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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.:)
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.
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.
$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.
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?
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.
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...
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!
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.
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.