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Post by jkdclick » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:23 am

Ok... I have searched Google and I just can't find what I want because it is so confusing. I want to get a web host and a domain name fairly cheap. I don't know what services I need. I'm an amateur web builder just starting out. Any ideas?

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Post by SweetLou » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:33 am

Well, you need to decide on what you want. I prefer apache on Linux with php not in safe mode. I also would like to have shell access, a couple of databases, hopefully MySQL. I would want to ability to use .htaccess
With that said, I like A Small Orange.
I also like hosts that have a good user forum. Makes it easier to find help if you need it.
I think A Small Orange is wonderful. I wanted shell access and they enabled it for me within an hour. They have unlimited MySQL databases, Postgre also, but I have never used that, CPanel, a neccesity. Unlimited email accounts, FTP users. Take a look at them.
As for your domain, Just find one that is cheap. I used Go Daddy for it.
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Post by Coolnat2004 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:34 am

Domains, no doubt: http://www.domainsite.com

Hosting.. if you want to use multiple domains I would recommend ResellerZoom.. otherwise just HostingZoom.

Just make sure that you do not use Globat.com. They have tried to bill my brother for a year of service after he canceled it.. and about the same deal with the owner of cincypunk.org.

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Post by SweetLou » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:35 am

But it would help if we knew what you wanted in a host. Any ideas?
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Post by jkdclick » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:05 am

SweetLou wrote:But it would help if we knew what you wanted in a host. Any ideas?
Well, I would like to have forums, a webmaster e-mail address, something that will support ftp through FrontPage, Dreamweaver, or 3rd party program. I want a reasonable amount of space that is upgradable.

What is bandwith? Speed of the server?

MySQL, Shell access, .htaccess, whats that?

Sorry for my ignorance.
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Post by abfan123 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:14 am

MySQL is a database type.
Shell Access is SSH in Linux.Somehow similar to the command line in Windows.
You're able to execute all kind of commands through it such as backup/restore MySQL directly from the server etc...That's kind of command line.
.Htaccess is where you're able to configure all kind of stuffs such as error pages,index file,File extensions control,directory password etc....
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Post by jkdclick » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:20 am

Thank you.
I'm so lost.
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Post by SweetLou » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:31 am

bandwidth is how much data is sent. For example a simple webpage is about 4kb. So , if you someone requests a page 4kbs will be used from your allowed amount.
Yeah, if you want a forum, then most likely, you will need a database. For example, the forum here uses MySQL and the database is about 59mb. When we changed servers a while back I was able to backup and restore the database using SSH/SCP. This is very handy, since phpBB can only handle about a 2mb file for backup. I forget how much phpMyAdmin can handle, but not nearly enough for this forum. So, I had some options. I could download the database and break it up into many parts, or simply use SSH/SCP and type
mysql

Code: Select all

mysql -u username -p databasename < filename.sql
Very easy.
.htaccess can do a lot. Check out http://www.javascriptkit.com/howto/htaccess.shtml
You will also want Crontab. This can run commands for you. If you have any experience with Linux, then it is like using the command line, but someone else doing it for you. Since it is a command line thing, you can run the code above in it, but that is not where the power is. You can run your own scripts. For example, I have a cron job that runs a script that will back up this forum's database everyweek. I also have one set up that will save it to a file with the date everyday, that way I always have a database that is no older than 24 hours old and a weekly one just incase what ever the problem was and I can't get to it within the 24 hour period, I will only lose the most a week of posts.
Oh, one more thing. Who is your intended audience? If your audience is going to be regional then you might want to get a server in your area, less hops better performance for your users. If it is a worldly thing, then it won't really matter where the server is located.
Anything else? More than happy to help, especially since you love us.
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Post by abfan123 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:39 am

jkdclick wrote:Thank you.
I'm so lost.
Sorry. :oops:
I'm just quite bad at describing things (Especially through a forum post.)
What I was trying to say is....
SSH is quite advanced for a novice user.
So I don't think that you'll need this for now.(But you'll probably need this in the future.)
.Htaccess is quite useful Apache (web server) related file.
You're able to use it for many things.
Just a small example :
If you'll want to create your own error pages so if the user will type yourdomain.com/FileThatDoesntExist.htm it will redirect to yourdomain.com/404error.htm,You're easily able to do this with htaccess.
There are many other useful things that you're able to do with .htaccess.
Just run a Google search for it and you'll probably find a lot of information.

MySQL is a database server.
Database is where server-side script (This forum is a good example) is storing all the user data/posts etc....
There are many different types of databases.
PostgreSQL,Ms-SQL(Usually Windows server),Access(Usually Windows server.) etc....
They all are quite similar but MySQL is the most used one.

