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Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice

pattyClink 20 May 03 - 08:18 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 May 03 - 08:30 PM
Mary in Kentucky 20 May 03 - 09:46 PM
pattyClink 21 May 03 - 04:28 PM
hesperis 22 May 03 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Jon 22 May 03 - 08:33 AM
hesperis 22 May 03 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Jon 22 May 03 - 10:26 AM
pattyClink 22 May 03 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Jon 22 May 03 - 08:19 PM
hesperis 22 May 03 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 May 03 - 08:46 AM
hesperis 23 May 03 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 May 03 - 07:11 PM
hesperis 24 May 03 - 08:36 AM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 11 - 01:46 AM
GUEST,Jon 06 Feb 11 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Feb 11 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Jon 06 Feb 11 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Feb 11 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Feb 11 - 10:52 AM
Nick 06 Feb 11 - 12:08 PM
wysiwyg 06 Feb 11 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Jon 06 Feb 11 - 05:58 PM
Joe Offer 07 Feb 11 - 02:26 AM
treewind 07 Feb 11 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 04 Jun 11 - 09:58 PM
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Subject: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: pattyClink
Date: 20 May 03 - 08:18 PM

I'm with a little shoestring organization that needs a modest website. Would like something ad-free, in the $10 and under a month category. Looking at places like Tripod, Homestead. Anybody got a recommendation???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 May 03 - 08:30 PM

I know I've had a couple of problems with folkinfo lately but I'd still recommend the ISP I use 38h.com for that site and for the Annexe.

The Annexe runs on the the "Mono" package here which is well within your price range if I'm reading you right as being prepared to pay up to $10 a month.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 20 May 03 - 09:46 PM

Patty, I put my son's business webpage with the company Jon suggested above last January. I pay by credit card ~$8/month (5 pounds) and that includes domain name and everything. It would be even cheaper if I paid by the year. That's the best deal I've seen anywhere. We've both been very pleased with the company.

Many ISP's charge an outrageous price for a domain name and a monthly business site. Even Yahoo charges $300 just to list a business site.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: pattyClink
Date: 21 May 03 - 04:28 PM

Thanks, Jon & Mary.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: hesperis
Date: 22 May 03 - 07:44 AM

I just started a webhosting business in April. If you want linux hosting instead of windows, check out www.dragonstarnet.com.

I do have several plans at $10 or under a month, though the smaller plans need to be paid yearly. I'll waive the setup fee for any Mudcatter.

If you want to know the difference between linux hosting and windows hosting, or if you need web design as well as hosting, please let me know.

What kind of organization is it?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 May 03 - 08:33 AM

Looks pretty good packages, Hesperis.

I'd be interested in your views on Linux vs Windows. I regard Linux as being the more stable but Win2K isn't too bad if it's managed properly and you are dealing with a company that monitors its servers - the shared sever the Annexe is on can go about 30 days before a 5 minute reboot. The type of situation I would avoid Windows is one where I was running my own server - I wouldn't have the resources to monitor 24/7 and would prefer the extra stability.

Overall then, I don't see it makes much difference to users who are just using HTML and think the service/quality of the Web Host is the most important consideration.

In other cases, perhaps it is worth considering what your "development" computer runs on before making a choice. I started off writing ASP scripts as it was on the Win98 disk - I think you need something like "Chilliesoft", typical an extra to pay an ISP for, to support ASP on Linux. There are of course (perhaps better) alternatives such as PHP...

Another consideration I would have is that I run executables to convert abc to various formats. These programs can be found or compiled from source to run on any platform but I like to have the identical set up on my ISP that I have at home here when I develop - it seems to make more sense to me than trying to trace a bug that say only exists on a Linux host when I'm running Windows.

