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  1. #1

    Smile A few questions about web hosting

    Hi everyone,

    I have a few questions which i hope you guys can help me out with.

    I'm developing an e-commerce site and i plan to offer my services for free initially. I will be implementing charges later on if the response is good.

    I'm still very new regarding the technicalities of hosting, would appreciate it if you guys could recommened the essential stuff that i should look out for when choosing a host.

    Secondly, i'm thinking of learning JSP for scripting instead of Perl. Is this a good idea? I've read that most scripts are writen in perl so will it be a big disadvantage?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    235
    Regarding finding a good host...recommendations is a good place to start. (as you have done) Then possibly go further yourself and contact the host directly to judge responce time/ feedback. It would also depend on what your ecommerce site will require(PHP, mySQL...etc) webspace and bandwidth to choose a host. Simply weigh up the pros and cons (if any) and take the plunge

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    2,416
    Such a big topic area.

    - how complex a site
    - how many visitors do you expect daily
    - " " at peak times
    - cost tolerance for hosting services


    Starting with the last bullet point, if you have low tolerance for cost, then PHP and MySQL (possibly Postgres) will be more common and therefore offer more choice for a given price range, simply because everyone offers them.

    PHP typically is run as a process from within Apache which means that the PHP interpreter does not have to load for each page (each script request).

    Typically, most sites that offer Perl / CGI scripting have not enabled similar capabilities (through the use of mod_perl or other similar techniques). So if cost for hosting is an issue, the average site will give less performance via perl/cgi.

    However it is possible to develop in Perl (or Python and others) very high performance sites but this usually means that you have more control over the computing environment on the machine which in turn means your costs are much higher.

    Recently I put some comments on this subject in this thread:
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...python+and+cgi

    There are more hosts now offering JSP. Serverlet base designs certainly offer the opportunity for increased performance over CGI.

    Basically any architecture that ensures that the script interpreter is not being loaded for each and every request will perform many times better than straight CGI.

    I do not like Java myself; PHP is too limiting; Perl too obtuse, and since I did not already know Perl, my decision was easy - Python.

    Your mileage may vary. But for me, Python was ideal largely because it can be used for many other things in addition to web development.

    The other day I wrote an application in Python that controlled a Windows application via COM to add several thousand records from a CSV file to a line of business application.

    Normally I would have just done that at the database level but in this case it would have taken several days to fully develop and test hundreds of lines of complex SQL. Instead, I wrote a fairly simple 15 line Python script.

    Because Python runs on virtually every computing environment out there, from DOS to mainframes, and has extensive libraries for all sorts of things from cross-platform windowing environments to web development, its a very useful tool for a systems integrator.

    However, its a much smaller community than say PHP or JSP or even Perl, although I would not say its a "small" community.

    Probably from a marketability perspective you are best off with JSP or ASP, or possibly PHP, so if selling your skills to an employer is an issue, you should consider that as well.

    cheers
    mike

  4. #4
    Thanks for the tip Dnslinux. My site deals with classified ads so it involvesadvance searches. I do have a few customized services in mind but i'm still not to sure as to how to go about doing the scripts for them.

  5. #5
    Originally posted by mwatkins
    Such a big topic area.

    - how complex a site
    - how many visitors do you expect daily
    - " " at peak times
    - cost tolerance for hosting services

    cheers
    mike
    Thanks for the overview mike. My apologies for not being speific in my original post.

    How complex the site
    Since this is my first time building an ecommerce site, i'm trying to keep things as simple as possible. My site comprises mainly of a classified section for people to post their ads.

    How many visitors do you expect daily
    My site has yet to go live so its tough to give a rough estimate. Realistically speaking, anything between 50-100 hits per day for the first month or so until i get my marketing strategies right.

    Cost tolerance for hosting services
    Anything beween USD$15-$25 would be reasonable.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Make sure the host you choose is available in case the situation arise in which you need support.

    Dont be fooled by "UNLIMITED" bandwidth or space.

    Also remember you pay for what you get. If you go with one of these low - budget places popping up here and there, you may be looking for a new home in six months.


    I would also browse the forums, there are plenty of recommendations out there for good hosts, and horror stories of hosts to stay away from.


    Good luck!

    Zach

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    2,416
    Ok, with your cost tolerance in mind, you'll be able to identify what host support what. JSP support is not that common. You will almost certainly not get any sort of long running web process support, which cuts out the more advanced things you might do with python and perhaps even Perl.

    Another question - how much development experience do you have? I personally have a hard time recommending Perl to beginners but that's my bias showing.

    The absolute easiest route forward is probably going to be PHP and MySQL, since virtually everyone offers that, and you'll be able to find a good quality host for less than what your cost tolerance suggests. Its fairly easy to learn; there is good documentation available; and a big community. In short, you will probably get to end of job faster by going down that route.

    If you were embarking on a very large development effort measured in many person months or years, then you need to take much more care in selecting the architecture and platforms. If this is just a few weeks of your own personal effort - go with PHP and MySQL unless you like to tilt at windmills and make your life difficult!

    Re hosting and performance - Its only when you are getting man tens of thousands of page views daily *and* you have a complex application, that you will have to jack up your service. Presumably when you get there, revenue will offset increased costing costs.

    Good luck!
    “Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under
    considerable economic stress at this period in history.”

  8. #8
    Originally posted by mwatkins


    Another question - how much development experience do you have? I personally have a hard time recommending Perl to beginners but that's my bias showing.

    Well, i have to admit that i'm pretty bad in programming. I did dabble in SQL during university days but other than that, i don't have much programming experience.

    Pardon my ignorance, but what's PHP?

    Blues

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    2,416
    PHP - http://www.php.net/

    It has become the default web development language for many, largely because most hosters - inexpensive or not - provide it as a module plugged directly into Apache. This simply means that for every page request an interpreter does not have to load up - its already there and waiting to interpret the request.

    Its fairly similar to ASP in concept. Its also relatively fast, easy to learn and fairly capable - and a big community of users.

    If you go down this route I would recommend you download a reasonable PHP application and study its structure. The first PHP project I ever did was based on a content management system called Geeklog, http://geeklog.sourceforge.net/ - if you look at the code it will give you ideas on how to structure your project.

    Since you are really just starting out there's no doubt you will one day redevelop it all - I think you might be best running with PHP - get something up and running and learn, and after that commit to reviewing the experience and decide if you want to carry on with PHP or not.

    If you are really obtuse like I am, stubborn, and want to learn something that few hosts support well, then go with something else

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    61
    JSP is a very good language, but I find that most hosts support Perl or PHP (unix) or ASP (windows)

    If you want to go Unix, take a look at Perl or PHP as both are very popular right now.

    JSP is starting to get wider support, but not yet very plentiful.

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