Bandwidht is data-transfer limit (Usually monthly).
For example
Your index.php file take 30KB.
If it was accessed 10 times,You'll use 300KB (30*10) of your bandwidth.
Some hosts are giving you unmetered amount of bandwidth.
In that case,You don't really have to worry about that (Unless you'll have some huge download website.)
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Post by hornakapopolis » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:53 am

I'd recommend going back and doing your Google search and then getting some names. (And you'll find a ton of them) With those and the ones recommended here, I'd just comparison shop.

After a while, I think you'll find the about 50% of what's out there is completely different from one another and the other 50% is about the same... which is probably what you'll go for.

Then, your best bet is keeping in ind the word of mouth that you hear.

You'll notice that the "features" of the plans from A Small Orange and Hosting Zoom are about the same. I use ReadySetConnect and ImHosted. They're similar, too. The ImHosted gives me a ton more space than ReadySetConnect, but ReadySetConnect has a pretty good rep for uptime and service.

From a general standpoint, there's two things I'd recommend keeping in mind. First, is that your site is going to go down no matter what. It might not, but don't be shocked or angry when it does. And because of the first... out of those 50% that seem to have matching plans, you'll find a few that have their own backups or RAID backups. That can ease the load and responsibility on you to backup everything yourself. When I get some free time, I'll have to ask SweetLou for a basic intro on how to take advantage of the shell access, mainly for backing up. So, if you can get a host that will do it daily for you, that's a plus.

One other note, a lot don't mention it, but a lot of companies out theredon't actually own their servers. When you'r searching, you'll see a lot of "Reseller Plans," which means that you could buy from them and then start your own "hosting company." If you see a host that specifically says that they own their own servers, that's a plus because if they do have problems, it's not going to take one of your users telling you and then you telling them and then them telling someone else...

Of course, all of the above is just my opinion, but I think you should keep that in mind first, and then worry about space, bandwidth, and pricing.

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Post by jkdclick » Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:30 am

Wow! So much information. How did you guys learn about all of this? A lot to absorb. Again, thank you.
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Post by André » Thu Jan 26, 2006 4:05 am

It's overwelming at first. It was when I was starting to get into it but things are becoming more and more clear. I personally don't need shell access because there is nothing that only it can do that i need. My server is mostly for testing out things and sharing files and stuff with my friends. IE... if the server crashes and I lose all my data, I don't really care.
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Post by SweetLou » Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:08 am

It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but just like anything computerwise, you just start playing around, reading things and stuff just seems to come together.
By the way horn, if you don't have shell access, I have a script or two for ya.
This one will create the backup with the date and time as part of the file name.

Code: Select all

<?php 
  // Enter your MySQL access data  
  $host= 'dbhost'; // hostname, usually localhost          
  $user= 'dbuser';  // database username              
  $pass= 'dbpassword'; // database password 
  $db=   'db'; //name of the database 

  $backupdir = 'backups';  //directory to copy the database  

  // Compute day, month, year, hour and min. 
  $today = getdate(); 
  $day = $today[mday]; 
  if ($day < 10) { 
      $day = "0$day"; 
  } 
  $month = $today[mon]; 
  if ($month < 10) { 
      $month = "0$month"; 
  } 
  $year = $today[year]; 
  $hour = $today[hours]; 
  $min = $today[minutes]; 
  $sec = "00"; 


  // Execute mysqldump command. 
  // It will produce a file named $db-$year$month$day-$hour$min.sql 
  // under $DOCUMENT_ROOT/$backupdir 
  system(sprintf( 
    'mysqldump --opt -h %s -u %s -p%s %s > %s/%s/%s-%s%s%s-%s%s.sql',                                                  
    $host, 
    $user, 
    $pass, 
    $db, 
    getenv('DOCUMENT_ROOT'), 
    $backupdir, 
    $db, 
    $year, 
    $month, 
    $day, 
    $hour, 
    $min 
  ));  
  echo '+DONE';  
?> 
If you want to have the database gzipped, then change

Code: Select all

'mysqldump --opt -h %s -u %s -p%s %s > %s/%s/%s-%s%s%s-%s%s.sql'
to

Code: Select all

'mysqldump --opt -h %s -u %s -p%s %s | gzip > %s/%s/%s-%s%s%s-%s%s.gz'
Now, this one is a modified version that doesn't use the date and time. This is good because it is easier to make a script that can restore it.
The backup script

Code: Select all

<?php 
  // Enter your MySQL access data  
  $host= 'host'; //host name, usually 'localhost'          
  $user= 'username';  //database username              
  $pass= 'password'; //database password 
  $db=   'database';  //name of the database 

