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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    42

    Charity looking for a web site host

    I am looking for a website hose for a charity.
    It is for a new website - yet uncreated.
    We are in New Zealand.
    I have a good basic knowledge of computers, but am no experienced website builder. AS we have a small budget I have offered to put a website together.
    New Zealand website hosts seem to be quite expensive and do not offer many additional options, such as forums, web templates, mail addresses etc etc.
    Also I read somewhere that If viewing from overseas that people can experience slow download times if on a New Zealand server? Not sure if that is true or not.

    I got the Microsoft Expressions 2 software through Techsoup. But it does not look as easy as it sounded. Also have MS publisher which has website templates, but nothing that fancy, and I find you cant alter them enough.

    As It may have to be updated by unexperienced people ( i,e, volunteers) I need somewhere that has easy updating tools

    We have a blog on wordpress at the moment, that I would like to link in,
    also would like to add a forum. Or if need be link to a Yahoo group forum.

    We would like to have a donate option ( of course)
    And to have forms, so that we can get feedback, and perhaps some research from people.
    An events page , etc.

    I looked at Hostgator, but to be honest - Am going to sound really green here, what does it mean if it says they are only Linux?
    Would I not be able to use the Expressions software to update it ( if I work out how to use it properly)?
    I considered Yahoo but they may be a bit big and hard to get any help from.

    If I join from New Zealand, then I probably wont be able to use a support tel no, and will have to rely on email support. ( Do any have Skype??? or free overseas phone?)

    I liked the look of this one called netregistry.com.au. But it seemed quite pricey.

    I put my husbands website created using Iweb on Clervernet, but with them, you have to wait until they are onboard US time(so it seems).

    Any advice appreciated.


    So important points are
    ** Must be easy to update and use
    ** Can you use Expressions ?
    ** what support does an overseas person get?
    ** Site builder/ forum/ possible shopping cart later/ donation/forms
    ** Link to blog
    **Need to be able to nest pages.
    ** Low cost.
    ** an email server, as we do not have an office, each person must be able to go in and check messsages from a different location. Like HORDE

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi There,

    I'm from New Zealand too!

    Now, i'm not familiar with "Microsoft Expressions" but can it export to a plain HTML or anything> If so, you can use Linux.

    If not, you'll need to look for a Windows host. These can be a lot pricier than Linux hosts though.

    what support does an overseas person get? Most, if not all hosts will provide ticket support at least.

    Site builder/ forum/ possible shopping cart later/ donation/forms Most hosts will have a one-click installer in their hosting control panel.

    an email server, as we do not have an office, each person must be able to go in and check messsages from a different location. Like HORDE I think all host control panels can do this.

    Take a look around the forums and try to find a host you like.

    Best of luck!
    Shaun F
    "Winners never quit. Quitters never win."
    RyleeJames - High Performance Web Hosting
    Shared Hosting | Reseller Hosting | VPS | Dedicated | Get in touch!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    942
    I'd recommend you design the site in Joomla Content Management System. It's easy to install yourself, and most providers will provide you with a one click installer such as Fantastico or Installatron. As of right now I believe everything in Fantastico is up to date.

    Joomla is great, I actually use it for one of my sites just to mess around with lol.

    Any LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP....the majority of them lol) will do for that.

    And if you are a non profit organization you may be able to get discounted/free hosting from some providers, before ordering I'd recommend you contact them. It may take as little as an ad for them on your site.
    Joomla has many extensions, such as shopping carts, you can install a forums software such as SMF or PHPBB which, I believe there are extensions to bridge them together so logins are the same and integrate them. There are Joomla templates all over the internet, you can find some nice ones for free, and I've seen paid ones for as little as $10.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    202
    Hi Aromagician,


    New Zealand website hosts seem to be quite expensive and do not offer many additional options, such as forums, web templates, mail addresses etc etc.
    Also I read somewhere that If viewing from overseas that people can experience slow download times if on a New Zealand server? Not sure if that is true or not.
    It's a known trend that non-US providers tend to charge higher for their services than US providers. Why is this so? Well, I don't know.

    As for your second question: It really depends on their ISP and the lines they use to connect to NZ servers. If the ISP uses a bad line, then yes it is possible to experience slow download times. This is out of the host's control.

    I got the Microsoft Expressions 2 software through Techsoup. But it does not look as easy as it sounded. Also have MS publisher which has website templates, but nothing that fancy, and I find you cant alter them enough.

    As It may have to be updated by unexperienced people ( i,e, volunteers) I need somewhere that has easy updating tools
    I personally haven't used MS Expression 2. However, if i understand what you said, it is a software suite containing a web editor and graphics editing software.

