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Marilyn Braun
01-21-2006, 05:51 AM
I mentioned this a while ago, I'm planning on starting a website - taking the entries on my blog and organizing them onto a website. I think Richard mentioned something about the different places to host, one was expressionengine. I think there were two other suggestions but I don't remember them. Help!

Richard
01-21-2006, 06:42 AM
I mentioned this a while ago, I'm planning on starting a website - taking the entries on my blog and organizing them onto a website. I think Richard mentioned something about the different places to host, one was expressionengine. I think there were two other suggestions but I don't remember them. Help!

Okay. ExpressionEngine isn't a host, it's a CMS - content management system. Think Blogger, but much more advanced. The guys who make it run a hosting company, pMachineHosting, but that's a different thing entirely.

As far as webhosts go, I can't make too many specific suggestions - it's not my specialist subject - but here's some guidelines to keep in mind.

SHARED HOSTING: This means 'there are several people on the server'. This can cause problems, because some clown can screw things up for everyone else - slowing down performance or battering the MySQL server or whatever, but it's still the best option unless you become huge. Dedicated servers are very expensive, and you really don't want to do tech-support on them. Go with Linux for preference. It gives you more flexibility when choosing software and getting help on it, and it's usually cheaper too.

COST: Between $5 and $10 a month. This is a reasonable middle-ground between 'way too cheap' and 'overpriced'. I use HostGator, which is based out of Florida, and I pay about $10. Not had any problems with them. However, and this is important, the rule about getting what you pay for DOES NOT NECESSARILY APPLY. You can get great service cheap, you can get appalling service for a rip-off fee. Take it into consideration, but don't assume that size, or cost, is everything. Some of the crappiest hosts are the giants that over-populate their servers.

BANDWIDTH: This is the amount of data your site can transfer per month. Look for between 5GB and 10GB as a general amount, although some of the larger hosts go into crazy-lengths (Dreamhost currently offers a terabyte on its basic storage plan, which is generally described as '8,000 times more data than a human brain retains in a lifetime'.) Sometimes this is fine, the company's just banking on the fact that nobody will use more than a couple of gigs so it can put whatever number it wants on the adverts, other times it's a screaming AWOOOGA! AWOOOGA! of danger ahead.

Basic text and images won't cut into it too much, but video or MP3 files will chew it up and spit it out. Best to have it there in case. And whatever you get, look for gigabytes, not megabytes. Bandwidth isn't as expensive as you might think these days, and pricing plans are based on people not using up their allocation anyway.

Importantly, if you run out of your allocation, one of three things will happen. The first is that you won't even notice, and the company will suck up the occasional heavy month (for instance, your site gets linked from the likes of Slashdot or Boing Boing, and your traffic spikes for a couple of days) and only ask you to switch to a more expensive hosting package if it remains at that level. Second, your site gets switched off until you either pay for extra bandwidth or next month rolls around with your next quota. Third, and this is the one you want to watch out for, you get automatically charged for the excess bandwidth you use. All three are standard in the market, but make sure you know which is in effect - and how much it might cost if you get popular.

(That said, don't buy a ludicrous hosting plan off the bat just in case you need it - start small and worry about popularity if and when it comes. Every host will be glad to upsell you one of its more powerful packages should you need to upgrade, and most sites don't get anywhere near the critical point)

DISK SPACE: At least a gigabyte for $10, most services will give you more. You won't even scratch that with the average site, but it's good to have for holding media files, high-res images and similar. Additional disk space on an account gets very pricey.

A CONTROL PANEL: Ideally, look for CPanel. It's as close to the standard you'll find, and gives you control over everything from mail, to backups, to the automatic installer program Fantastico, which will just put things like WordPress onto your site in seconds.

PHP: Ideally 5, at minimum, high in the 4s.

BACKUPS: Make sure these happen automatically, and find out how they work. You'll take your own as well, but the company should always be able to roll-back in the event of a hacker attack or you screwing something up. This often involves a small extra charge if it's your fault, which is fine.

MYSQL: At least one database - preferably three, but look for unlimited if you can. This lets you split things up much more easily. For instance, on my site, I have one database for ExpressionEngine, one for Stories of Strength, and one for my stats software. You don't need to know a damn thing about MySQL to use these - but you do need them to power any serious blogging or CMS tool.

