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What are the considerations to build website?
bluefile




msg:348213
 12:38 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi, this is my first time building a website, so I'm very new. I know some html but really unfamiliar to all the complex requirements to host my own website. Actually this is my company's website. My webserver is running under Red Hat Linux (should be an Apache server).
Here's my questions:
1). Currently the hard disk available in the server is 18GB, considering the files that we want to put in, we surely need a larger one. Is it possible to use a network attached storage, so that I can link the webpages in my server to the files in the NAS? What are the considerations and information do I need to find out? (we also want the NAS to be used as a shared drive for internal use)

2). How do I implement "Search" function in my website? (i.e to let users search throughout my website), do I need any software for that?

3). How do I implement a restricted access to my website? so that only certain users with password can access to my website (or certain webpages)? I think I need to have a database for this right? how do I implement the database (what software do I need, etc)?

4). If I want to implement an FTP, so that user can just go to my ftp site to download the files they need, what are the things that I need to do and consider?

5). How do I implement the security; because our plan is to have an NAS as extra storage to keep the files for download thru the website or FTP, but as the same time (if possible) we want to use this storage as a network drive for internal use.

I hope I had made myself clear. Really appreciate any help I can get! please take note that I am a novice web development, I had no experience at all, so please elaborate as much as you can.. THANKS again!

 

digitalv




msg:348214
 12:56 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but I really suggest you have someone else host your site - there are literally thousands of hosting companies out there, you can find one that's right for your needs.

Find a host and get familiar with the operating system, control panel, etc. You don't need your own server, especially if you don't really know how to manage one. Nothing anyone can tell you in here will give you the information you need to maintain a successful web server for a business. It's one thing if it's a hobby or something, but if this is for your company do the right thing and find a good web host.

18 Gb is a lot of space - do you really need to put ALL of that online? If so, one of many web hosts out there can give you a dedicated server solution where THEY configure and maintain the server and you just upload your own content. Something like that would really be a better solution for you.

In the meantime, goof around with a personal site on your own server. Something that doesn't matter if you accidentally delete the whole thing or mess something up and need to re-install the OS.

Llama




msg:348215
 2:02 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Having 18GBs of files is going to suck your bandwidth dry FAST.

Bandwidth, is what most people define as the allotment of data transfer (files sent to your visitors computer) allowed in a month. It's not a correct definition, but that's how it's going to be used.

Usually hosts will allow you a certain amount of bandwidth for a month (those who don't are likely to be frauds) and then you pay for overages. If you expect to exceed your bandwidth overages, make sure that your host isn't a rip-off for it. If you expect to use 20 gb of space on a 15 gb server, and that's 5 gb of space, some hosts will charge you upwards of 50 dollars!

vordmeister




msg:348216
 8:45 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I use about 1MB disc space on my business site (only 25 pages, minimal images).

Don't forget that many people do not have broad band connections. If nothing turns up on a page within 10 seconds then I give up (along with about 50% of the rest of your visitors). You can allow maybe a further 20 seconds for images to load while the visitor reads the text, but that's a total of 200k max.

Be careful of file sizes. If in doubt hire a web designer for a couple of hours to discuss how best to put across your content.

spekiehl




msg:348217
 11:21 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

What sort of content are you driving that is going to need over 18gb of storage? My guess would be audio, video and/or other large multimedia. I'm also guessing you're using Apache to run the webserver.

If you're going to be offering over 18gb of content to visitors, you're going to need at least 15 times as much bandwidth, which comes out to around 300gb of bandwidth per month. Why do I guess that amount? I had a website that served up around 120mb of stuff and had about 200 people visiting my website per day and resulting in an average 1gb of traffic every day. So for 120mb, I was getting 30gb of traffic every month which is about 300 times the traffic. If you're offering a lot of large files, you're not going to get as much spontaneous traffic, but rather a smaller, constant flow.

So if you're hosting this stuff yourself, you better have one awesome internet connection. You also may want to install more than one network card to help split up the volume.

Your search features are going to have to depend on what kind of content you have. You can easily throw in a Google search tool, but that will only index your websites and probably not all 18gb of content. Something home-brew using php or perl would probably work best to gear the search towards what content you have.

You're best off using php or perl to control users because it gives the best flexibility. With something like htaccess you don't really get nearly as much security and flexibility. You'll want to use mySQL or PostgreSQL to manage your users, and you'll want to either look around for a pre-developed management system or code one yourself.

I'm not big on regular FTP. I usually use SFTP which is part of the SSH package and should already be installed on your system. SFTP is encrypted, so you don't have to deal with people spying on your traffic. It's a little bit slower, but it's secure unlike FTP which passes your password out in the open.

As far as securing your NAS from outside attacks, you'll have to set things up on the NAS if possible to only allow internal IPs and the webserver IP. Also you're best off restricting the webserver to certain folders. Mixing internal and external content in one folder is a bad idea.

Overall, I think you have your hands full if you want to do this stuff yourself. You'll want to study the Apache documentation, PHP and Perl documentation, HTML documentation, and probably some information on linux and NAS security. Unless this is a hobbie rather than a business plan, I think you'd be better off hiring someone who knows what they're doing or else outsource your hosting to a top-notch hosting company.

vrtlw




msg:348218
 10:48 am on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

digitalv
Find a host and get familiar with the operating system, control panel, etc. You don't need your own server, especially if you don't really know how to manage one. Nothing anyone can tell you in here will give you the information you need to maintain a successful web server for a business. It's one thing if it's a hobby or something, but if this is for your company do the right thing and find a good web host.

Speak for yourself digitalv.... Some people round here can actually run servers and Internetworks with routing protocols and hardware firewalls etc. Perhaps bluefile has an inhouse department that can deal with a lot of the stresses involved!

As for my reply:

Welcome to WW bluefile,

I think some are missing the point here.

It is perfectly acceptable to have many many GB's or even TB's of data. The question that needs to be answered is, is the server going to process and present this data or the client?

A server conducting data-mining can quite sufficiently survive on a medium/high bandwith dedicated connection as long as it is doing the processing of the data. If however you are needing to stream or deliver the data to the client for processing then the connection may well fail with a handful of simultaneous connections.

Which is it to be server or client processed?

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