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Basics of web hosting

what does a nooby need to know?



11:52 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello everyone, I'm new here and very new to web development.

I know basic HTML and CSS and working on developing them further.

I need some more knowledge about getting a web host. What to look for, where to look for it, how much it should cost, etc.

The site I'm thinking of making at the moment is mainly text-based, but I want a facility on it where users would be able to upload their own mp3's (ones they've made themselves). So I might need quite a bit of space.

Any replies and suggestions would be very much appreciated.:)

Clinton Labombard

2:22 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The first step is to get coding. Grab some info online (just Google it). Grab some books from the library, or buy some online. And start coding web sites. Use the freebie hosts to start a few experimental sites. Fill them with whatever you have to say and display and go from there. That's how I learned and hands-on training is the best way to learn.

After you're comfortable with that, you've got HTML, CSS, usability, and standards compliency well in mind, and you've played with Javascript enough to know when and how to use it, then I'd say you're ready to use server-side CGI scripting. I suggest PHP, but only because that's what I use. When you can output a website with PHP and maybe add in some dynamic elements you can start playing with MySQL or some other database.

When you've finally got all that under control, then take on uploading files to your site. You'll know pretty much all the other things you'll need to know by then, but first things first, start putting together web sites with HTML and CSS. And read lots of info and apply it.


2:54 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If you're looking for specific information about web hosting companies, there is plenty of online about that. Just search for web hosting reviews.

One thing I will stress is that many times you get what you pay for. A really low price might be offset by a lack of customer service or frequent downtime. If you are not hosting a business site, that might not be a problem. I also had one hosting service that was banned by a major internet provider because one of its domains was sending spam. It took days to correct it.

Some hosts offer a lot of add-on services that you'll never need, especially if you are doing a basic text site. There is also one hosting service that I have used that charges you a single fee for registering the domain and that's it for the year. If you expect your traffic flow to be low and/or your pages sizes to be small this might be a good option to start with.

Send me an email if you want specifics.

Clinton Labombard

6:42 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My current host is very dependable and has super-cheap prices:

$10/month 200MB 2GB of bandwidth, PHP, MySQL, blah blah blah the usual stuff.

$10/year for domains.

They also handle SSL certificates and are pretty quick to reply when you e-mail them.

The only problem I've had is the fact that this is for vertual server space, so there are some limitations. Because of a few people who ruined it for everyone else you can only have one e-mail account there. Also, there are some limitations to what thier PHP server can handle. There are also those moments where I log in to FTP and I end up at the root level and have to find my way back to my own account. That sometimes happens when I'm transferring, and sometimes my transfers don't go through.

So... yeah, you do get what you pay for, but sometimes you still end up with a sweet deal.


7:51 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hey thanks for your help guys.

I had already done some experimentation with websites on the freebie servers and I'm now looking to take it to the next stage.

Would you say that a lot more than html/css needs to be known before it's worth going to a web host that I pay for?

Also, what are the practical differences between virtual servers and real ones?

Clinton Labombard

1:25 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"Would you say that a lot more than html/css needs to be known before it's worth going to a web host that I pay for?"

Absolute NOT. It only depends upon what you've in mind. Freebie servers are great for starter sites so you get the hang of coding, but since virtual servers and a domain name are so inexpensive there's little reason not to go ahead and do that. All you need is an FTP client (LeapFTP is what I use, but there are also good freeware FTP clients) so you can upload your stuff.

"Also, what are the practical differences between virtual servers and real ones?"

A virtual server is where you share space on a hard drive with other users. This is great for low-bandwidth sites and is why you can get away with paying $10/month for 200MB of space. Unless you've a buttload of images, audio, or video content, that 200MB (or whatever you end up with) isn't likely to be scratched by your HTML or script files or even the text that goes on them all.

Problems happen when those who are also on your server are using up the bandwidth, CPU cycles, and memory on that server. So that's the downside.

A dedicated server is a server all to yourself, which normally includes a big hard drive, all the CPU cycles, and a lot more bandwidth to play with. You might have an account that's managed by the web host's staff or it may be one where you have to manage it remotely. If you're inexperienced with handling a production server, then having it managed by the host is the way to go. Of course, dedicated servers are also a tad more expensive. I have heard of extra-cheap dedicated servers, which are smaller. I don't know how reliable they are, but they seem like a good deal for around half the price of a 'full-sized' server.


6:31 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

$10/month for 200MB and 2GB of transfer? What? Is the server blazingly fast or the customer service just amazing or what?

There are tons of webhosts that offer 10GB storage with 200GB+ bandwidth for $8/month.

Clinton Labombard

1:26 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This one allows adult content. Hey, if those others you're mentioning allow adult content for the same price and I can still get decent service and bandwidth and all the other stuff I get with this one. I'll look them up.


5:31 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Dear All,
First of all,I would like to apologize to the forum authority if my post overrules the 13th clause of Terms of Use of this forum.This is my first post over here,and I hope within a few more,I'm gonna suit up myself here.

Now straight to the topic,I've been having five of my local community sites with Bravenet [bravenet.com],and they are free upto a good extent.For the newcomers in the field,I will ask them to give a try.The basic features are enough,the FTP have been refreshed,and working fine.Another thing,which newbees will count helpfull is,the editor,having text and image switching.Javascript codings are executed by the Bravenet,but the Embedded portion is not shown in the Visual editor,which sometimes scramble up your measurements.
I would also like to utter the name of IWA( International Webmasters' Association [iwanet.org]).Here you will get some good online classes and certification.And another thing,don't go for the flash sites unless,you are quite prof. playing with others or it may overload and make a mess to your brain.
Happy Coding to You All...

Matt Probert

5:35 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

With a site transfering MP3s might I suggest that bandwidth could be an issue.

If your site exceeds it's bandwidth allocation, you will be charged a lot of money!

So, do your sums in advance. And don't forget a safety margin. Disk space isn't a problem. If you run out, you run out, but bandwidth you get charged for!



6:00 pm on Feb 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've found that the best deals for hosting are on ebay of all places. Do a search for hosting and you'll nail down a lot of different options for your site.

As for page design, the best program we use which cuts out the need for html coding knowledge is called sitespinner which can be found on download.com.

1and1.com is also an excellent webhosting option. We have several hundred of our domains registered with them and our total bill is $6 a month with about 80 different operational sites. We also found they were the cheapest domain registering place around as well. $6 for a domain and free info names.


9:46 am on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

When it comes to hosting, i personally wouldn't go below 10$ a month for a shared offer. There are tons of resellers out there who make a business of selling server space, often overselling it for the fast buck. They have good looking websites, but wait till you try and get support, a nightmare. Avoid these host review pages out there, they're normally biased. Look around, and when you found something promising, google for "$hostname problems" or "$hostname fraud" to counter-check.

A good test is also to ask their support some technical questions before you sign up, to check the quality and speed of their response.

Do they ask you to sign up (and pay in advance) for a whole year? Maybe you should look for someone who lets you out faster if you're not contented. Three months should be minimum, monthly is ideal.

Even if it means some more work, I'd strongly recommend to register your domain independent from your hosting company. Independent registars take like $12 a year per domain, and you've got the great advantage that you can change your hosting company without trouble or downtime if you need to. Just re-route the domains and you're done. Hosts are replacable, but your domain is unique and valuable to you.


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