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Author Topic: Where to host a personal website  (Read 12388 times)

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« on: April 25, 2009, 17:29 »
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I found many threads here about web hosting, but more focused on photogalleries and e-commerce.  I need something else.

With Geocities going out of business in the next months, I need to find a new place for my websites (currently one is paid, the other two free).  They are very simple HTML, nothing too fancy, no dynamic pages.  What is a cheap but reliable place to host them?  For the moment I do not need my own domain, but this is something I look forward to in the future.


« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 17:38 »
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Adelaide, I would look at weebly.com and 110mb.com. Weebly also offers templates for website design that can be quite useful.


« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 18:14 »
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GA,

I'll take a look, but I am not necessarily looking for a free website, especially if they have too many ads and popups.

« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 18:23 »
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Sure. They don't have any ads or popups. The only thing I noticed is, when designing a page with weebly, they put a small letter message at the very bottom of the page which says: "Create a free website with Weebly" but it hardly can be seen.

« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 18:30 »
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My site is hosted at www.ixwebhosting.com and I'm quite happy with them. Basic plan is $3.95/month with PHP/MySQL and one domain name. I guess you man find many other hosting service however.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 19:22 »
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I've been using Godaddy for the past few years and they've been rock solid for hosting and email. I've used the Windows and Linux hosting with no problems. Customer service has been pretty good. I think I'm paying around $60 US per year.

EDIT: Forgot to add the link http://www.godaddy.com

WarrenPrice

« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2009, 20:27 »
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I also use godaddy.  domain name and hosting equal $60 a year.  My site is built around WordPress by a friend whose profession is website design.  I'm very pleased with the result.  If you like mine, you can contact him to work on yours.


« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2009, 21:23 »
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I use page-zone.com, but one hosting site is pretty much as good as another.

« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2009, 23:25 »
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I use page-zone.com, but one hosting site is pretty much as good as another.


Don't agree. I'm maintaining several sites (not photography related) and there are clear winners and losers. The best ones have solid and unlimited mysql servers that wont break down when a site gets popular. And needless to say... never accept the free offer of a domain, but register your domain with a separate registrar. I prefer namecheap.com since its cheaper and easier than godaddy at the moment (might change since those guys are in a tough competition).

Mr. Locke, since this is a recurring question, perhaps we should put up a wki page with a table of hosters and registrars plus prices and experiences specific for photography and galleries.
Your pagezone has very limited space/bandwidth for 12.5$. My hostgator has unlimited space/traffic for 4.5$ (1 domain) or 7.95$ (unlimited domains).

@madelaide: if your site is plain HTML it doesn't take any bandwidth and I have a lot of bandwidth to spare on hostgator. You can put it there for free if you can handle FTP. You will just have to register your domain and put the namesevers to hostgator and I will set up the folder and FTP. If you prefer a free photography solution without popups, there is always good old multiply - my account there is flemishdreams and I use it as a sample gallery and semi-social networking site to local photographers/models in Northern Mindanao. It only has limited non-disturbing Google ads, no popups.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 23:31 by FlemishDreams »

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2009, 05:38 »
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I use page-zone.com, but one hosting site is pretty much as good as another.
I disagree. I used Hostway.com for a while and the experience wasn't all that great.

« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2009, 08:34 »
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Ah, well, my experience is a bit limited, I guess.  I've used them for 8 or 9 years, with just a couple of issues.  My needs aren't too great though, although I've never had a bandwidth issue, even with all the banners I serve to my iStock pages.  I use goDaddy to register my domains, and their autorenewal is a nice feature.

tan510jomast

« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2009, 10:26 »
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If you prefer a free photography solution without popups, there is always good old multiply - my account there is flemishdreams and I use it as a sample gallery and semi-social networking site to local photographers/models in Northern Mindanao. It only has limited non-disturbing Google ads, no popups.


FD, I just opened an account there to replace my geocities too. But the photos do not have a link feature. Am I looking at the wrong place to edit my photos. On geocities, each photo has a link to my stock site. I like to do the same here.
How do I do that?

« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2009, 10:29 »
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I have lots of sites hosted with bluehost.  They are $7/month with unlimited ad on domains / traffic / mysql etc. so a good deal.  They have also been rated most reliable by quite a few reviews.  In a recent gizmodo poll they rated #2 as the best web host in regards to price and reliability.