SMALL PRINT: Make sure there aren't any bizarre restrictions, penalty clauses, limitations on what you can use.

Bear in mind, these are just guidelines to use. You get good and crap services at every level. Here's where things get tricky.

Never, ever type something like 'web hosting reviews' into your browser. Most of them are shills. Finding an honest writeup is next to impossible - either people go nuts over how awful their host is, or rave about it, right next a link that earns them money every time someone clicks it. Ignore any awards, no matter how cool they look. Most of them aren't worth the pixels they're printed on.

Forums on the subject exist, and are a bit like the river of slime from Ghostbusters 2, but importantly, are mostly full of power users, not necessarily representative of what you want to do (for instance, Dreamhost offers incredibly cheap hosting, but is highly, highly unpopular amongst hardcore users for reasons - like slow database connections and slightly higher than average downtime - that may or may not matter to you. However, it also has one of the biggest referral networks in the universe, to the extent that the people plugging it (even if being completely honest) aren't easily going to shake the feeling that they're whoring their opinion out for a cheque. Either way, neither pro nor con sides are worth taking on faith.)

Even if a review is perfectly honest, most of them will be out of date. You want to know what services are like now - 2005 at least - not what they were like in 2002. A service that was great then may have grown too fast, or improved on previously shoddy performance.

Best thing to do is to browse the web and make a shortlist of hosts that seem to fit the bill, then search them directly. Look on sites like WordPress or ExpressionEngine and the other techie minded sites, and make use of the hosts with 30-60 day trial periods. This will let you get a feel for how they perform for what you want them to do. For instance, my site on HostGator runs fine - when I tried it on 1&1, every single page took at least 15 seconds longer to load.

That said, WebHostingTalk (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/) can be okay. Don't use it for a final decision, but the discussions will often throw up both persistent problems and comments from the staff of major webhosts that you can use to guide your searching. Remember though, very much power-user territory (who else sits around talking about web hosts all day?)

Next, an important bit.

NEVER SIGN UP FOR YOUR DOMAIN WITH A HOSTING PROVIDER

They'll all offer freebies, and they might work okay, but they put you into a position you really don't want to be in: if you ever move host, or the company goes down, you may have to fight for that name. Go with a big registrar like GoDaddy or 123-reg, and your host gets absolutely no say in where that domain name points to. More importantly, you don't risk the age-old trick of a company registering the domain in their name rather than yours, and refusing to hand it over. If you've built up a reputation, the last thing you want is to have to change it overnight - and while most hosts are perfectly honourable about this, don't get me wrong, you don't want your site held to ransom by a cowboy.

(In a similar vein, one of the best things about CPanel and similar is that you can take backups whenever you want. You should do this regularly, of both your files and databases, so you can click them into a new host if anything goes wrong.)

There's more, but it's 2:30am and I'm sleepy. Best just ask questions and we'll try to help accordingly ;-)

JacobsonHosting
01-21-2006, 06:53 AM
Hi Marilyn,

I just joined this great forum today and going through all the posts and ran into yours. I am thinking of possibly writing a education book. Do you need another blog or another communication Script? Maybe I can help. I have several links that may be of help to you.

If you just need hosting please have a look at my company and I also have serveral links for other companies that may be more suited to meet your needs.

If you have any questions on some of the things Richard suggest that you should look for in a Hosting company, I will be glad to answer them for you. I know how hosting can be confusing when first starting out.

Have a Wonderful Day! :)

Fahim
01-21-2006, 07:02 AM
Marilyn, you might not want to jump straight into hosting at the moment. If you are not too familiar with blogging etc online, I'd say get your feet wet a bit at a time so that you are not overwhelmed by everything :) I believe wordpress.com allows free blogs. Set one up there and see how it works out. Once you're happy with the blogging part of things, you might then want to consider shared-hosting or at least free hosting for a while to get your feet wet in that area.

