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  1. #1

    Help determining type of Webhost Needed

    I am creating an informational website that I believe in the internet world will be quite large.

    I will have hundreds of pages with articles/info on various baking topics. Including how-to instructions.

    I will also have (in time) thousands of photos. Could be hundreds of thousands at some point. I would like for my visitors to be able to upload photos of their decorated cakes, cookies, etc. And then have visitors rate them and/or comment on the photos. BUT, to get started, I'm fine with requesting photos be sent to my email (an email separate from my webhosting email) and I will post them to the website.

    I want a forum section for visitors to get baking help.

    I would also like to do pod casting and possible video demonstrations.

    Anyhow, I'm not sure how much space I need to be thinking about upfront. I'm worried about signing on with someone and finding out with all the photo transfers, etc. that I don't have nearly enough space.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    I suggest you start you getting a shared hosting plan before upgrading if your site grows in the future.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    A shared hosting plan will do fine
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  4. #4
    I don't see a reason not to run shared at first. You can get in cheap and expand as your needs change.

    Your next step would probably be a managed VPS (or unmanaged if you are up to the task).
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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Approx. Do you know how much space your site would require now?
    That may help you as a guide, at least, to know from where to start.
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  6. #6
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    Seems like you fit the usual mold and could go with pretty much any shared plan. The only issue that might come up is when you decide to do the podcast or video, in which case you could use a service for that.
    -Mark Adams
    www.bitserve.com - Secure Michigan web hosting for your business.
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  7. #7

    Thanks

    I guess maybe I'm worrying too early about the space, huh?

    I haven't used forums or had anything very large to worry about such things, but I started reading about how much bandwidth video and photo transfers took up that l started to panic.

    I've just been looking to build the site with a sitebuilder software instead of what I've used in the past, which was just ms publisher because I was afraid to build the site on my computer and have problems uploading. I guess I'm just not so sure how these forums and photo galleries work. I didn't want to pick a host and use their site builder software to find I need a different host and then have to rebuild my site.

    I guess I just need to try something small to get a better feel as to how all this works together.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Jogden,

    What you should look into if you are searching is a host which can grow with your needs, as you mention it is not fun to search for new hosts so better start searching for a host which is able to provide your needs from the start to the end.

    So i would not advise to search for only a small hosting package but also see if the host can help you grow, without to much trouble.

    I wish you all the best in finding the host for your website, i am sure it all will look delicious
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by jogden View Post
    I guess maybe I'm worrying too early about the space, huh?
    This is actually quite common, and it is probably the #1 reason that users purchase plans with outrageous (or "unlimited") promised bandwidth and disk quotas. Unfortunately, the hosts who over-promise usually under-deliver. Better to find an honorable host who will give you all the space and bandwidth they promise, and will offer to upgrade you (without suspension!) when you surpass their realistic quotas.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    The Midwest
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    *

    jogden -

    in regards to finding a host, what everyone else has said is good advice as far as i'm concerned. your needs are not huge currently, so while it may be attractive, it is not in your best interest at this time to go with one of the 'huge' hosts that offer ridiculous amounts of disk space and bandwidth. as has been said, start small and build up from there.

    as for actual hosts to check out, it's dependent on your budget but here are a couple that i use/have used in the past and had a positive experience with:

    precision effect
    knownhost
    wirenine

    you may also want to take a look in the shared hosting offers section here on WHT. find some hosts that look attractive to you, then search for reviews here as well as other review sites. a couple to take a look at would be hostjury (has had some surrounding controversy, but has served me well) and webhosting jury. as a general rule, steer clear of sites that have 'top 10' host lists on their front page. these are usually not 'true' representations of actual reviews received for those hosts, but actually spots the host has paid the review site for.

    you will also notice, browsing around here, that there are numerous (it usually will shift every couple of months) hosts who will respond to just about every ' i need hosting' thread. while their intentions may or may not be sincere, i've begun to steer away from these companies. there is an 'no advertising rule' on this board, however a lot of these hosts will respond to a thread for the sole purpose of 'flashing' their sig in an attempt to get you and other users to check out their services.

    whether this is 'all well and good' or not is up to you i suppose. but i have noticed over time, the hosts who do this will either magically disappear from being active or will scale down their activity significantly after going on a sig flashing spree for a month or two.