  $backupdir = 'backupdb';    

  // Execute mysqldump command. 
  // It will produce a file named 'backup.sql' 
  // under $DOCUMENT_ROOT/$backupdir 
  system(sprintf( 
    'mysqldump --opt --add-drop-table -h %s -u %s -p%s %s > %s/%s/backup.sql',                                                  
    $host, 
    $user, 
    $pass, 
    $db, 
    getenv('DOCUMENT_ROOT'), 
    $backupdir, 
    $db 
  ));  
  echo 'Database backed up.';  
?>
To restore the backup use

Code: Select all

<?php 
  // Enter your MySQL access data  
  $host= 'host'; //host name, usually 'localhost'          
  $user= 'username';  //database username              
  $pass= 'password'; //database password 
  $db=   'database';  //name of the database 

  $backupdir = 'backupdb';    

  // Execute mysql restore command. 
  // It will restore the database from a file named 'backup.sql 
  // under $DOCUMENT_ROOT/$backupdir 
  system(sprintf( 
    'mysql -u %s -p%s %s < %s/%s/backup.sql',                                                  
    $user, 
    $pass, 
    $db, 
    getenv('DOCUMENT_ROOT'), 
    $backupdir, 
    $db 
  ));  
  echo 'Database is restored.';  
?> 
If you use this, make sure you have the variable of $backupdir = 'backupdb' set to the directory you want the backup to go into. Also, I don't recommend keeping these on your server unless it is in a non-web directory and using crontab to run them. If someone accidently runs the restore script,your database will be overwritten and you will have older data.
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Post by abfan123 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:36 am

Well,
I'm just using DirectAdmin for databases control/error pages/password protected directories/Auto-backup of site's content & databases/advanced web stats/Restore/ungzip files & databases(Like in SSH but a lot easier for a novice user)/easy server control etc etc etc....
It's easier for both user & server's admin....
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Post by SweetLou » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:08 pm

I've never used that program, but Cpanel has all those funtions also. I just prefer to open up PuTTY and do it real fast if I'm doing a manual one and can't install that on the host's system since you need to be root to install it.
Though the demo seems kind of nice, very much like Cpanel.
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Post by abfan123 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:27 pm

There are many great control panels actually.
They all are quite similar.
cPanel/Ensim/Plesk/DirectAdmin/Helm etc etc....
I don't think that you'll find anything very new in the DirectAdmin if you're using cPanel.
The only thing I don't like about DirectAdmin is that I'm unable to use 1 database user for more than 1 database.
That's possible in cPanel,Though.
Also,cPanel has a nice addon called "Fantastico" which might be very useful for an user (Auto scripts installer such as PhpNuke/PhpBB etc etc etc....) and cPanel has some auto-installer for some scripts by default which isn't available in DirectAdmin.
But I'm managing a small free hosting company and DirectAdmin has enough features for both users & me.
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Post by SweetLou » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:42 pm

Yeah, Fantatico is kind of nice. But I don't like the default intallations of some things. But, it nice when I install phpBB to do tests. I can install it in seconds and not bother with creating a database. It is also good to try some things if you are not used to them.
Why don't you add phpMyAdmin along with DirectAdmin, then you can easily add users to databases. My host has phpMyAdmin, but I actually installed my own version since theirs seemed to have some things missing that I want.
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Post by abfan123 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:47 pm

PhpMyAdmin is installed as well.
Actually,It's a bit different in DirectAdmin.
In cPanel,You have the "One-click access" to PhpMyAdmin,while DirectAdmin installing it with each created account but you have to login manually by typing database's username & password....
The only thing I don't like about PhpMyAdmin is that it's unable to restore backups from server & unable to handle big MySQL backups....
DirectAdmin is able to restore backups uploaded to server. (Like SSH.)
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Post by Coolnat2004 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:03 pm

Hosting Zoom / ResellerZoom have been great to me so far. The support seems very responsive, and there has not been any downtime in the month or so I've been with them. They will give you shell access if you submit a request for it (support ticket saying that you want it).

I've heard great things about A Small Orange, too. I chose Reseller Zoom because it was the most reasonable place to get a reseller account, and I heard good things about them. I assume that their normal hosting (HostingZoom) is just as good.

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Post by KY Dave » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:07 pm

You might have heard of the "story" that 80% or more of the web hosts are just resellers, and another 10% are just co-locating in some other data center, without direct physical access to the machines. Unfortunately, that story is plain reality.
Check out hosting sites at the url below...

http://www.thehostingchart.com/?igojo=1&mej=406

or below...

http://www.webhostinginspector.com/

Read the reviews and...

then take your pick.
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