Thank God I found this Forum and I hope that some of you can point me in the right direction. I'm looking for a reliable and honest Hosting company for my following free community project:
I would need to host 4 sections into 1 site (HTML intro page that would take the visitor to his chosen destination (subdirectories)).
!- A fund raising site, using either HTML or Joomla for an Orphanage that would accept donations via Paypal.
2- An absolutely free Dating site (a lot of lonely people out there who can't afford the commercial ones) using either AzDGDatingLite or osDate (which would you recommend?) along with a forum (phpBB or SMF).
3- Another free Dating site but for handicapped people (after doing a lot of research, there is a demand for such a site in Canada) using the same as above and also with a forum.
4- A local Pet Adoption site based on a "classifieds" type of application (Noah's Classifieds or Joomla with a classifieds module or any other suggested by members of this board), forum also.
Being that these sites would be free, I would like to have advertisement (Google, Amazon or any suggested by you) to help pay for the hosting and other related expenses. I've been looking at various shared hosting plans and reading reviews and TOS's and remain quite confused about who I should host with.
I already own a Domain name which I bought from Go Daddy and trying to experiment with the above programs but being that my hosting is free, it's ad supported (banner) and their ad code interferes with AzDG, SMF and phpBB. They recommended I use paid hosting (I agree) to remove their ads but according to reviews, Go Daddy is great at selling Domains but bad at hosting.
Also, I have no idea on how much bandwith I'll need and I sure hope that the applications I'll use won't overload the server. I also need the ability to send out newsletters. The last thing I want is to get "kicked out" without prior notice...
Any feedback would be appreciated.
p.s. according to most TOS's I read, some of the hosts don't allow "chat" applications which would have been a plus for the dating sites, but if you look at their Fantastico apps, you'll see 2 or 3 chat programs you can install with a single a click of your mouse, what is this, a catch 22 situation? It's like someone giving you a brand new Hummer but you're not allowed to start it up and drive it...
Alike Jedito mentioned - they are referring to IRC. The "chat" applications in fantastico are fine.
What is your budget?
I'g like to start off in the $6. to $12. range and upgrade (of course, I know that most charge a fee for upgrading) as needed. As I mentioned, they're all community (non-profit) services and I wish to keep costs down to a minimum. Some of these sections might take off and maybe some won't...
What are your needs in space and bandwith? do you plan to host more than one domain right? do you need separated control panels and logins for each site?
As I mentioned in my original post, I'm kind of going blind into this.
I'll probably need enough space for the Dating Services' members photos and this, I have no idea on how much space I need. Same thing goes for bandwith, if pictures are shown, I'll probably need the necessary bandwith (mind you, I'll limit the photo's size and Kb's).
I'll only host 1 domain but with 4 subdirectories (or sub-domains) for each application along with a front page in the main directory pointing to the section the user wants to go to.
What ever service you go with ask them "how many accounts are on each server?"
It's a potentially valuable presales question mostly because of various secondary things that the answer might reveal about the host, but the number (should the answer actually give a number) doesn't really say anything. You'd have to know how busy the sites in those accounts are, what server hardware is used etc. After all, 1 single site may very well be too much for a whole server. Not to mention that even if they do give you a number, you'd have to trust them to be telling the truth.
I also need the ability to send out newsletters.
That can get tricky with many hosts, for when it comes to shared hosting, they limit the number of emails you can sent in a given period of time. Some hosts are willing to up the limits on a case by case basis, but not all of them.