I started running an online dating site 2 years ago, www.CupidPost.com. I wanted a new hobby, something to pass my spare time with and the only thing that interested me was starting a dating site. No, I was not single at the time, I was in fact married and my wife was expecting our first child. It just seemed like internet dating was becoming the norm and there was a demand for it, so why not try and make some money at it.
Anyhow I had a choice between hosting the site myself or using an ISP. I choose to host it myself because of past bad experiences with bad ISP. The ISP wanted to increase the monthly fee by 200% for hosting the website of the company I use to worked for, at the time I was still employed by this company. I refused to pay and the ISP held the database at ransom, this database contained hundreds of applicants resume, the company I worked for was one of the world’s largest employment agency. Long story short, we decided to scrape the database and recreate a new site with new database. It seemed that although we had an online database of applicants, that information was never accessed by anyone, think about all those poor people seeking a job and wasting their time.
The next thing I had to figure out was Linux or Windows server? I have many years of working experience with Microsoft Windows servers and have the MCSE certification. I favored Windows automatically because that was in my comfort zone. But I picked Redhat 9 Linux, because it was free and came with Mysql, PHP, SMTP and more for free, you do not have to pay a single dime for it. Although I must say that I had no prior working experience with Linux.
I debated between buying a server off the shelf or building it myself. I eventually decided that I could assemble a much more powerful server myself for the same price of a brand name server. I put together an Asus mother board capable of SATA RAID 1, Intel Pentium 4 â€“ 3 Mhz CPU, 2 x 300G Maxtor SATA drives, 20/40G tape drive, CD drive, floppy drive, 2 x 1G memory, 1G network card, 420W power supply and 4 cooling fans with neon lights. All right the neon lights were not required but it looks cool.
I downloaded Redhat 9, burnt the ISO files onto 3 CDs and started the installation. Redhat was able to recognize the SATA raid 1 configuration and loaded the raid drivers appropriately. After 4 hours the server was fully installed and configured. Now I had to figure out how to configure Apache, Mysql and PHP. I found all kinds of articles on the internet but I decided to go to Chapters book store and purchase a Rehdat 9 bible.
After many more days of reading the book, messing around with the configuration and few reinstallation of Linux, I finally had a fully functional server.Â I then proceeded to load up my dating database in Mysql and the webpages into Apache.Â My internet dating site was up and online on the web.