I have been banging my head against a wall for several days now, searches rarely uncover the issue I'm having or a solution to the problem. Which I'm sure is a combination of my ignorance and not knowing what to search for.

I am trying to host my own website, nothing big or extravagant but there have been a number of issues I've run into and I'm not even sure what my options are, much less how to solve them. I have Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter with the Windows Server Essentials role installed. My server is multi-use and I rely on the Essentials to perform the tasks I need. A part of the Essentials install is IIS, which I'm not very familiar with so I thought I would just installed WAMP Server and develop the site from there, only to find that port 80 is in use from IIS.

So really I need some advice, this is all new for me and I have no idea what I'm doing nor what my options really are. So I have a series of questions, and I hope someone can give me some path to follow to achieve the results I am after.

The website I am hoping to build will be html 5, CSS3, but I was hoping to be able to install my vBulletin forum software, which has requirements for things like php, mysql etc. This site will be mostly a visual portfolio of my experience and skills... or lack there of right now lol. I don't need anything super complex but I don't want to be too limited in what I can do on my site. I'm a novice at pretty much everything aside form some basic server management experiences. I'm not a coder, developer etc, yet.. so please temper your answers with that in mind.

I guess my question is what should I be using as a base for hosting my site? IIS or WAMP? I was going to use WAMP just for ease of use as I'm somewhat familiar with it, but I'm open to anything. If I was to stick with IIS I would need to know what I would need to install to allow me to complete my previously stated goals? Would I need to install php, mysql etc? If I was to stick with WAMP how could I get the website to pull up if its not able to use port 80? I know I could use the port to access the site directly but I want the url to simply be "www.exampledomain.com".

I'm open to feedback, I don't know what I don't know so it's hard to be sure if I'm asking the right questions. I really hope someone has the time to help me through this.

Update: To be clear, I am not seeking advice on operating system, network security, or anything else not specified above. I am intent on using Windows 2012 and either IIS or WAMP and to answer the specific questions I posed. I am aware this is opinion but I am not asking which is best. I am also aware of the differences in potential security issues between the two, however I am simply seeking advice on how to best utilize what I already have in place for ease of use of a new potential web developer. I need facts about them so I can make an informed decision on to best approach.

  • I prefer Linux over Windows for security reasons, however, since you are 90% of the way there... you can still use PHP on IIS so vBulletin should work, and MySQL runs perfectly on Windows. I actually prefer Apache and always have since the earliest days. Once you get your head around a few simple things, Apache is far easier to deal with whereas with IIS, you can get frustrated easily. However, IIS does offer some native advantages being a Windows product. WAMP probably runs fine even in the wild. I use it on my laptop but prefer Linux and Apache, etc., which is what my web servers are. – closetnoc Apr 23 '16 at 23:15
  • It sounds like you are running this at home. If so, spend some money on a DAMNED GOOD firewall. It will pay dividends big time and you will be far better off than hosting in regard to hacking and intrusion detection. This will keep you safer since Windows servers are the largest target for hackers. Let us also not forget keeping your PHP applications up to date and checking for vulnerabilities as often as you can since PHP applications are also a major target. You should be fine however you configure your server if you stay on top of things. Cheers!! – closetnoc Apr 24 '16 at 0:25
  • This is unfortunately a bit too broad and opinion-based, questions here are required to be about a specific issue. Regarding IIS using port 80, just stop it so Apache can bind to port 80 after you restart it. – dan Apr 24 '16 at 1:28
  • I have updated my question, I cannot stop or remove the IIS role as it has dependents that I do not want removed. And even with all IIS sites stopped port 80 is still in use by HTTPAPI and I'm unable to use it in wamp – Finger78 Apr 24 '16 at 3:49
  • I am not sure of all the technologies that you have that are dependent upon IIS, however, it seems like you answered your own question. Use IIS! Why have two web servers installed and/or running if it is not necessary. IIS can run PHP and vBulletin just fine. You can probably use SQL Server if you are clever, however, MySQL is easy to install and works extremely well so there is not danger there. You may just have to make a few simple modifications to the configuration so that it responds to something other than localhost or – closetnoc Apr 24 '16 at 5:16

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