I need to run my own website.. how do I go about it?


What I need to do is host my own ASP website. I have a dual-xeon server and Windows XP Professional. I have a static IP address with Bell (4 mbps).

I was playing around with IIS and I managed to get the website up and running.

I have no idea how to get started with the email side. How do I go about setting up a mail server so I can receive and send email?? Can I do it with XP Professional or do I need something like MS exchange server??

This is VERY important. I need to know what I need and how to do it.

Using Linux is not an option.

Thanks in advance.


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Hi bloodtrain,
Well ok this is not too difficult. What we need to do is get your server, which sounds up to par, off of XP Professional and on to a server operating system such as Windows Server 2000 or 2003. You will be able to get IIS running in much the same way as before. You will use MS Exchange, yes, on the Server, it will not run on a workstation operating system such as XP Pro.

1) Remove XP Pro - Install Win2k Server or Win2003 Server
2) Set up Active Directory
3) Install MS Exchange and set up mail boxes and so forth. By default Exchange enables a webmail interface.

Once you install server you can use the Manage My Server tool to setup all the necessary components except Exchange which you will have to get seperately (unless you purchase Small Business Server). As well, Exchange is relatively simple to get up and running for your purposes, obviously using Exchange to run the mail system for an enterprise would be much more complex but it is quite straightforward for your purposes. Hope this helps.


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Hi NetworkArchitek,

Can bloodtrain not use something like this in XP

I would stay xp pro  

If use IIS on xp pro you will be limited to 10 connection to you Web server if you use Apache you will have unlimited connection  

For email you nned 3rd party product. I have been using Surgmail it free up 5 account there is a lot good email software out there.

If  you are going to be your own DNS you will a 3rd party software for dns. I have used Binds it a bit hard to set up, I sure there are easer one to use and settup.

As for go to windows server 2003 offers a lot good thing.  Small Biz come with Email, VPN , routing , dialup, software raid, Easy to dns, Dhcp and many more, but you are looking at $500-$600 for 2003 server

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If you are at all serioues about hosting your site I would strongly advise against using XP Pro.
I am running a very large web site on xp pro with apache  I did heavy benchmarking and load testing

nothing can beat it .

I ran it side by side with linux with apache ,sun with apache, windows server with IIS on the same hardware.

xp pro with apache bet them all - windows 2003 the apache is just as fast and it dose support more than two cpu.

dump the xp pro and go with a server os. if you like windows then  2K or 2K3 is your best bets. its not bad to run another 3rd party web serving software like apache on an XP machine, but you might lack some of the services that a server can offer. especially since you want to run a mail server as well. i would not use the web/email/domain controller on one server. this is a huge security risk you are running. i don't know your budget or situation but i would get 3 servers if possible and run those 3 services on separate machines. the web server should be in some sort of DMZ while the other 2 can be in the internal network behind firewall(s). if you are really on a tight budget you can consolidate mail/dc into one server. but i would still look into moving it off onto its own server in the future. its is way more important to set things up correctly in the beginning then to just scramble something together. it makes things more managable and increases security which will prevent alot of headaches later on.
Bernie SalvaggioIT ManagerCommented:
Alternatively, you don't HAVE to run Windows server if you don't want to.  You should definitely, however, make sure you turn off all services that are unnecessary, and otherwise strip down your system as much as possible.  

You also don't HAVE to run Exchange.  There are many email servers out there that run on Windows, many cost money.  Personally, I'm a fan of Mercury Mail, though I've never used it live on the Internet.  It's a free email server that will run on Windows XP (or 98/2k for that matter.)  You can check it out at:

bloodtrainAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses guys but I think I'm a little more confused now than before! :)  

If I stay with XP Pro, do I need to run a 3rd party software for the mail server? Doesn't IIS come with SMTP?

Also, lets say I wanted to host some clients, is it true that you need to purchase a license of Windows for every virtual directory that I'm hosting? Or do you pay just once for Windows and thats it?

Overall, I don't mind paying for Server 2003 if it WILL be better than XP Pro. If there will be only a slight difference, I don't see the point besides the integrated MS exchange server...

IIS dose not include Email

Xp is limited to 10 shared connecton.

windows 2003 small biz come with email, dns, vpn, dhcp, routing, and more.

also windows 2003 comes in a more lockdown state and is a little more managable. on a windows XP machine you have to make sure all the services that are not used is turned off. if you plan on using exchange 2000+ it will not install on the XP OS(not to mention it needs Active Directory). i would suggest getting windows 2003 it seems like you need a server and not a workstation turned into a server.
bloodtrainAuthor Commented:
I've just installed MS Server 2003 Small Business. I don't know how or where to go to configure/set up everything. Does anyone know of a good tutorial ??
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