    it's generally a good sign when a host is active on these forums consistently. i have begun to resent hosts that practice the 'sig flashing' then disappear/reduce their activity significantly as i feel it is misleading regarding their 'helpful' intentions.

    as for your actual site -

    from what your intentions appear to be, you may want to look into a content management system like joomla or phpnuke. this would allow you to create a community that integrates the photo gallery (which users can upload to), videos, ability to post articles and allow your users to sign up and become part of your site into a nice tidy system that i think would work well for you.

    joomla, i believe has forum software built into it, but you may also want to look into something like phpBB for your message forums. it is fairly simple to integrate phpbb into joomla, phpnuke and most other content management systems.

    this sounds somewhat daunting, but luckily most hosts have some sort of 'app installer' that will allow you to install a content management system and forum software with a few clicks. no technical knowledge necessary.

    this seems like it would be a lot easier, slicker, and comprehensive solution for you.

    good luck with your search.. please stop back through and post once you've found the company you are going to go with.

    dave

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    There are a few key things to keep in mind when you're shopping for a host. First and foremost is their uptime record and guarantee. For your type of site I would also highly recommend a host who offers fantastico so that you can easily install and keep an up to date content management system such as Joomla, Durpal, Mambo.

    I would certainly take db09's advise and choose a smaller host to start off with because the level of service you'll receive from them will be much high than a larger host. Good luck in your search!
    Plutomic Hosting
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    I suggest you to build you site with total independence of the hosting provider. Your site must be planned to work in any provider with very few adjustments, if any.
    You will only find out how good a provider is when the going gets tough

  13. #13

    PHPBB software question

    I'm leaning towards that very thought.....not using the provider's site builder software for ease of portability.

    Can anyone help me understand how the PHPbb forums and galleries work? If I create my site using iweb or ms publisher or something like that, how do I get the forums and galleries to work with this sort of software? I was afraid to use such programs because the one website I have created is pretty simple, but it does have a photo gallery that would bog my PC down when I wanted to update it.

    If I understand software like PHPbb, it would not be housed on my PC, right? It would be housed with my host and the info from that "database" (I think that's what it would be called) would "link" to the webpages I create and upload from say iweb to my host. Is that correct?

    As you can tell, I have VERY LITTLE technical knowledge here!

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    everything from the forums/galleries is stored on your host's machine. no files would be necessary to keep on your home computer sans an occasional backup of your database.

    if you use a content management system like joomla (seems to be the most popular and visually attractive), drupal, phpnuke, etc.. you will not need to create any pages on your computer at all.


    for example here, let's say you choose and install joomla:

    to make updates, create articles, upload photos, etc you would just need to log in to your site and joomla will give you options to create new content, upload new content, etc. it then generates the pages for you keeping your chosen theme/layout/etc in tact. it's loads easier than creating all of the pages on your own, plus makes it quicker (and again, easier) to update your site more frequently than you otherwise would.

    take a look at joomla's website as well as phpbb's. they should give you a basic idea of how the programs work and how you would use them.

  15. #15
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    Jogden, I think you'd be surprised how hard it is to get people to even free informational sites, and see how little bandwith an image heavy site actually uses each month. I doubt it if you will use more than 10GB of traffic each month.

    Although I'd said that almost any hosting package will meet your needs, what others have said certainly holds true. You still want to find a reliable host with responsive tech support, especially since you'll probably be asking a lot of questions.

    Joomla has a huge number of extensions including user galleries and forums. It would probably meet your needs, but you'll need some assistance with configuring any CMS that you choose. It may be worth hiring a local expert.
    -Mark Adams
    www.bitserve.com - Secure Michigan web hosting for your business.
    Only host still offering a full money back uptime guarantee and prorated refunds.
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  16. #16

    What do you mean Configure?

    What do you mean by needing help to configure? I have tried to download a demo of Joomla, but it's not working right now so I have yet to see what it looks like.....

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jogden View Post
    What do you mean by needing help to configure? I have tried to download a demo of Joomla, but it's not working right now so I have yet to see what it looks like.....
    Just need a bit of luck & knowledge, you should have your first joomla up running.
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    The Midwest
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    jogden,

    you can see a working example of joomla and browse around the admin side of it here

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    It would be housed with my host and the info from that "database" (I think that's what it would be called) would "link" to the webpages I create and upload from say iweb to my host.
    What you've built with iweb and the forum, would be separate things. Most likely, you won't be needing what you've built with iweb anymore.