Hmm ... just noticed that you have a blogspot link, so guess you are already doing the free blog thing :p So, I'd suggest you take the next step up and set up at a free host for a while and see how that goes so that you get used to setting stuff up, FTP and all that stuff ... Though a free host might be rather limited in what features you can use etc. I know there was one free host around a couple of years ago who offered PHP but most don't ... Of course, if you need any help, you can always ask us here :p

JacobsonHosting
01-21-2006, 07:48 AM
Yes, Free hosts are good to start out if you choose a safe one. Some of the down-sides of some Free Host are they make you put banners on your site and some will swamp your visitors with spyware. I got hit with spyware, once from a Free host when I visited a site, it put tons of spyware on my computer, and screwed my system up.

Not all Free Host are bad, just be careful. There are many that are safe and will give you a limited of space to start out and other certain limitations.

You could also find a pay Host company, that offers either Free trials or 30 Day Money back guarantees to test them out. Sounds like you need a place to call home for your website for the long haul, so my suggestions is get into a solid company so you don't have to move your files again later from a Free host when your website is growing and you have used all your limitations up from a Free Hosting provider.

Also with a solid Hosting provider most will have forum,blogs etc. in the control panel for you to choose from and most Control panels will usually install these scripts for you. For example we use H-Sphere Control Panel. There are at least 30 different scripts in this Panel given for free (ex. E-Commerce,Forums,Blogs,Gallery Scripts,Portals, etc.)

Hope my Info helps. ;)

L M Ashton
01-21-2006, 07:52 AM
Yahoo! is one of those companies that held my domain and domain name hostage after I tried switching to another host and registrar. This was about, oh, five or six years ago, so it's possible they're better now, but back then, their customer support was non-existent at best.

Richard has good advice. I buy and renew my domain names through Cheap-DomainRegistration.com (http://www.Cheap-DomainRegistration.com), and my husband, Fahim, buys and renews his through GoDaddy.com (http://www.GoDaddy.com). We both have no complaints, so either of those would be fine. We do all our hosting under a reseller account Fahim has, so unfortunately, I have no personal recommendations for you there.

Geek friends of mine have recommended http://1and1.com (http://1and1.com/), http://suso.org (http://suso.org/), and Net Wizards (http://netwiz.net/), and another geek friend has said that he trusts this site for reviews: http://www.web-hosting-top.com/.

Moondancer
01-21-2006, 07:59 AM
I agree with everything Richard said except one thing... being a webhoster, I don't agree that Web Hosting Talk being a place to start. It really caters to only a few hosting companies and basically slams everyone else.

You could always ask who hosts this forum... if you like the service, that is.


:e2brows:

Richard
01-21-2006, 08:09 AM
Completely true. However, of the forums and sites that I've had recommended for finding information, it's one of the very, very few big ones that fits Marilyn's level that doesn't tend to get spoken of with curses and the sound of pentagrams being drawn in blood. Not to mention that while it's a fairly small subset of all the hosts available, at least it's probably got something on most of the bigger hosts that a newcomer is likely to encounter on their travels, along with an audience that's likely to suggest at least some others that might be of interest - as opposed to taking a crapshoot and ending up somewhere like FindMyHost.

There are undoubtedly better links to suggest, but it's early in the morning and not something I've really been following the last few months - at least not when it comes to US sites rather than UK ones ;-)

JacobsonHosting
01-21-2006, 08:20 AM
What are the negetive feedbacks of FindMyHost? Someone recommend them to me a few days ago.

Richard
01-21-2006, 08:40 AM
Generally, the million-jillion adverts, the focus on a report-card approach and reader reviews (which tend not to be much use), the kajillion awards that get handed out (month on month, there's a lot more variance than you'd expect) and things like that.

Moondancer
01-21-2006, 03:35 PM
Completely true. However, of the forums and sites that I've had recommended for finding information, it's one of the very, very few big ones that fits Marilyn's level that doesn't tend to get spoken of with curses and the sound of pentagrams being drawn in blood. Not to mention that while it's a fairly small subset of all the hosts available, at least it's probably got something on most of the bigger hosts that a newcomer is likely to encounter on their travels, along with an audience that's likely to suggest at least some others that might be of interest - as opposed to taking a crapshoot and ending up somewhere like FindMyHost.

There are undoubtedly better links to suggest, but it's early in the morning and not something I've really been following the last few months - at least not when it comes to US sites rather than UK ones ;-)


Can't really argue with that.

