Up and Running baby!!

So having spent the last N hours searching around for a web host to subscribe to I was beginning to get quite dissillusioned. A billion companies out there all offering the same services, and a billion other websites all claiming that a different company was by far the best. Now I know I suffer from OCD at the best of times, and so the thought of subscribing to some rubbish hosting crowd only to forget all about it a few days later was beginning to get to me … and then I had a thought.

How about I just host it here on my own machine, and if I manage to maintain my interest levels, then I can move to a hosted service.

I liked this idea because it took away the hard choice regarding whether I wanted to go .Net or not in terms of my host. By hosting it locally I can have it all!

I decided to give WAMP a blast. It installed out of the box with no problems, and almost immediatley I had a webserver up and running which I could access at http://localhost. Ok, so now to make it accessible from the interwebz. Well a quick trip to http://www.whatsmyip.org/ gave me my external IP, but for some reason when I stuck that IP into my browser I got nothing. Hemmm, of course my firewall was problem. I enabled NAT on the router for HTTP, and presto we’re up and running.

Now, because my ISP uses dynamic IP’s I didn’t know what I could do to get a permanent redirect. Well, a few minutes of googling later, and I discovered DynDNS. They offer a free service which will map a domain name to your dynamic IP. It uses a small agent which you install on your PC, which ensures that DynDNS’s server are kept up to date. Cool! We’re rocking and rolling!

So what was I gonna host? Well the intent is to have a play around with PHP and MYSQL etc to try and learn what all the fuss is about, but I decided I needed something to keep my mind focused. So off I dashed to wordpress.org, downloaded the latest version, copied it to the right directory, created a new database, made a couple of config changes … and whammo, I’ve got a blog up and running.

The final step was doing a bit more research regarding security. There’s a few bits and bobs which should be tightened up, and because I’m paranoid, I think I’m actually gonna move the server onto a Virtual PC in a DMZ after finishing this post, if only because I don’t know enough to sleep right otherwise.

But overall I’d say it’s been a pretty productive couple of hours. I’d like to hope that I’ll continue playing around with this stuff over the next few weeks, and maybe make a few posts about whatever I learn along the way. However, I know me better than most! I’ve no doubt that at some point my OCD will get in the way and I’ll drift onto something different.

But who knows, maybe depending on whatever that is … I’ll blog about it here too!!

As the title suggests … I truly do … lack any real intent!!