Ironically for me, I like Linux a lot. If it wasn't for my legacy of running and developing in Windows, it would probably be the primary OS on this computer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: hesperis
Date: 22 May 03 - 08:54 AM

Yeah, I like linux as an ideal but don't know that much about it, only getting it installed at home now. (Hence reselling to start off, someone else manages the server and security while I learn about all aspects of the biz including how to manage linux in a server environment.) I like the fact that I'm self-taught but I might need to get a couple of courses to make sure I've got a complete basic foundation. Security is not something you want to mess with when you don't know much about it... not when it's other people's websites, anyway.

I do like working with php and mysql though, so linux was the obvious choice when I started hosting, because I wanted to give something I'd be happy to get, and something I'd want to work with if customers wanted site development as well.

I don't know that much about asp, although I have heard that chilisoft is based on a previous version so some things won't work that would work on native windows asp. You can't just copy the entire site from a windows host over to linux and have it work, though the other way might work fine.

If you're just doing html, then go for a host where you can trust their customer service. If you want to have an interactive site at any time and don't already have a preference, then go with linux because php is a slightly better language and it's opensource and free. If you want asp you pretty much should go with windows unless you're a linux asp guru. ;)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 May 03 - 10:26 AM

Hesperis, I suppose one thing we both need to be careful on is that ASP itself is not a language. It supports 2 languages - VBScript and JScript (a MS type JavaScript) but most of the stuff I've seen and all of my ASP stuff is in VBScript. I suppose a number of people would find VBScript easier to do something with as it's less rigid/fussy but I do like php and also had the slight headstart of having dabbled with C/C++ and Java - even from my dabblings, php looked familiar with its very similar syntax.

Good luck with the hosting and web design. folkinfo is on a reseller package and reselling is something I had toyed with trying but decided against. It's quite handy having the facilities though. I'm hosting one other site at the moment. It happend as the result of trying to help someone get up and running when other problems were preventing access to thier own site - I'll get round to putting it where it belongs one day...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: pattyClink
Date: 22 May 03 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for the info, hesperis. The group is a chorus. I want my servers to be Linux/Unix because I think Windows stinks, but I am stuck with Windows platforms to make my own files. I've written a lot of HTML pages using StarOffice, but I've never mounted a website.

Anyway, this shopping is all kind of weird. When you go out looking, it seems like there are (1)'just click here and start your own 2 MB pre-canned website' places; and then there are (2)all the rest, which are full of unbelievably dense geekspeak. Which makes me roadkill straddling the centerline.

Thanks for the input everybody.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 May 03 - 08:19 PM

Patty, I tend to take the view that if there is "Gobeldygook" (?sp) on these sites, it probably means they offer a service that as I don't know what it is, is probably something I don't need but still could be handy one day...

One thing I would be suspicious of though are sites that offer "unlimited bandwidth" and/ or "unlimited disk space". My guess is that they have decided what an "average customer" should use and my feeling is that you are better off knowing what resources you have to play with.

Another thought: there have been reports over the years of the web hosting buisness dying but the impression I'm getting is that there is a place for the "lean and mean" (in terms of prices rather than what is provided) services and that more people may now be willing to pay let's say £50 per year for a "professional" (and without banner ads or other annyances but maybe with a domain name) service than before.

The other side I wonder about is whether some of the more expensive providers will suffer. As an example, I had a brother on to me asking about forums for his company. His ISP were quoting £600 to set up a forum, £150 annual fee to run it, £75 per hr for installation of other software, etc. crazy when something like phpbb is free, works well and in many cases, you could even install yourself.

Only time will tell...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: hesperis
Date: 22 May 03 - 11:48 PM

The business customes often don't trust free scripts though, and the more you make them pay the more they think you're good... it's kinda weird when you think about it.

I actually lost a customer because I was going to set her up with a stable opensource cms and only make her pay for a custom theme. She kept saying "oh what I want would probably costs thousands of dollars and take several months to build, and I just dont' have the money"... A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, eh?

I try to set prices low enough that they are affordable to people jsut starting out, have value for the money, and high enough that I won't go out of business offering those prices. There are a few good hosts out there.