Marilyn Braun
01-21-2006, 07:27 PM
Wow! Lots of info here, thanks for the tips.

Yes, I have my own blog and I really enjoy it, however I'd like to take it and the articles that I write to a different level. I'm not completely sure about layout, etc. so I guess in that respect I was originally asking the wrong question.

Richard you had mentioned expressionengine, I guess from a design and layout perspective, but you had also mentioned some other sites and I don't recall the names of them. I don't know whether mambo was one of them or wordpress, but just to get an idea of what's out there in terms of design. One site that I did find that is sort of what I'm looking for, is: http://www.gardenandhearth.com/

This is the site of someone from the AW board. I don't have nearly the same portfolio of work but between this site and yours (Richard) is what I'm looking for, where I can divide the articles by theme, while still having the current articles listed. I don't know if I'm explaining this properly.

I am going to be getting my own domain name so I really appreciate the tips on hosting, where to go, and what to watch out for. I'm getting the impression that there are more fees than I thought:

Domain name
Hosting
Content Management

Anything else I might be unaware of?

I was going to start with buying the domain names (last time I checked they were available), get an idea of what I'd like the site to look like (which was supposed to be the original question!), then look for hosting. I didn't realize there was so much to think about and watch out for.

Richard
01-21-2006, 08:19 PM
Richard you had mentioned expressionengine, I guess from a design and layout perspective, but you had also mentioned some other sites and I don't recall the names of them. I don't know whether mambo was one of them or wordpress, but just to get an idea of what's out there in terms of design.

Okay. Design and layout-wise, you have a relatively free-hand no matter what you do - every major blogging tool and CMS comes with pre-made templates, and has a community that churns more of them out, or of course you can design/commission your own.

The trick is knowing what kind of thing you can do.

Blogs and blog type CMS packages (WordPress, EE, Blogger, Textpattern, etc) usually use a 'tag' system, which means that anything can go anywhere. For instance, to add a calendar, you could just pick a spot on the page and put in <calendar> or whatever. This gives you the most freedom, but you have to worry a lot more about design - having space for everything, being able to expand, and so on.

CMSs that don't do this work from a fixed column based layout (Drupal, PHP Nuke etc), where you have pre-created blocks that you slot into either the left or right, leaving the central column open for your content. These tend to have more varied things to plug in and expand your site's capabilities with, but usually at the cost of flexibility and aesthetics.

However, one thing that they tend to be a lot better at is building community based sites, while blogging tools focus more on one-to-many postings. You'll usually get things like discussion forums thrown in for free, and integrated membership systems, and other useful bits and pieces - with a blog, you have to work a lot harder to get it looking right.

In both cases, you'll find a link to sites using the tool somewhere on the homepage, which will give you an idea of what people have done with it.

For your case, I'd recommend WordPress (www.wordpress.org). It's a blogging tool (ideal for news posts on the front page), but with the ability to create 'Pages' - static articles that you can add as easily as a blog post, but structure like this:



-- Royalty
-- Everybody Hates The French
-- Charles and Camilla: Talking To Plants
-- The Many Idiotic Statements of Prince Phillip


This will then give you URLs like this...

http://www.marilynsroyalty.com/royalty/princephillipisaputz/

...giving you a professional, easily controlled structure to work with, without making you become a web-guru just to post a few messages. If you want to try WordPress, sign up for an account at WordPress.com - it's exactly the same software you'd install on your server, and you can get a good feel for how it works for you.

For others, try www.opensourcecms.com. You can play around with just about anything to your heart's content - the server resets every couple of hours, so it doesn't even matter if you break something.

Fahim
01-22-2006, 04:51 AM
Thanks for the link to OpenSourceCMS Richard, a lot of new toys to play with :) My usual recommenations for CMS are Mambo/Joomla but they do tend to be a bit difficult to figure out sometimes. Once you do figure them out though (and get a few components thrown in for good measure) Mambo tends to let you do quite a bit ...

Marilyn Braun
01-22-2006, 08:58 AM
Yahoo! is one of those companies that held my domain and domain name hostage after I tried switching to another host and registrar. This was about, oh, five or six years ago, so it's possible they're better now, but back then, their customer support was non-existent at best.

