Don’t run a web server out of your church basement. At least that’s the advice I offer to most individuals because there’s already enough to do with defining, presenting and managing content for your church and/or charity website. The last thing you need is the headache of understanding, securing and maintaining a server and operating system; trust me.
That said, I’m running Red Hat Linux at home on one PC, and Sokkit on another Windows-based machine because I like the convenience of programming locally and because experience as taught me to protect (at all costs) my production system from untested code; whether its something I’ve written, or downloaded from some place like SourceForge.net.
For example, the majority my site redesign was performed off-line on my Windows-based machine using a combination of Sokkit and TopStyle. This way I could toy with and recompile MovableType templates without causing you the reader and interruption in service. Similarly, I used Sokkit to locally convert a large phpBB database to vBulletin because it required half-a-gig in temporary files along with every byte of RAM on my machine to port the database in about four hours.
But you may not be in a situation where you have the luxury of a second machine to run a Linux-based server and/or purchase software to run Apache on your Win32 o/s. All you have is a Windows XP Professional and the Windows 2003 Server with no money left over to port your precious ASP over to ASP.Net.
Not a problem.
Believe it or not, you too can install enough Perl, PHP and/or legacy ASP on your Windows 2003 Server. How, you ask? By first paying a visit to the Windows Server 2003 Tutorials, Visual and Step-by-Step website.
Included on this site are a variety of helpful step-by-step guides, screen-shots included, so you can do things like install Perl, enable ASP support and/or set-up SSL. This way you can test everything thoroughly at home or in the back-office of your church. Then you can deploy your changes to either your Windows or Apache based production server.
Once again, a hat tip to Deane over at Gadgetopia for the link.