    If you're having difficulties using website editors such as that in MS Expression, there are many free website templates (that look good) on the web. As long as you have basic HTML knowledge, you are able to edit them. For free templates, I would recommend Styleshout or FreeCSStemplates. But these 2 are only a small part of sites that provide free CSS templates for download. Search around till you find something you like.

    As for easy updating tools, most if not all hosts nowadays have a control panel with a file manager. In the file manager you are able to edit HTML code from your files.

    We have a blog on wordpress at the moment, that I would like to link in,
    also would like to add a forum. Or if need be link to a Yahoo group forum.
    What do you mean by "link in"?

    Setting up forums is quite simple. You just need a host with PHP/MySQL, and then you follow the instructions on a particular forum software. I would recommend the following free forum solutions: phpBB3 and SMF. The instructions to set up such forums is simple and your host should be able to help you if you need assistance.

    We would like to have a donate option ( of course)
    And to have forms, so that we can get feedback, and perhaps some research from people.
    An events page , etc.
    If you have a PayPal account you can add a PayPal Donate button to your site. I recommend that you get a PayPal account if you're going to do any online financial transactions.

    You can code the forms yourself, or you can get survey software on the web. There are some free survey sites for the purpose of feedback.

    I looked at Hostgator, but to be honest - Am going to sound really green here, what does it mean if it says they are only Linux?
    Only Linux means that they only offer web hosting on the Linux platform. Linux is an operating system, and is the choice for most hosts. Some hosts have Windows hosting but it is generally more expensive than Linux hosting.

    If I join from New Zealand, then I probably wont be able to use a support tel no, and will have to rely on email support. ( Do any have Skype??? or free overseas phone?)
    I do not know of any hosts with Skype. However, if you are willing to pay long distance fees you can use phone support. Some hosts have a live chat service - use that if available. It is very quick to get support by live chat.

    ** Must be easy to update and use
    ** Can you use Expressions ?
    ** what support does an overseas person get?
    ** Site builder/ forum/ possible shopping cart later/ donation/forms
    ** Link to blog
    **Need to be able to nest pages.
    ** Low cost.
    ** an email server, as we do not have an office, each person must be able to go in and check messsages from a different location. Like HORDE
    I'm not sure how Expressions works, but it should save HTML pages. In that case, all hosts support HTML so yes, you can use Expressions.

    The support you get really depends on the host. Most hosts offer a support ticket system which is an easy and quick way to contact them.

    As for forums, PHP/MySQL is needed, and it is standard to most hosts. You can also use CMS systems such as Joomla which allow you to build a site easily.

    Link to blog: Just HTML code is needed. All hosts support HTML coding.

    Nesting pages can be done via code.

    As for your email server, paid hosts nowadays come with email accounts as well as SMTP. You should have no problems with that. If needed you can set up POP on Outlook, Thunderbird etc.

    As for what hosts: well, its a big world out there. You'll have to do your research. Go to the hosting offers forum and see what fits you, or you can go to Find a Host. You can also search on web host directories like Webhostdir.

    I hope I helped you, and good luck with your search.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    42
    Thanks everyone. The software I got is called Microsoft Expression Web 2 "The professional Web Design Tool."

    I could probably nut it out If I spent enough time watching the video tutorials, but the trial site builders on many of the hosts seems so much easier to use.

    Except when you want more pages than they have, or need to change a few little things.

    If you want to change the server after a year or so, and have built the site with their site builder, can you still transfer it boots and all? I have bought the domain name seperately so it stays with us no matter what.

    Will have a better look at the replies tomorrow as is late here now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aromagician View Post
    If you want to change the server after a year or so, and have built the site with their site builder, can you still transfer it boots and all? I have bought the domain name seperately so it stays with us no matter what.
    I think so yes, as long as the new host has that site builder. Although it may still work without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aromagician View Post
    Will have a better look at the replies tomorrow as is late here now.
    Blah, it's not late. Only 11:20PM!
    Shaun F
    "Winners never quit. Quitters never win."
    RyleeJames - High Performance Web Hosting
    Shared Hosting | Reseller Hosting | VPS | Dedicated | Get in touch!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Whatever you wind up deciding, do yourself and future maintainers a favor and don't use MS Publisher to create the site. The HTML it puts out is about the worst thing possible for compatibility and maintaining a site.
    Having problems, or maybe questions about WHT? Head over to the help desk!