Here is my referral link if you end up choosing them.

and i will also second FlemishDreams post.  I use namecheap to register my domains - very easy to navigate site with cheap prices.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 01:10 by leaf »

« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2009, 10:47 »
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Ah, well, my experience is a bit limited, I guess.  I've used them for 8 or 9 years, with just a couple of issues.  My needs aren't too great though, although I've never had a bandwidth issue, even with all the banners I serve to my iStock pages.  I use goDaddy to register my domains, and their autorenewal is a nice feature.

If you're happy with it, don't leave. A blog, even if very popular like yours, doesn't require that much bandwidth. My needs are just different since one of my clients runs a video site and I'm using the slack for backing up my essential data like photos. One size doesn't fit all and it's overkill and time/money wasted to fix a running engine.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 11:17 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2009, 10:58 »
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On geocities, each photo has a link to my stock site. I like to do the same here. How do I do that?

Not unexpectedly, I turned their entire design upside down. But I didn't try the link, although it should be possible with some (timewasting) hacking on every photo. I just use multiply to hook local models and photographers, but they will never buy stock. Not in an area of the world where you can buy Vista, CS4 and all recent movies for 1$ in the mall. Sad but true. The US and the old parts of the EU are islands in a sea of piracy and scamming. I'm working on a Coppermine mod that will acknowledge links to sales and I hope to have it ready near the end of May. There is still smugmug of course, and Flickr, but my paying Flickr account was banned because I put up links to sales. In the end, you get what you pay for.

« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2009, 11:11 »
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I have lots of sites hosted with bluehost.  They are $5.00/month with unlimited ad on domains / traffic / mysql etc. so a good deal.  They have also been rated most reliable by quite a few reviews.

Yes that was the one I mentioned before (forgetting the name). It's definitely better than hostgator, which ranks amongst the best. When I transfer, I will use your referral. I need to check it out first on a test domain. We should stress to all interested that domain registration and hosting should remain separated. The free domains on all hosters is a way to keep you hostage. Hosters come and go, and their conditions change over the years.

« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2009, 11:15 »
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I disagree. I used Hostway.com for a while and the experience wasn't all that great.

I think bluehost of Leaf is a better replacement. The unlimited space will allow you to backup photos too. Hostgator has password-protected directories and hotlink-prevention but I guess bluehost has it too.

« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2009, 15:12 »
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I have lots of sites hosted with bluehost.  They are $5.00/month with unlimited ad on domains / traffic / mysql etc. so a good deal.  They have also been rated most reliable by quite a few reviews.  In a recent gizmodo poll they rated #2 as the best web host in regards to price and reliability.

Here is my referral link if you end up choosing them.

and i will also second FlemishDreams post.  I use namecheap to register my domains - very easy to navigate site with cheap prices.


I also use bluehost with no issues so far. Godaddy for domain registration, but I must say I find their constant email offers unprofessional to say the least.

rinderart

« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2009, 15:15 »
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I like Betterphotos.com Only because it's nothing But Image makers.

« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2009, 19:35 »
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If we register the domain with godaddy or namecheap, do the hosts use it without any problems further, if we want to move to another host?

I read good things about Bluehost, Hostgator, Justhost and WebzPro.  At the same time I read severe complaints.  It makes it all so confusing!  :)

Complaints about Bluehost seem to be recent.  I read people who say they had been with them for years complaining of downtime and poor support.  Any experiences with this?

Hostgator cheapest plan costs US$4.95/mo only if I sign up for 3 years (and pay ahead for the 3 years, as I understand).  The regular monthly price is 8.95 though, not too bad, but others are cheaper.

WebzPro doesn't accept customers from Russia.  I wonder if they will accept from Brazil.   :-\  Other than that, mostly what I read about them is positive.  Their plans don't offer unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Justhost has also had good reviews lately. Their price is very good US$3.95 monthly - don't know if also requiring one or more years paid ahead.  I read they accept Paypal.

Pardon my ignorance, but what a difference does a Linux Web Host vs a Windows Web Host makes?  Can I upload my HTML files normally to any of them?

« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2009, 20:17 »
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I am checking those hosters and it seems none of them has a backup in their service.  Some charge it extra if we want it.  Gosh, I would expect at least a weekly backup in case something goes wrong in their servers!  Now if they lost the data, I would have to upload everything again?   ???

« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 20:23 »
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Adelaide, it depends where you actually create your site. I have all the files of my website on my computer anyway, so even if it all got lost, I could easily re-upload everything.

« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 20:54 »
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GA,

I only think they should have something.  Although I would have everything in my computer, it would still be a pain uploading everything again.  In all these years in Geocities (I started there in 1996), I never had any problem neither on the paid account nor on the free ones, until recently when all my site (the paid one!) disappeared and I couldn't even log in to my account.  It took them two days to solve it, but everything was back there.  Given this happened only in the paid account, I suspect there was some accounting problem, although my monthly fee had already been charged to Paypal a few days earlier.

In Hostgator's live chat, I was informed they do weekly backups, but they don't even guarantee that.  Justhost says in their features page that they offer "Courtesy Site Backups", but the live chat guy didn't know what that is (he only knew about a charged backup service) and said I should ask support about this. Bluehost said they do backups but also don't guarante anything.


« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2009, 21:31 »
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I agree. Backup service is definitely valuable. It gives a piece of mind, especially if we invested a lot of time and effort into the site. I am interested to see which one you decide to go with. I had a problem with 110mb.com yesterday, and my site is still not fully up (just after I recommended them). If a problem happens again, I would consider moving to another hosting site too.

« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2009, 22:19 »
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Well, so far I have a tendency for Hostgator due to its better price.  Justhost and Bluehost cost about the same for a one-year contract (about US$110), and I will wait JH's reply about the backup.  HG and JH are offering a 20% discount, so this gives them a slight advantage over BH.

Fatcow is at an excellent price (US$66 a year), does anyone have any feedback on them?  They offer a free 2GB Carbonite backup, and they have a daily server backup (possibly again without guarantee, but at least it's more frequent than Hostgator's).


« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2009, 23:12 »
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This is the kind of thing that makes me mad.  Hostgator says they offer unlimited bandwidth.  Then on the TOS:
Quote
8.) Bandwidth Usage
You are allocated a monthly bandwidth allowance. This allowance varies depending on the hosting package you purchase. Should your account pass the allocated amount we reserve the right to suspend the account until the start of the next allocation, suspend the account until more bandwidth is purchased at an additional fee, suspend the account until you upgrade to a higher level of package, terminate the account and/or charge you an additional fee for the overages. Unused transfer in one month cannot be carried over to the next month.

« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2009, 00:07 »
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If we register the domain with godaddy or namecheap, do the hosts use it without any problems further, if we want to move to another host?

Yes. That's the advantage of a separate registrar, contrary to a hoster that offers a free domain. In the latter case, the domain is most probably owned by the hoster, not by you. If for any reason you want to move to another hoster, you will lose your domain and all the associated SEO and links. In namecheap, you can easily change the nameservers to any hoster you like.

I read good things about Bluehost, Hostgator, Justhost and WebzPro.  At the same time I read severe complaints.  It makes it all so confusing!  :)

You've got good feedback about Hostgator and Bluehost here. Of course, fiddling with the cpanel of your server isn't for the faint at heart. That's were the specialized image hosters come in, like smugmug and photoshelter. You will have to pay for that service though... a multiple of the same space/bandwidth as on a raw server.

Hostgator cheapest plan costs US$4.95/mo only if I sign up for 3 years (and pay ahead for the 3 years, as I understand).  The regular monthly price is 8.95 though, not too bad, but others are cheaper.

With the cheapest plan, you only have one domain too. That's why I am on the 9$ plan and I pay monthly.

Justhost has also had good reviews lately. Their price is very good US$3.95 monthly - don't know if also requiring one or more years paid ahead.  I read they accept Paypal.

You might be on a resellers plan then. Nothing wrong with that except you will have to accept his running of the server, you will be allowed only one domain, and you will probably get just one Mysql database, which is fine for a single user.

Pardon my ignorance, but what a difference does a Linux Web Host vs a Windows Web Host makes?  Can I upload my HTML files normally to any of them?

The difference is the type of databases they allow and the Microsoft extensions. In general, a Linux host is considered to be more stable and general. If you just upload HTML, it doesn't make any difference. You won't need a database too then. But uploading a port of 1,000 shots can be a tedious HTML coding job. It's possible, but use an HTML generator then who generates the flat HTML gallery automatically. I used Arles of Digitaldutch a lot till 2004. It's still very popular.

« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2009, 00:24 »
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Adelaide, it depends where you actually create your site. I have all the files of my website on my computer anyway, so even if it all got lost, I could easily re-upload everything.

Don't forget to backup your Mysql database too. Most dynamic info on the site resides in the database. Any server I know carries the Mysql maintenance pack, in which you can download the zipped content of your databases and restore them later too, if necessary or when it got corrupt by a programming error. In Joomla, there is a plugin that automatically will email you the content of the database every day, week, or whatever period.

« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2009, 18:45 »
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You've got good feedback about Hostgator and Bluehost here. Of course, fiddling with the cpanel of your server isn't for the faint at heart. That's were the specialized image hosters come in, like smugmug and photoshelter. You will have to pay for that service though... a multiple of the same space/bandwidth as on a raw server.

I have a tendency towards Hostgator at the moment, because the only feedback I had on Fatcow were online reviews (some good, some bad).  I feel a bit insecure when I see an inconsistency like I wrote on reply #25, but support replied that the TOS needs update and they do offer unlimited bandwidth.  For what I read in another site, the restriction they may do is if they observe some abnormal usage (especially in the suspition of illegal filesharing of copyrighted material), so I suppose they leave this possibility of restricting bandwidth.  More or less a parent giving the teenage son the keys from home.  :)

I know I will have some pain - in Yahoo I only need to upload my files - but as I said I am not looking for a photography site, my personal site is about travel reports, links on various subjects, etc.  I do have a photo site also that will host there, but it is also very simple and I use FP for some gallery displays of stock photos.  Of course I may proceed to something more elaborate in the future, if I have the patience and time.


« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2009, 18:33 »
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Now, what is better, a .com or a .net domain? I have a preference for the latter because my site isn't much about commerce, but then .com is so much more popular.

EDITED:  What happens if the place I register my domain - namecheap or godaddy - go out of business?  I know it is unlikely, but it's just a theoretical question.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 18:46 by madelaide »

« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2009, 19:12 »
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Domains are transferable. Registrar only helps you with registration. If for any reason you decide to move it new registrar will help you do it.

Top level domain .com is intended for commercial purposes. .net can be anything, .org means non-profit organizations. Sometimes companies register all possible domains for their trademarks so most likely Adidas has registered .com, .net, .de, .eu, etc. This would prevent somebody from trying to create website with their company name.

« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2009, 15:14 »
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I use https://www.redfoxhosting.com/ have done for about 3 years, they have up to date servers and support SQL and .Net Framework 3.5, they have mySQL packages from 3.99 a month, I am running 5 websites (12 domains) for 15.00 a month all with SQL 2005, ASP 2 and .Net Framework, PHP and MySQL, each has webmail email accounts that you can link with outlook, when I register a new domain I register .com, .net and .co.uk and then use domain alias to point them all to the .com site, I registered 3 last night for a new project total cost for 2 years 25.00

I also have ftp access and can use Filezilla to upload the files my sites all run with Open Source (free) DotNetNuke which comes with many modules as standard, other commercial modules can expand the websites which are plug and play, now I can set a DNN site with a SQL backend and have it running in a few hours, the hard work is content and geting traffic to your website.

It is really a matter of planning if you really need a site, ask yourself who is it for and who will visit, how will they get there, what will make them return where you are with a simple html website and where you want to be in a few months will the Service Provider be able to allow you to grow as required.

One thing that website like this one have is ever changing content, which will bring visitors back, if your website is to static then it is often only friends and family that will re-visit.

David  ;D
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 15:18 by Adeptris »

« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2009, 21:38 »
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Hey, it's me again.  ;D

I have checked my Yahoo Geocities accounts and the total storage and bandwidth I have been using are quite small.  Therefore I was considering getting a "non-unlimited" host at a more affordable price. 

I read some good comments about Hawk Host, their Basic plan (3GB storage, 30GB monthly data transfer) can be purchased for US$24 for one year or US$13 for 6 months (special promo this week).  Any feedback on them from you guys?

