Hosting and Domain Names etc.

HOSTING AND DOMAINS

What is Web Hosting?

There are three main types of hosting available:

  1. Shared Web hosting, where loads of websites are all housed on the same server
  2. Dedicated Web hosting, where you can actually hire a whole server and then do it all yourself server is leased and reserved for a single Web site
  3. Virtual Private Server hosting, a hybrid of the first two options. The Web site is hosted on its own virtual server.

You will almost certainly want to go for the first option.

So some hosting services cost more than others – why would this be?

There are many free hosting services – think of it as a large computer on the internet that has the software required for you to be able to show your website to the world – yet still have security in place to keep things on an even keel.

What you don’t get with the free services are things like a lot of  bandwidth and decent technical support so e.g if you want people to download stuff that is hosted on your website like e.g video or audio and you plan on having a lot of traffic then you need a web host to sell you the package that best suits your needs.

This costs money (not too much these days) so you need to analyse what your real requirements are before you buy a package.

Analysis of student portfolio sites

  1. You probably dont need a lot of bandwidth
  2. you probably do need technical support
  3. You probably won’t initially have a large amount of traffic
  4. You do want something that is more reliable than the free services
  5. You do want something that is more professional looking than the free services
  6. You probably do want a host that supplies a cPanel
  7. You may want to google which ones claim to be experts with Wordpress – Bluehost is one such service.

You can usually get your new host to move your existing wordpress to your new location if you decide to move at any time.

A few of you have asked me about specific hosts – now there are a couple of reasons why I haven’t recommended them to you but I’ll make this my disclaimer and then I’ll tell you which ones I use and why and how much they cost me. Then I’ll tell you why you should do a little research rather than just doing what I have done. Prices are approximate as they tend to change all of the time.

Case Study (Me) :)  I have trevsfiles.com on a company called [I’ll tell you the name in class but dont particularly want this being picked up in reviews of web hosting packages]  which is quite a reasonably priced host that allows me a great deal of space and email accounts etc. It generally works pretty well and I have used it for a few years now and I am sure that there are far better deals around but it would be a hassle for me to move to save a few quid so I tend to stick with them. One of the downsides is I seem to get times where I receive a lot of spam in my emails. Generally its Ok tho – it gives me a cPanel which is very useful and I think I got a free domain name when I first set it up. The tech support is ok although they dont always read our emails properly and I have experienced some down time (always at absolutely crucial moments). I actually host several other sites on trevsfiles.com but I have domain names pointed at other folders so it is not apparent from the outside how it works.

Theses sites domain names have been purchased through UK2.net and this is a very quick way to find out if your chosen domain name is available – I’ll explain more about this in the session.

About 3 years ago I actually put all of the student sites in my space for a web module after consultation with the company that suggested that this was going to work. There was no problem putting 20 or so websites up but we had major problems when we were trying to use them all at the same time – so they suggested a VPS which was very expensive and I couldn’t justify the costs involved. So a Virtual Private Server – see option 3 above would have sorted the bandwidth but is very expensive.

example 2 – I have my music site hosted on a hosting company called hostbaby in America – this is the sister company of CDBaby who are the biggest online music shop in the world. I chose them about 10 years ago as they have fantastic tech support (which I have hardly ever needed) and the bandwidth is excellent – this is something that I need as I from time to time stream video and audio from the site. It is also quite expensive but if its what you need then its worth it for the peace of mind.

UK2 as mentioned before is where I have purchased lots of domains over the years and they are pretty reasonable – I also used to host my website with them and I’ll tell you more about this in the session :) It is possible to just buy a domain and then manage it from their site which I find very convenient – more details in session.

So what do you need.

  1. A Domain name e.g trevorsewell.com  (although you can’t have that one as I’m already using it)
  2. Some Web hosting – there is certainly plenty about and it used to be really expensive as did domain names.
  3. I think a cPanel is a good idea although it is not necessary
  4. A company with a decent reputation
  5. A service that is fit for purpose at a price you will be happy with
  6. Good customer support – google is your friend look for ones with lots of good comments
  7. A one that mentions wordpress is probably a good idea – but once again is not essential as you can set wordpress up in any webspace.

How do you get to have a lot of websites on the same server? well I’ll tell you e.g all of the module sites on this website are just separate wordpress sites.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert on Web Hosting but I am happy to answer questions informed by my own experience – here’s that disclaimer again – any recommendations I make are based on the experience I have personally  received from these particular web companies and I do not endorse any of them (except maybe hostbaby who I have to say I have a lot of confidence in ).

Any Questions ?