  8. #8
    Try Using a Open Source CMS like Drupal,Joomla or maybe wordpress
    These are easy to use and don't require any coding. Plus there community available where you can ask your question if you get stuck somewhere
    Last edited by Gary4gar; 06-26-2009 at 08:15 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    India, Kolkata
    Posts
    107
    try using WordPress

    its very userfriendly for anyone even for newbies

    has great opensource support if u need any

    best of luck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Paradise
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    There are many hosts who offer site builders, that will save you use MS Expressions which create a horrible code.
    For what you says your site wont use a lot of space/bandwidth, do yourself a favor, and don't fall tempted in those hosts lying offering unlimited or tons of space/bandwidth for the price of a Big Mac, you wont be able to use them anyway, they will cancel your account once you reach what they think that's a reasonable limit.
    Search for a host with years in the market and good reputation offering reasonable plan/prices.
    Shared Web Hosting - Reseller Hosting - Semi-Dedicated Servers - SolusVM/XEN VPS
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    Cpanel/WHM - Softaculous - R1soft Backup - Litespeed - Cloudlinux -Site Builder- SSH support - Account Migration
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  11. #11
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    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by singh-admin View Post
    try using WordPress

    its very userfriendly for anyone even for newbies

    has great opensource support if u need any

    best of luck
    I thought Wordpress was a blog site? Thats where we have our blog at the moment. I have directed our domain name to it at present.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    42
    Quote Originally Posted by bikster View Post
    Hi Aromagician,


    What do you mean by "link in"?


    Setting up forums is quite simple. You just need a host with PHP/MySQL, and then you follow the instructions on a particular forum software. I would recommend the following free forum solutions: phpBB3 and SMF. The instructions to set up such forums is simple and your host should be able to help you if you need assistance.



    If you have a PayPal account you can add a PayPal Donate button to your site. I recommend that you get a PayPal account if you're going to do any online financial transactions.

    You can code the forms yourself, or you can get survey software on the web. There are some free survey sites for the purpose of feedback.



    Only Linux means that they only offer web hosting on the Linux platform. Linux is an operating system, and is the choice for most hosts. Some hosts have Windows hosting but it is generally more expensive than Linux hosting.



    As for forums, PHP/MySQL is needed, and it is standard to most hosts. You can also use CMS systems such as Joomla which allow you to build a site easily.

    Link to blog: Just HTML code is needed. All hosts support HTML coding.

    Nesting pages can be done via code.

    I hope I helped you, and good luck with your search.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    bY linking in I mean having a heading that says Discussion group and when they click on it t, it takes you directly to that discussion site. I know you can insert URLS on the page that do the same thing. SO is not really a biggie.

    I will have a look at joomla and see what it looks like.
    Thanks

  13. #13
    Wordpress.com is a free blog site. Wordpress.org is a CMS. Confusing right?

    Regarding MS Expression Web 2, MS Web is an HTML editor, What You See Is What You See(WYSIWYG) web builder. It is much like Dreamweaver. Now, you can use it for Linux hosting. It will save files as HTML and then you can FTP or upload it to your web host. Now, has for hosting. How many people do you plan to have on the site? Will people download anything?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    42
    I am not sure what you mean by how many people do you plan to have on the site.
    We are starting support groups throughout New Zealand, and it would be great if each area could update their page themselves.
    I hope to be able to have newsletters and pamphlets etc that can be downloaded as PDF files from the site.

  15. #15
    How many people do you think will be viewing your site at once?

    If you want to have them update it then either you will need to use a Content Management System.

    You might want to have a cheap VPS to start out with. But check out TechSoup and search for web hosting.

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aromagician View Post
    I am not sure what you mean by how many people do you plan to have on the site.
    We are starting support groups throughout New Zealand, and it would be great if each area could update their page themselves.
    I hope to be able to have newsletters and pamphlets etc that can be downloaded as PDF files from the site.
    Get a host that offers a one-click installer and install Wordpress.
    Shaun F
    "Winners never quit. Quitters never win."
    RyleeJames - High Performance Web Hosting
    Shared Hosting | Reseller Hosting | VPS | Dedicated | Get in touch!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    42
    I dont think that is going to a problem
    It is only a small charity at this stage, and there is already an international website for the organisation.

    But then again, who knows. And how can you tell how many will look at it?

  18. #18
    You really have to guess.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simfan147 View Post
    You really have to guess.
    What difference does that make to web design/ hosting?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aromagician View Post
    What difference does that make to web design/ hosting?
    I assume to previous poster meant guess how much traffic will go to the site. You see, it affects your decision as you need to choose a hosting plan that meets your needs.

    But then again, who knows. And how can you tell how many will look at it?
    The hosting provider should provide a control panel which gives you info on your resource usage. from there you can tell how much bandwidth is consumed.