Edited to add a question: Can anyone translate the answer below (from Hawk Host's support) to plain English?  Is this the same in other places?
Q: "Is there any fee when I use my own domain?"
A: Not unless you want to transfer the domain registration to us, otherwise you'd just update the nameservers with your registrar
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 22:02 by madelaide »

« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2009, 00:12 »
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Hey, it's me again.  ;D

Edited to add a question: Can anyone translate the answer below (from Hawk Host's support) to plain English?  Is this the same in other places?
Q: "Is there any fee when I use my own domain?"
A: Not unless you want to transfer the domain registration to us, otherwise you'd just update the nameservers with your registrar

Two options if you already own a domain:
First is to transfer the domain, some providers lock the domain to thier service so a fee may need to be paid Second is to get your existing provider to point your domain to the new server, that is like an IP re-direct, but keeps you tied in to your existing ISP.

If you have an existing website with a good name then it might be worth the transfer fee, if not look to register a new Domain, where you could keep both running for another 6 - 12 months and re-direct from the first domain to the new domain, later on close the first account.

David 

« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2009, 06:01 »
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Adeptris,

I have just created a domain, so it is not tied to any host yet. I saw in the management tools how to redirect my domain, so currently typing my domain leads to my geocities site.  My domain name "disappears" in the process, and the user only sees www.geocities.com pages.

I expect, with the host, that when someone types my domain name, it will navigate in my site (if he looks at the URL, he will see www.mariaadelaidesilva.net/something).  Is it only possible if I transfer my domain to the host?  I guess I can not transfer a domain I have just created.  (Note: of course this would only work after I uploaded my pages to the host; I am not talking about pages currently at Geocities).

In fact I expected that once I had a domain, I would only have to point it to an IP number or an address, but to the viewer it would always be www.mariaadelaidesilva.net.  That's the point of having a domain, to me, keeping an address regardless of the host my pages are.  I would simply go to namecheap and change the host name/address somewhere.  Am I wriong?

I saw a "nameservers" area in namecheap's management board, but I don't understand it.  Is this what I have to use as the second option?  Will it work as I described above?

tobkatrina

  • Crazy Bird Lady
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2009, 15:16 »
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I am not sure if they would help you or not but Smugmug is a lot like Better photo and they have been awesome for me!   Smugmug

You can get your own domain and have galleries there for your clients with passwords etc... or not, simple to complex it's pretty nice (for me anyways!)

Just thought I'd mention it. Good luck!



« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2009, 15:36 »
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Just thought I would mention another host you might want to check out and compare with the others - www.hostdepartment.com - I've been using them for almost a year and have no complaints.  They seemed like a good deal to me.  I found about them when Shutterbug ran an article on setting up photo websites and mentioned them.

« Reply #37 on: April 30, 2009, 15:51 »
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Hi madelaide,
I am not sure about the "Namespace" or masking the url, I know that Photoshelter had that function but I do not remember how to do it, look for a user forum for Geosites and ask the question there, or a google search works in most cases.

Regards

David

« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2009, 16:36 »
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Here's a godaddy coupon code  gdr0442p    this one expires at midnight 3 May.  It is for 15% off anything, no minimum purchase for once. 

Their fine print:  Not applicable to sale priced domain names, bulk domains, premium domains, Sunrise/Landrush domain registrations, discounted memberships or maintenance plans; additional disk space and bandwidth renewals, custom page layouts, Go Daddy Marketplace products, posters, die-cast cars or gift cards. Discount reflected in your shopping cart -- cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Offer expires Sunday, May 3, 2009 at midnight (Pacific Time).

« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2009, 18:15 »
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Adeptris and Tobkatrina, thanks for your suggestions, but it's not a commercial photo gallery that I am looking for.  It's about my personal website and my existing photo website, which are both built in HTML and currently hosted in Geocities.  E-commerce would be a thing for the future, so far I am happy to redirect potential buyers (if they even come to my site!) to FP.

Pixart, I saw godaddy's promo, but namecheap also had one, so I registered my domains with them.

Download, I think I'll stick with Hawk Host, very affordable basic plan that will possibly suit my needs very well (given my current storage and bandwidth stats in Yahoo).  With their current 40% discount, I will have one year for just US$24.  So far their support has been terrific - fast and helpful - even if sometimes I don't understand the technical terms.  :D

« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2009, 19:34 »
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Yeah, I'm starting to make this work!

http://www.mariaadelaidesilva.net/

A lot of edition and FTPing ahead.  But I'm happy.  ;D


 

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