his win2k web server, yeah?

Moving to Cold Fusion would be just to experiment - judging by what Matt has managed to do (create MeFi) with ColdFusion, I'd like to have a go at something similar.

I guess your take on CMS pages might be PHP? What other hands-on toolbox learning things could be exciting?
posted by williamtry at 11:45 AM on April 21, 2001

Williamtry, PHP can do everything for free that Matt's done with ColdFusion here. There may be a perception that it's somehow a second choice to ColdFusion, but they are peers in nearly every way. Even for a site the size of MeFi, MySQL could hold its own against MS SQL server for the database part, too.

And I say this as someone who's been described as a Microsoft partisan. There's also a free version of Cold Fusion, ColdFusion Express, which is designed to be used to evaluate and test CF, but I have heard (no personal experience here) that it's suitable for production if the limited subset of supported functionality is suitable for your project.

posted by anildash at 4:02 PM on April 21, 2001

william, try phptriad. It's a web server (apache), a scripting language (php), and a database (mysql) all for free, and with an easy installer.

It doesn't matter which scripting language you choose, because you'll have to build any CMS from scratch. You'll have to write pages where you create new entries, stuff them into the database, then display pages that show the entries. You might as well start with a free language.

The only reason I chose ColdFusion was because my former employer (2 jobs ago) trained me with it (MetaFilter was my first major application after going through the training and hello world apps), and I had to use it to build several projects there.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:59 AM on April 22, 2001

William, if you don't want to shell out the bucks for ColdFusion, PHP is probably the way to go, but there are other technologies you might want to look at. There are Perl libraries to do everything -- "Hey, I want to make sure that all my randomly generated phrases are pluralized properly, including the words 'octipii' and 'formulae'!" -- but it's really not designed for generating web pages on the fly, so you have to jump through various hoops. Mason is a Perl extension to make Perl behave in a more PHP-like way (embedded within HTML, rather than generating HTML). There's also a CMS called Zope that I know nothing about, except that it's written in Python, which some people seem to think is easier to learn than Perl. Hit some websites to look at example PHP and Perl (and Python, if you want) code and decide which looks easiest to learn.
posted by snarkout at 8:43 AM on April 22, 2001

You might want to inform the author of the Lingua::EN::Inflect module that it's 'octopi,' not 'octipii' ;)
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:24 PM on April 22, 2001

Pedantically speaking, its "octopodes."
posted by rodii at 4:02 PM on April 22, 2001


Zope isn't a CMS, it's an actual server solution thing. There is at least one CMS written for Zope (the Portal Toolkit) but Zope itself is almost a full-fledged platform.

It's also completely object based (due it's Pythonic origins) which is a pretty nifty experience coming from stuff like ASP and PHP which are decidedly _not_ object oriented.

Zope can work as a stand-alone web server, or it can play nice with Apache. It's got a bunch of really good standard components, from stuff like an object-oriented database I keep meaning to play with (the bits and pieces of documentation and evangelisation I've read on it sing very high praises) to IMAP widgets so you can access your e-mail from wherever you like.

I haven't had enough time to play with it and really do much more than learn about it's existence, but a friend of mine used to work for Digital Creations (the company that does Zope) and he has a great deal of fun deriding PHP in comparison to Zope.
posted by cCranium at 7:25 AM on April 24, 2001

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