  21. #21
    You mentioned Netregistry in your original question. i would not recommend them. I have a website in Australia and I had a very bad experience with them. They have some very complicated fineprint in their contract which makes it very difficult to change web hosts. Their customer service is very poor. I had to make a complaint to the Department of Fair Trading in order to get a partial refund as they expected me to pay for a full year event though I had changed web hosts.

  22. #22
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    Apr 2009
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    Thanks. I looked at the Joomla, but the information PDF is way confusing. If the wordpress is similar to the blog site I am thinking that might be the way to go.

    Or Hostgator or Godaddy, just for price and ease of site creation.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    42
    Re Joomla,
    I thought I would have another look at this, as have already downloaded it.
    1) in the quick guide it says to download a server called XAMMP or something like that.
    AS we are a volunteer run charity, All the stuff is done on my own home laptop. To run a server, does that mean that my laptop has to be on the whole time? Or does it just make it easier to create the site (??)

    2) Re Woredpress
    All the information I read just talks about creating your blog using wordpress. My site is not a blog. DO people use it for community charities etc? Do not want it to look just like a blog?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill, Florida
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    500
    Believe it or not Expression Web2 is now almost as good as Dreamweaver. You can use it to create and upload files into either a Linux or windows server. If you are going to host on a Linux or red hat server you have to make sure they have FrontPage extentions installed and activated for your account.
    Many places have sitebuilders that have a large array of web templates that would make it easier for you.
    Godaddy has something called Website tonight which is really a complete hosting package in itself.
    Sitebuilder is one that many use but it does not have as many templates and is not as user friendly as RVsitebuilder.
    With RVsitebuilder you can create forms, websites, blogs and it is user friendly.
    Try to find a host that offers cPanel with Fantastico Installer and RVsitebuilder.
    As far as donations, your best bet would be to see if the charity can open a donation account with Paypal. They have tutorials on creating buttons and the script.
    Good Luck in you endeavors.
    "To see is to see a better way, to perceive any problem clearly is to begin to create its solution. All we need is the wisdom and patience to keep looking and the love to hold what we see up to the light of understanding." ---Laurence Boldt
    F.D.W. Hosting Co.

  25. #25
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    Thanks, for the advice.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aromagician View Post
    Re Joomla,
    I thought I would have another look at this, as have already downloaded it.
    1) in the quick guide it says to download a server called XAMMP or something like that.
    AS we are a volunteer run charity, All the stuff is done on my own home laptop. To run a server, does that mean that my laptop has to be on the whole time? Or does it just make it easier to create the site (??)

    2) Re Woredpress
    All the information I read just talks about creating your blog using wordpress. My site is not a blog. DO people use it for community charities etc? Do not want it to look just like a blog?
    Joomla is a good program but it is not for a novice and can be a challenge.
    There is no need for you to have to download and use xammp. If you were going to be creating websites then it would be handy because of the .php viewing ability on your system. It is a server and yes if you were going to host the charity website on your system you would need to keep your computer on the whole time. (There would also be some other things that you would have to get. )
    If you are going to eventually hand the web development over to someone else I would go the simplest way possible. We have a small retirement community that we have created a website for and handed over all inputs over to them. (In the winter the calendar gets updated but comes the spring and summer, everyone is out the door)
    So you will need to find something that is easy for you and eventually members that you will hand it over to.
    "To see is to see a better way, to perceive any problem clearly is to begin to create its solution. All we need is the wisdom and patience to keep looking and the love to hold what we see up to the light of understanding." ---Laurence Boldt
    F.D.W. Hosting Co.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninak View Post
    you have to make sure they have FrontPage extentions installed and activated for your account.
    I thought the point of MS moving away from Front Page was to get away from these extensions and make it less proprietary and more of a general purpose editor. It still needs these installed, I'm assuming for web_bots and form handling and so on?
    Surprising.
    Having problems, or maybe questions about WHT? Head over to the help desk!

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Spring Hill, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    I thought the point of MS moving away from Front Page was to get away from these extensions and make it less proprietary and more of a general purpose editor. It still needs these installed, I'm assuming for web_bots and form handling and so on?
    Surprising.
    I have personally tested it for about 6 months. It will work with out them but not in all browsers for some reason, and you will not be able to use the FTP upload function. If you upload through another program like filezilla, you knock out some of the functions. Any email links that you may have will not function properly, nor will forms and a database.
    If you will host on a windows server then of course you don't need them. Also I have a habit of editing things through my file manager but if you do that when you download your files back into Expressions it kind of confuses the program.
    "To see is to see a better way, to perceive any problem clearly is to begin to create its solution. All we need is the wisdom and patience to keep looking and the love to hold what we see up to the light of understanding." ---Laurence Boldt
    F.D.W. Hosting Co.

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