The people who oversell bandwidth kinda cut into my sales though. People see the same amount of space but several GB of bandwidth elsewhere, and they just don't know that if they actually used all that bandwidth they'd be asked to go pay more. With my services, and the services of a few other webhosts, what you see really is what you get.

Unfortunately, there's an "ultracheap" bandwagon for webhosting... it's the last refuge of the .com wannabees. But I find I'm enjoying my work, and I can just do the best I can.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 May 03 - 08:46 AM

Aye, I suppose it will be a long while before some people can get out of the "you get what you pay for" mentality with software. I guess it goes against "normal" thinking but the fact is Linux, FreeBSD, php, mySQL, etc. all can and do stand up to serious usage (even though I, with my tiny site, still get nervous with std MySQL tables not enforcing referential integrity).

As for the rest, my ISP seems very straight with the resource usage although I must admit I've never even come close to pushing it - my usage is in the 10s of MB per month rather than GBs.

One thing I really like is the Helm Control Panel they now use. As soon as I log in, on the left I see a summary of things like bandwidth used, disk space, domains, as well as any account balance. It also provides facilities to purchase "extras" such as more bandwidth, disk space and SSL.

It's good you are enjoying it and maybe what you have started will grow to be something bigger. I obviously can not know the real "health" of any company but when I started with 38h.com, they themselves were resellers but on the level above yours (i.e. reselling to resellers as well as plain hosting). As of around this new year, they started operating thier own servers and even offering dedicated hosting - they are clearly expanding.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: hesperis
Date: 23 May 03 - 05:46 PM

Cool. I'll have to look into Helm. Have cpanel now and the bluelagoon skin for it is really easy to find information on. I wish there was a little documentation on what the "easy install" scripts are about, though.

Several came with it, and I discovered a nice little guestbook script in it, but some of the other scripts aren't that great (I prefer Invision or phpbb2 for a forum rather than xmb, etc). When you click on them it starts the install process and there's not really much information on what they do, exactly.

I just found out there's a module that adapts invision for use inside e-xoops! It isn't perfectly integrated, but is pretty good. (The newbb that comes with e-xoops is really not that good, and doesn't even have group permissions!)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 May 03 - 07:11 PM

You've lost me on a lot of that!

I do like phpbb2 though. It is the best general purpose forum I have tried/installed here to take a look at, offering a very flexible range of "admin" features as well as the ability to use say mySQL without being dependant on ODBC.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: hesperis
Date: 24 May 03 - 08:36 AM

e-xoops is a portal which comes with a default integrated forum plugin. phpbb2 and invision are much better forums, so I was happy to find an invision plugin for e-xoops, even though it doesn't completely integrate into the portal at a database and skin level.

The control panel I use offers easy installs of several popular scripts, where you just click inside your control panel to install them. But the scripts aren't explained before you install and some aren't the best that's out there.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 01:46 AM

I just moved to Network Solutions. I chose them because they're international, they've been around for a long time, and they're not likely to go out of business. It cost us $120 for the first year with the domain name, $500 for five years (with 300 GB of storage, and 3,000 GB transfer allowance per month). I had the choice of Linux or Windows, and I chose Windows because I didn't know what the difference was. They furnish all sorts of software for Web design and FTP and all, but I was very pleased that I can also use the WinSCP FTP client that has served me so well. Most often, I edit pages "live" with just a text editor, and WinSCP makes it very easy for me to do that.
The price goes down significantly if I pay ten years in advance. I may do that next year, but we had a donor pay the freight this year.

So, if they say the Website is Linux or Windows-based, what does that mean? In either one, don't I just upload my HTML files into a folder that can be accessed (but not altered) by both Windows and Linux users?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 06:10 AM

Linux is usually cheaper. There may be differences in the services they offer (eg. Windows might have .net but Linux won't) but these won't affect you if you are just using HTML.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 10:26 AM

Joe, to your last question the answer is yes, and so can Mac users. And whoever has the password can alter any contents, no matter what system they run. Only if they want to test the software meant to run on the server, it is sometimes necessary and often advisable to have a similar system for testing.