Richard has good advice. I buy and renew my domain names through Cheap-DomainRegistration.com (http://www.cheap-domainregistration.com/), and my husband, Fahim, buys and renews his through GoDaddy.com (http://www.godaddy.com/). We both have no complaints, so either of those would be fine. We do all our hosting under a reseller account Fahim has, so unfortunately, I have no personal recommendations for you there.

Geek friends of mine have recommended http://1and1.com (http://1and1.com/), http://suso.org (http://suso.org/), and Net Wizards (http://netwiz.net/), and another geek friend has said that he trusts this site for reviews: http://www.web-hosting-top.com/.




When I look at Wordpress, it suggests Yahoo as a host. With what you're mentioning about domain names, should I be concerned about them?

With registering a domain name, I need to find a place that will allow me to do both .com and .ca - the .ca may not be necessary but I'm thinking of erring on the safe side so that someone else doesn't take off with it for their own site. It's not www.marilynsroyalty.com (http://www.marilynsroyalty.com) - great idea Richard but it's too close to another royal site named mandysroyalty. BTW, love the 'philipisaputz' :)

Thanks for the sites where I can get better reviews. I know my husband looked up "webhosting reviews" and came up with some reviews going back to 2003 - not particularly useful.

:e2drown: I'm starting to get very confused with all of the tech talk. I have no idea what to do with opensourcecms - if I understood what the various terms mean it would probably be very interesting to play around with.

So far wordpress seems to be the most straightforward. I'm just concerned about being able to make the page look unique, if I go with them, am I stuck with templates they might have? Mambo looks intriguing too, but I don't think I need that right now.

When I go with a host, does CMS automatically come with that? or is that something I have to pay extra for? Is it separate? If I were to go with wordpress is that included?

JacobsonHosting
01-22-2006, 09:42 AM
Wordpress:
Wordpress should work on most hosts if they don't offer it. I don't believe alot of host offer Wordpress, not sure why. First time I have heard of it, and I like it. I am going to see If I can add it to my list of tools I offer to my clients.

Templates:
You should never be stuck with a Hosting providers templetes. Templetes and Web Builders are offered has a tool if you would like to use them. Most people build there own pages and don't use them at all. If you pay for a host you should be able to build your website your way.

Mambo:
Mambo can be used for simple websites to complex websites. It does have a learning curve to it, and will take a little time to learn.

CMS and other Tools:
Most hosts will also offer free CMS and other tools for you to use. Some hosts give this free and some don't. I believe the C-Panel Control Panel also has a good selection they give you also.

Please Take a look at the control panel my clients use and the tools that come with it as a example. I will give you the information to get inside the demo control panel.

____________________________________________

Path To control Panel:
Username: guest Password: guestdemo

Once inside follow this path>> On the left nav go to >>Domain Settings >> Go to Easy App at the very bottom under Domain Settings.

http://cp.jacobsonhosting.com/psoft/servlet/psoft.hsphere.CP

__________________________________________________


Hope I have helped again. Please let me know If I can answer any additional questions for you.

Richard
01-22-2006, 10:02 AM
When I look at Wordpress, it suggests Yahoo as a host. With what you're mentioning about domain names, should I be concerned about them?

It does that because Yahoo! offers blogging based on WordPress. Ignore it. As JacobsonHosting says, WordPress works damn near everywhere with PHP and a MySQL database. It's a next to brainless installation process.


It's not www.marilynsroyalty.com - great idea Richard but it's too close to another royal site named mandysroyalty

Well, it wasn't really a suggestion - I just had to put something down as the example ;-)


:e2drown: I'm starting to get very confused with all of the tech talk. I have no idea what to do with opensourcecms - if I understood what the various terms mean it would probably be very interesting to play around with.

It's just a way to play with various different tools.


So far wordpress seems to be the most straightforward. I'm just concerned about being able to make the page look unique, if I go with them, am I stuck with templates they might have?

Wordpress.com makes you use pre-built ones, Wordpress the tool is completely open. Stories of Strength uses it - my site used to run on exactly the same template before I switched to ExpressionEngine.


