I was interested in making a family website......as we are scattered to the four corners of the US.....a way for us to keep connected and see the progress on the family tree. My thinking was also that family members could share old photos and copies of documents and such. I would like to provide links so that they could come to ItalianGenealogy and other such helpful sites......
But I fail to understand the various packages and the sizes.......some offer
anywhere from 5 to 75 GB.........??? Even more confusing is the bandwith,
domain parking? subdomains? storage space? ect., ect.,......and if you go over the limit of some of these terms there are hidden charges........maybe you could write a summary in laymans terms???
What you are talking about is called Remote Hosting. Basically, this means that some company is providing space (similar in concept to space on your computer's hard-drive).
Let me cover some of the terms and what you should look for:
Storage Space - 5-75GB (or GIG); generally 5-25GB is more than enough for a basic web page. This can differ based on your site usage (that is, storing LARGE images will cut into your space; 1,000 photos will easily store in a 1-2GB space)
Domain Name - there are several basic concepts that apply here. A domain name is the address that people type in to get to your page.
Domain parking is a method of registering a domain name without having it point anywhere (generally it points to you hosting storage space); this is a method of ensuring you have it in the future.
Subdomains - generally you get 10 of these; the simplest explanation is that they replace the www (ie. my domain is www.fornal.org and my subdomain is bob.fornal.org)
This is the basic terminology that you will see ...
When considering Hosting companies, the simplest method is "word of mouth." Generally, I would recommend going with a company that you know and the next best thing is a company that someone close to you knows that is inexpensive and reliable.
What is inexpensive to me and you are probably two different things - same with reliability.
My site costs me about $5.00/month (that's $60.00 per year). I could have registered my domain name with them and it would have been included in the cost, but it had been registered previously (by me) and I simply redirected it so that it pointed to the location that my company specified (thank you Tech Support).
Seperate domain registration is about $35.00 per year; these can decrease is paid in bulk - I got 10 years for about $180.
This is a good place to point out one other thing to watch for. When looking at a hosting company, make ABSOLUTELY sure that the registered domain name is yours - that you take it with you if you switch companies. Some of the hosting companies will register it for you (included in the cost), but you can't take it with you when you leave them.
The company I use (I like the service and tech support a lot and my site has only been down twice in the last 12 months for a total of less than 3 hours) is http://www.dot5hosting.com ... they are very good.
Another two items to consider are FTP and E-MAIL accounts.
Generally when you are using a remote hosting company, you can configure an unlimited number of emails to your domain name (at fornal.org, I have an account for me, my father, my wife, brother, and sister-in-law). These accounts generally allow for 10MB of emails, but this does vary slightly from host to host.
Also, you can generally configure FTP accounts where individuals can create their own web pages and upload/download files. This is relatively straight forward - you generate a username and password that is linked to a folder that you created. The person that you give the account information to logs in using some FTP software (ws_ftp is one) and they can then transfer files (you mentioned pictures - this is one way they can get them to you without bogging down an email account).
Again, ask questions if I missed anything here ...
What an amazing thing you are doing Robert! I struggled to get my Carini site up and functional (it is still rather primitive, but the program I initially used was not the best). I now have Dreamweaver (and am clueless as to how exactly it works) and have hopes to revamp my site soon.
I use Host Excellence as my Domain host. I am probably paying through the nose, but as I host thousands of original Church record images, the 20G worth of space is nearly full. One word of advice to those who need a lot of space (I could use 10-15G more) make sure you purchase the a bit more space than you need, increasing your size is where they get you.
I pay about $65. a quarter for the space and $13.00 a month for my 4 domains.
once again, thank you so much for this thread, I will be following it closely.
GIG Transfer indicates how much information can be transferred per month.
For example, assume that I have a single web page that is 1k (1,000 characters) in site with two images, one being 20k and another being 29k in size. These three files are 50k in size total.
If 200 people got on this month and downloaded this page (which includes the images), you would have transferred 10,000k (or 10MEG) of information.
The transfer can be kind of nerve-wracking for someone just starting out. As Jim stated earlier, you want slightly more than you think you need an in both these cases, it can be difficult to estimate:
1. How much is transferred on average and
2. How many people per month are going to download files and
3. Which files are going to be accessed most frequently.
It often comes down to best-guess, but also remember that you will be starting slow. Generally, I generate about a page per day of content (you can generally estimate about 50k of non-image files). And, you also have to remember that people then need to find your site and it will take months, or even years, for a good following and consistent transfer of files.
Excellent point James....I never thought about it until looking at your site,
but providing copies of census images and the like would take considerable space.........I know one hosting company I looked at had a limit on how many pages you could have, something like five pages..the more pages....the more the price went up.......
This brings up another point ... if you have the images stored in another location (say a site that hosts images free), you can sometimes place that image on your page without having to have the image actually on your site. This is called "hot linking" and some of the image sites will not allow it (because it affects their transfer rates).
You also asked about subdomains ... they point back to a folder within the original site which can make the domain name much shorter and cleaner (for example, bob.fornal.org/Genealogy instead of www.fornal.org/Bob/Genealogy/). It also provides the capacity to have multiple users/accounts on one hosted site:
1. My site: bob.fornal.org
2. My wifes: jen.fornal.org
3. My brother: tim.fornal.org
4. My sister-in-law: kristin.fornal.org
These subdomains also have the added benefit of looking much more professional. My sister-in-law is intending to use her space as a virtual resume and can post the following on her correspondence:
There are other uses, it comes down to your creativity ... another that I use is configuring: images.fornal.org as a subdomain which allows me to place all my site images in one location and use a MUCH shorter path.