Basic services including a domain name, a couple of gigabytes, script languages such as PHP and Perl, and a basic database management system such as MySQL, should be much cheaper than 10$ per month. Additional features, high performance, and large traffic can be more expensive - pay for this only if you need it. Jon seems to be an expert, I am not.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 10:42 AM

No expert Grishka and I'm way out of touch on prices...

But some software will only run on some platforms, if your DB was MS SQL server rather than MySQL for example, I think you would need a Windows host.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 10:42 AM

PS: FTP is of course always included, excellent free FTP client software is available for all systems. Web design software and templates are free as well, or can be bought cheaply.

Summary: Find out what functionality you need, and then ask us (i.e. probably Jon) for advice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 10:52 AM

Jon, the DBMS is normally provided by the provider, hence the name. To test an MSSQL-Server application, any other SQL system may suffice in theory (mutatis mutandis), in practice however it is absolutely advisable to have a copy of the MS system.

Cheap providers have MySQL, which is free for client and server, Windows and Linux (and almost interchangable between the latter).

Joe, I am almost sure you can save a fortune by quitting Network Solutions as soon as possible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: Nick
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 12:08 PM

"with 300 GB of storage, and 3,000 GB transfer allowance per month"

That is an enormous amount of storage and huge amount of transfer

Are people downloading 100 GB from the site you are moving per day?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 05:43 PM

Hain't read yer whole thread but we have found a thing that works well for our parish website, which is that increasingly-more of the content is NOT stored with our website's host-- our site has, instead, many links to stuff hosted on someone ELSE's storage like YouTube and Wordpress.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 05:58 PM

I thought Wordpress was software?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 02:26 AM

I suppose I could have found something cheaper, but I chose Network Solutions because I needed to have absolute reliability. I added a PayPal donations page a couple of months ago, and it has become a significant source of income. We are one of the best-known women's charities in town, and it is important for us to have a stable and reliable presence on the Internet. Network Solutions was only ten bucks a month, significantly cheaper if I pay for several years in advance. I haven't felt confident about some of the cheaper Web hosting services I've found. Yeah, GoDaddy is cheaper and has all those hot commercials, but that's not the image our women's center wants to project.
No, I don't need the kind of bandwidth I got from Network Solutions, but it's nice to have it. If I want to, I can even post videos at the Website and not worry about Facebook. Network Solutions also offers a pretty good e-mail server, so I hope to wean our staff away from Comcast e-mail.
We get about 50 legitimate visitors a day, plus the usual bots and such.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: treewind
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 04:11 AM

"if they say the Website is Linux or Windows-based, what does that mean? In either one, don't I just upload my HTML files into a folder that can be accessed (but not altered) by both Windows and Linux users?"

Linux will sometimes be cheaper, reflecting that there are no licensing costs and (by some accounts) lower maintenance costs too.

If you are simply uploading HTML, you'll see no difference. If you are doing server side scripting in PHP and using a MySQL database, you can still do that with either system as those packages are multi-platform and you will again see little or no difference.

But there are some pieces of server-side software that only run on Windows. If you really want to use ASP or Microsoft SQL for example, you'll have to use Windows. Windows server also supports Microsoft Front Page extensions better, if you want to use that.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Non-profit needs webhosting advice
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 09:58 PM

It is FAR easier - to find $300 a year sponsor (and better for your web-presence) who will pay for a legit (no pop-up) webpage.



It is not worth YOUR time.

It is not worth the VISITOR'S time.



If - you are a USA legit "non-profit" there are thousands waiting out there, for a legit tax right-off.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle



"Go To My PC" seems to be malfunctioning.


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