    Sometimes 1 million words can't replace direct experience. Get yourself a hosting account for "play" purposes. Install a forum/gallery/CMS. Read and reread its documentation for guidance on that, and on how to use it. It can take a while to grasp some concepts. Don't despair, this is a wonderful journey.

  20. #20
    Shared hosting would be fine for you, Upgrade as your site grows. Plently of hosts out there that are offering space that would take ALLOT to fill up.
    1HostGuy - SEO Web Site Hosting

  21. #21

    Transferring hosts

    So much wonderful advice guys! I am feeling SO much better today. Luckily I haven't built anything yet.....just played a bit with iweb and wasn't too optimistic there.

    Think I may start playing with Joomla for CMS, Coppermine for photos and PHPbb for forums.

    I'm assuming if I do this and don't like the host I first select or find the space to not work after awhile that I could transfer all my content to the new host without having to rebuild, right? Is there something I should be looking for to make sure that can happen in the future?

    Also, I found some sights out there that offer tutorials or ebooks for a fee, of course, to help with Joomla. Given I know NOTHING, is there something any of you might recommend? Can I even ask that question here?

    Thanks again!

  22. #22

    Good Point MxHUB

    Quote Originally Posted by MxHub View Post
    Just need a bit of luck & knowledge, you should have your first joomla up running.

    Since I stumbled across this WONDERFUL site yesterday, I am hoping the LUCK part of what you said continues on into the development part and so on!

  23. #23
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by jogden View Post
    So much wonderful advice guys! I am feeling SO much better today. Luckily I haven't built anything yet.....just played a bit with iweb and wasn't too optimistic there.

    Think I may start playing with Joomla for CMS, Coppermine for photos and PHPbb for forums.

    I'm assuming if I do this and don't like the host I first select or find the space to not work after awhile that I could transfer all my content to the new host without having to rebuild, right? Is there something I should be looking for to make sure that can happen in the future?

    Also, I found some sights out there that offer tutorials or ebooks for a fee, of course, to help with Joomla. Given I know NOTHING, is there something any of you might recommend? Can I even ask that question here?

    Thanks again!
    Jogden,

    Joomla is wonderful, but you might need some stutdying to understand it all, the good thing is they have a wonderful website (www.joomla.org) and forum http://forum.joomla.org/ with a great community which is willing to help.

    There are also a number of books available about Joomla, but you may first try the above two resources before spending your money on those.

    Moving your site from one host to the other is always possible, with some easier as with others. In general the rule of thumb is that if the hosts use the same control-panels the more easier it is to move. Most hosts are willing to help you move your site(s) as well.

    Hope this helps.
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  24. #24

    Most Common Control Panels?

    What are the more common/Popular control panels? I have been seeing some that talk about a Cpanel. That's the only one I know of right now.

  25. #25
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by jogden View Post
    What are the more common/Popular control panels? I have been seeing some that talk about a Cpanel. That's the only one I know of right now.
    cPanel is my personal favorite, but there are many others as well. All having their pro's and con's.

    Some other control-panels are:
    DirectAdmin
    Plesk
    SeverCP
    and many more...
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  26. #26
    If you do a search on google for "example joomla websites" you can see what is possible with joomla and then see if it is something you would like to use. joomlaplace.org might be worth checking out too.

  27. #27
    Join Date
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    Is there something I should be looking for to make sure that can happen in the future?
    One thing to do is to always have a (recent enough) backup of your data, including your databases (and emails if you find it necessary). One may put up with downtime, but losing your sites' content would definitely be a disaster. Never rely on the backup made by the host. It may turn out not to be available, exactly when you need it the most.

    If you have your data, there will always be a way, even if somewhat uphill, to put your sites back online.

    Transfers between the same control panels are usually easy and quite automated. This, for better or for worse, gives the more popular control panels an advantage, as you can more easily find a replacement host.

    Good luck!

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    411
    You require a good dedicated server with high bandwidth and ram. But inetialy go for a shared hosting. Any how for getting traficc at least will take 6 to 12 months. So after u can move to dedicated server. On that time it will be cheap

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