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In_Yack_Mode

[web] Starting a Website

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Hello I have an Apache server running that I can make PHP scripts work on. What do I need to make it so others can get to it through a domain name? Is web hosting what I need? If so then can I write my own scripts for them to run? This particular package says that it has PHP support is that what I need? Is there anything else I should learn before I get a site going? I probably won't do one soon I am just trying to figure out what I need to know to start. Sorry for all the beginner questions at once. Thanks for any help.

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What do I need to make it so others can get to it through a domain name?


You need to have a static IP addres, and a domain name of course. Ifr you do not have a static IP address then you need a service like http://www.dyndns.com/ as well.

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can I write my own scripts for them to run? This particular package says that it has PHP support is that what I need?


Yes.

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When you register a domain name, your domain registrar propagates your chosen domain name, starting at their DNS servers, outward onto the internet. This propagation takes time, so it is not feasable to use a home connection which likely has a dynamic IP address, for your web serving needs.

Typically, web host providers offer all-in-one packages: web hosting, domain registration, and DNS management. If they offer CPanel interface to your website, all the better.

I would personally recommend Gem3 hosting, as I have had nothing but excellent customer service with them, despite that their pricing is a little higher than other hosts available. Conversely, I would avoid 3ix.com's "$1 per month" hosting like the plague.

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Original post by In_Yack_Mode
So if get web hosting it usually comes with everything I need to build a website?

Depends. Check what they offer. They'll have everything you need to serve up basic HTML, and probably a number of packages for scripts, but if you need anything outside of their stock features, then you'll either need to spring for premium or pursue some form of dedicated hosting.

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Also what does Transfer per Month mean?

It means the total amount of data your site can serve per month. Say your home page is 3KB of data, is the only page on your site and is served to 1000 visitors in a month. Then your transfer for that month is 1000 * 3KB, which is approximately 3 MB.

Your total transfer will be the sum of the size of each page multiplied by the number of times it is served up that month.

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I personally have used dreamhost for years now. They are very well priced, offer great features and great service. You even get full shell access to your account complete with cronjobs and everything.

Just click the link above to check it out.

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Ok so with web hosting would I still need an Apache or what will happen with that?

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It means the total amount of data your site can serve per month. Say your home page is 3KB of data, is the only page on your site and is served to 1000 visitors in a month. Then your transfer for that month is 1000 * 3KB, which is approximately 3 MB.


What if one month I have more people than expected and go over the limit? Is there a fee, does it vary from plan to plan or would they just shut off my site?

Thanks for all the help I know these are basic questions

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Original post by In_Yack_Mode
Ok so with web hosting would I still need an Apache or what will happen with that?

The host is already running either Apache or IIS, which are web servers.

Here's a quick overview: When you type a URI (e.g. http://www.gamedev.net) into your web browser's address bar, it examines the protocol (everything up to the :// - HTTP in this case), then determines the fully qualified domain name (www.gamedev.net) and makes a DNS request for the numerical address of the specific machine(s) bearing that address (216.185.96.234). If a port number is specified, your browser then attempts to connect to that port. Otherwise it connects to port 80, which is the default port for the World Wide Web.

What accepts the connection on the other side? A web server, like Apache, IIS, Google Web Server, lighttpd, etc. So in order for someone to provide web pages to others, they have to be running one of these pieces of software. Generally, commercial web hosts are either running Windows with IIS, or Linux/BSD with Apache.

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What if one month I have more people than expected and go over the limit? Is there a fee, does it vary from plan to plan or would they just shut off my site?

Excellent question! It shows you're really thinking about this stuff. [smile]

Policies vary. Some hosts will just charge you overage. Some will shut your site off. Some will give you a small allowance and notification, giving you a chance to increase your bandwidth. Some hosts are specifically designed to accommodate sudden, unusual spikes in traffic, like Joyent. Pay close attention to how much bandwidth the host provides, what restrictions are present, if any (daily limits, for instance), and what the consequences of exceeding the daily, weekly and monthly limits are.

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First thank you for all the links I have read one and will read the other two after this.
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Original post by Oluseyi
The host is already running either Apache or IIS, which are web servers.


Ok thanks thats what I didn't understand. I wasn't sure how that was going to happen. So what do I need my Apache for? To just test scripts or what?

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Pay close attention to how much bandwidth the host provides, what restrictions are present, if any (daily limits, for instance), and what the consequences of exceeding the daily, weekly and monthly limits are.


How much should I look for? How much do you use?

Again thanks for all the help!

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Original post by In_Yack_Mode
So what do I need my Apache for? To just test scripts or what?

On your own machine? Yes, just to test. It has no bearing on the Apache/IIS instance on your web host.

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How much should I look for?

How much do you think you need? How large is each of your pages - including any javascript and CSS files you may include? How many times do you anticipate each page will be requested, on average, per month? How much does that total? That's how much you need.

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How much do you use?

On my private site, barely anything. I don't have a single public page, and mostly use it (currently) just for file transfers and sharing. I can't remember the bandwidth needs from any of my previous jobs.

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Ok thanks that makes it seem quite a bit more clear than a few days ago. What hosting do you(the people of GameDev) recommend? I am trying to get as many opinions as I can. I have been suggested Lunarpages but I have also read some bad reveiws. Gem3 seems ok but I really am not sure.

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Original post by deadstar
Another vote here for Dreamhost.com.

Flawless so far, been with them for about 3 years now.


Thanks for the advice I read about that and I have some questions about it. What does it mean by this: "How much?
* $5.95 paid 10 years in advance" at the bottom of their "What's included" page? That seems like a weird thing to make you do.

[Edited by - In_Yack_Mode on November 15, 2008 8:07:21 AM]

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Original post by In_Yack_Mode
This particular package


I have been using that particular package for a bit over a year now. Currenty I use it for three separate Joomla+Gallery installations, mostly personal sites that basically don't see any traffic except for family. As far as cheap mass hosting goes, Lunarpages isn't bad. Unfortunately, maybe it's due to the server I am on, or maybe because Joomla is cpu-hungry, or maybe it's just because it's cheap hosting, but everything runs pretty slow. I've also read user reviews complaining of slow and incompetent support, but I haven't had any reason to contact tech support yet.

The programs available through install in cPanel/fantastico are often out of date, but nothing is stopping you from installing your own packages. Sometimes it takes guesswork or digging through cPanel to figure out some parameters for installations though. Be prepared to have to figure things out on your own if you go with this host. Basic familiarity with Linux would be a big help.


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Original post by lightbringer
The programs available through install in cPanel/fantastico are often out of date, but nothing is stopping you from installing your own packages. Sometimes it takes guesswork or digging through cPanel to figure out some parameters for installations though. Be prepared to have to figure things out on your own if you go with this host. Basic familiarity with Linux would be a big help.


Ok I think I'm going to try and find something other than that. Thanks for the info on it!

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