When I go with a host, does CMS automatically come with that? or is that something I have to pay extra for? Is it separate? If I were to go with wordpress is that included?

Most of the ones you'd want to look at are free downloads anyway. A few of them offer paid-installation services if you really, really can't face the idea of doing it yourself, but it's best to know how. As with so much of the technobabble involved on the web, you really don't need to know how it works as long as you know where to find the occasional bit of information that it needs to do so.

Wordpress certainly is - so's Mambo, although to be honest I can't stand it myself.

JacobsonHosting
01-22-2006, 10:18 AM
Yes, alot of the free sites that offer scripts, will offer to install it for you for a fee, if you are having trouble. As Richard says most are really easy to install tho.

Most hosting companies will also help you for free with there support if you ask, to get you started and teach you, installation of scripts and using databases.

Medievalist
01-22-2006, 10:22 AM
Marilyn

If you don't know how to use an FTP client, and at least a basic understanding of HTML, and possibly CSS, you might not want to go with WordPress or MovableType.

It sounds like you'll have a mixture of static HTML pages, that, is pages you create using an HTML editor, and pages that are stored in a database, like a Blog.

You might want to do one of two things:

1. Look for a host/ISP/Server that caters to people using various CMS (Content Management Systems) and Blogging tools. Holler if you want me to list some.

2. Take a look at TypePad. You can use their tools, which are web based, quite customizable, and surprisingly powerful, and also use normal static HTML pages. You can tell them to "point" to your domain. TypePad is from sixapart, the creators of MovableType, and now, they also own Live Journal. They have a free trial. http://www.typepad.com/

As to a domain name, try something without your name, but that's very memorable. The obvious ones are royalty.net, royals.com, royals.net, etc. See if those are free.

L M Ashton
01-22-2006, 11:00 AM
Wordpress.com makes you use pre-built ones, Wordpress the tool is completely open. Stories of Strength uses it - my site used to run on exactly the same template before I switched to ExpressionEngine.

WordPress makes you use a template, but it doesn't matter if it's made by someone else, one made by someone else and then modified by you or someone you know, or made by you. And yes, WordPress is, as far as installations go, painless. Surprisingly so.

WordPress templates are completely customizable.

Granted, if you're going to do it yourself, you'll need to learn html coding and css stuff, but there are some pretty good tutorials out there that can help. Depending on how quickly you pick up on these things, it could be anywhere from painless to painful. If there's a geek in your life, you could always enlist his/her help in the beginning to customize the basics, and then you play with tweaking things after that.

Richard
01-22-2006, 05:13 PM
WordPress makes you use a template, but it doesn't matter if it's made by someone else, one made by someone else and then modified by you or someone you know, or made by you.

You misread my post. Wordpress lets you use whatever you want, Wordpress.com - the hosted blogging service - restricts you to a small set of ones that they've approved, and you don't have access to the theme editor.

L M Ashton
01-22-2006, 05:47 PM
Ah, pardon me. I did mis-read your post. Thank you for clarifying. :)

Dawno
01-27-2006, 06:27 AM
Great stuff in this thread! Thank you everyone for your detailed contributions. I want to especially welcome JacobsonHosting to the Blogging forum, it's great to have contributors with your background and willingness to share.

If you have a blog please go up to the AW Bloggers thread and introduce yourself and your blog's URL!

JacobsonHosting
01-27-2006, 07:20 AM
Thanks for the welcome. My company likes to help people and especially our clients, thats how you succeed in business. For some people the internet can be very confusing and we understand that.

We don't have a Forum as of yet, it is in the works and is being setup as we speak. It will be a great tool for our clients and non-clients as it will have other information besides information on Hosting, for example WebDesign, Programming, Graphics etc..

SeanDSchaffer
01-27-2006, 05:22 PM
JacobsonHosting,

Welcome to AW, and I wish you all the best with your work. I hope you enjoy the forums here, too. Lots of good people and good information.

It's nice to have you here.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/Emotewelcome.gif

Leva
01-31-2006, 07:56 AM
WIth regards to Jacobsen hosting, I can also recommend one of their competitors -- if you're looking for a decent host, servercave.com and/or ketnar.org (the two sites are run by the same people) will work. I've been hosting my site with them, through various incarnations, since 1997. They are NOT the cheapest, but they're absolutely one of the best. Very tight security and very fast machines. You'd have to talk to them about specifics as far as cost.

The owner is spot-on honest and has gone above and beyond the call of duty a few times.

Leva

JacobsonHosting
01-31-2006, 08:36 AM
Thanks Leva..

I try to help when I can, I am also trying to learn about possibly writing a book. I didn't join this forum to market, but I am here to answer any questions I can, and direct people in the right path.

There are alot of Hosting companies out there, and as I stressed in my earlier post just be careful. There are alot of companies that will be here today and gone tommorrow. I can't stress enough to find out how long companies have been in business and any reviews you can find before making your choice. Also remember if the prices are very cheap with a large amount of space given, please check them out. Most providers that do this are great, but some oversell causing a overload on servers, and this will cause issues or possibly server downtimes. This is one reason we watch our servers closely to prevent over maximizing them. We have over 60 servers at the present time.

Sounds like Leva has some great companies, if it's in your budget. I also have others if the ones he as given you is not efficent to your needs.

Have a wonderful day! :)

dlcharles
02-08-2006, 08:05 PM
Richard: Most informative. Appreciated immensely. You make me glad I am with GoDaddy for my site and my blog. They do lack blog information help for the beginner to do a great job, but the company support is fantastic. Thanks. Now if I can just print out your post I will hand it to several friends.

Hyperbole
02-28-2006, 02:13 AM
Anyone here heard of Moonfruit.com? Or had experience with them?

I am looking for a really simple way to get a site up and running for low cost. I don't even know if I have much to put on the site, and probably won't blog much. I would like to post my clips and available reprints and give potential editors an intro to my writing.

So anyway, this looks like it might be the whole package and simple, from what I understand. I dont want to learn html. I already have a domain name through godaddy, so am ready with that.

Thoughts?

Fahim
02-28-2006, 05:22 AM
Anyone here heard of Moonfruit.com? Or had experience with them?

Thoughts?


To be honest, paying $4.50 a month (or $24 a month) for a site builder service appears a bit much to me. But then again, I prefer to do the sites myself and to get my hands dirty :p On the long run, I think you'd be better off learning HTML or at least learning how to use a WYSIWYG editor where you dont' have to actually do any HTML coding (or very little). If you do want some links to free WYSIWYG editors, I'd be happy to post some here. But in the end, you gotta do what you feel most comfortable with :)

Hyperbole
02-28-2006, 06:46 AM
Thank you for your response Fahim - could you give me a frame of reference on the cost per month? How much would I be expected to pay altogether if I figured out how to put together and host a website with the WYSIWYG editors?

And yes, could you post a few free ones?

I apologize for any confused language here. I am a total nitwit about web design.

Fahim
02-28-2006, 07:22 AM
Thank you for your response Fahim - could you give me a frame of reference on the cost per month? How much would I be expected to pay altogether if I figured out how to put together and host a website with the WYSIWYG editors?

And yes, could you post a few free ones?


Leaving aside the cost of the site builder software, you can be expected to pay anything from $5 to about $15 per month on hosting. I pay $13.50 a month for my host but I do have a reseller account with a lot of space and bandwidth. So you should be able to find a good host for less than what I pay.

As for free WYSIWYG editors, the best one I know of is FirstPage (http://www.evrsoft.com/) but you might want to take a look here (http://www.thefreecountry.com/webmaster/htmleditors.shtml) and here (http://www.nonags.com/nonags/htmledit.html) as well.

Hyperbole
02-28-2006, 05:52 PM
Okay - Great info Fahim. Could you explain one more thing for me though?

The moonfruit sitemaker says that for 4.49 per month I could get the sitemaker product features, no ads, hosting and free subdomain, message board, blog, etc.

So when I read that I think it includes the website design AND hosting, so I can be a moron and still have a website. And it would be the same cost as the ones you suggested, needing to learn html.

What am I missing? I really don't know exactly what all these features are. Is there something significant (like a duh! item) that I would not have with this package?

Thank you for your patience. I'm really not a lazy person, but I would like to focus on learning to write well, rather than html right now.

Thanks,
Hyperbole

Fahim
02-28-2006, 06:20 PM
The moonfruit sitemaker says that for 4.49 per month I could get the sitemaker product features, no ads, hosting and free subdomain, message board, blog, etc.


Sorry, missed that on looking at their features the first time - my apologies :) But you're right. The #$4.50 a month is for hosting and the site builder. So, for most purposes, that should be good enough since you get 20MB of space and 6GB of bandwidth for that price. What I would suggest that you look into (just to be safe) is whether you get FTP access with that (so that you can transfer files into your site and out of it) and whether they provide PHP and mySQL support. Those items might not be relevant to you now but as your site grows (and you become more adventurous :p) you might find that you need these things to do a bit more with your site ...



Thank you for your patience. I'm really not a lazy person, but I would like to focus on learning to write well, rather than html right now.


Your are welcome :) And I do realize that you can get lost in all the site design and layout stuff and get sidetracked from the real work of writing - happens to me all the time :p If you have any further questions or need some help, feel free to ask!

Hyperbole
02-28-2006, 07:48 PM
You're a gem! Thank you!

Fahim
02-28-2006, 08:10 PM
You're welcome :) Oh yeah, I forgot to add this earlier. If an e-mail address (or addresses) with your domain name is important to you, then you might want to make sure that moonfruit.com offers e-mail as well. Some of the hosting companies don't offer e-mail since that has it's own drawbacks. So you might want to look into that too :)

Fahim
03-01-2006, 06:32 AM
Just a quick addition to all of the above :) I just learnt of the Microsoft Office Live (http://officelive.microsoft.com/OfficeLiveBasic.aspx) beta which gives you now (and after the beta) free hosting for a domain, 5 e-mail addresses, a site builder and some other stuff. The sign-up only works if you are using IE (if you use FireFox, it says that you need the latest IE :p) but you might want to try signing up for that since it is supposed to be free for ever and even if it is not what you want, it'll give you a chance to check it out to see if it is even close to what you want ... for free :)

JulieB
03-01-2006, 06:34 PM
Moonfruit's tools are easy to use, but the web pages are in Flash which makes it difficult for search spiders to index. About all you can do is fiddle with the meta tags, submit to search engines, and hope. A friend of mine who uses Moonfruit finally had to pay their partner company to get decent ranking.

I mention this because if it's important to you that people find you via Google, then Moonfruit may not be for you.

Marilyn Braun
03-02-2006, 12:10 AM
Just a quick addition to all of the above :) I just learnt of the Microsoft Office Live (http://officelive.microsoft.com/OfficeLiveBasic.aspx) beta which gives you now (and after the beta) free hosting for a domain, 5 e-mail addresses, a site builder and some other stuff. The sign-up only works if you are using IE (if you use FireFox, it says that you need the latest IE :p) but you might want to try signing up for that since it is supposed to be free for ever and even if it is not what you want, it'll give you a chance to check it out to see if it is even close to what you want ... for free :)

I just checked out the FAQ on the Microsoft Office site and it says this about the free service:

We also require a credit card to facilitate payment of services during the beta (e.g., the purchase of additional domain names) as well as at the conclusion of the beta period, when customers will be asked if they would like to continue using our services on a paid, monthly subscription basis.

So, what happens after the beta period? If you want to keep your email addresses and domain name, are you stuck with them?

Fahim
03-02-2006, 05:12 AM
I just checked out the FAQ on the Microsoft Office site and it says this about the free service:

We also require a credit card to facilitate payment of services during the beta (e.g., the purchase of additional domain names) as well as at the conclusion of the beta period, when customers will be asked if they would like to continue using our services on a paid, monthly subscription basis.

So, what happens after the beta period? If you want to keep your email addresses and domain name, are you stuck with them?

I have not used MS Office Live and so this is speculation - the free service is *supposed to be* free even after the beta. If you do have to pay for the domain name purchase, then the domain name will be yours and you *should be* able to shift it to a different host after the beta if you want. However, I don't work for MS and my suppositions are based on common sense. Since common sense isn't always apparent when MS (or any other company) is involved, you might want to actually check out with their customer support before you sign up for it :)