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Web Hosting Advice

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I was not sure if there is a better place to post this question but it is off topic... A search here on "web hosting" did not show anything so hope this isn't a previously covered topic and I have missed it.

I am looking to create a website to put a personal portfolio online. It won't be huge but I want to be able point potential clients quickly to samples of work. Eventually, I would like to be able to add the option of ordering products. Perhaps some small video clips.

I have been all over the web looking for reviews and recomendations and am having a difficult time interpreting all the information. I see a couple front-runners but even they seem to have some fairly dissappointed reviewers...

Does anyone have a first hand experience and a web hosting site recomendation? It would have to be fairly user friendly as I am not that computer literate.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve

Comments

  1. BryanC (RIP)'s Avatar
    Actually, this was discussed a couple of years ago when I was looking for a new hosting service for my site. Check this, you may find something useful in there: https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...sting-Services

    In general, I would say start by looking at your ISP. Many provide free hosting services and many also offer user-friendly software to help you set up a site. However, if you want your own domain name you would not be able to use it with these services. You have to setup a name such as Comcast.net/~<your name> or something along those lines.

    You might also check with Seanm here at NSN He has his own server and a couple of members use him as their host. You will have the same naming restrictions.

    There are also a number of “free” hosting services but they place ads around your pages. Just Google “free web hosting”.

    I would suggest starting out with a free service while you get your site built and get some experience in setting it up and maintaining it. You can always move it later.

    If you want your own domain name you will almost certainly have to go with a pay service. As I indicated in the thread referenced above I have been very happy with JustHost.com. Never had any type of an issue with them! If you decide to give them a try let me know first so I can claim a referral bene!!!!

    So far as site building software goes there are many, many packages out there! Some are free and some are not. A few Google searches should proved some examples. There are also visual site builders where you don’t have to code anything at all, just drag ‘n drop stuff and arrange it ! I have never used these types of editors so I cannot comment from personal experience.

    Here is one example: http://www.coffeecup.com/designer/ It costs $49 but is supposedly very good. I am sure there are also some other very good ones out there that cost a lot less or are even free!

    Good luck!

    As questions come up ask them!
    Updated 8th Mar 2012 at 03:23 PM by BryanC (RIP)
  2. coffeeman's Avatar
    When I did web design I used "doteasy.com" alot. Depends on your needs software wise for the site.

    Canadian company, they had some free hosting options though tight on limitations. You just buy your domain name www.coffeeman.com.
  3. WP&P's Avatar
    I use 1and1.com as my web host; it's fairly easy to find negative reviews of them, but my experience has been hugely positive. Most of the negatives I've seen have come about when folks have decided to transfer to some other company - which I've yet to experience because I haven't had a reason to abandon 1and1.

    They do offer website templates and other ways to hold your hand, for the tech-averse, but in may case I had enough givens and druthers for how my site should look and work that I ended up going ahead and learning how to code it all myself. Actually, that isn't entirely true; I decided to use a BLOG structure to underpin my site, which meant that mainly what I was doing was customizing a THEME for my BLOG, rather than starting from the ground up.

    In fact, the two big blog services (Wordpress and Blogger) allow you to set up a "domain.wordpress.com" type of site, and that might be the easiest way to go initially. You can choose from myriad themes that others have already made, and you can find plugins to do all sorts of things - in other words, you can stay well away from having to code things yourself. As others have mentioned, if you really want your own "domain.com" style of site, then you are gonna have to pay to register the domain.

    On my own wpandp.com, I used Wordpress, but I installed all the modules on my own web host so that I could avoid having "wordpress" in the domain name. My goal was to hide the "blogginess" as much as possible; I'm mainly using the blog core to aid with organization and consistent formatting.
  4. Gen's Avatar
    Steve,

    I have used http://www.inmotionhosting.com/ before, and they were excellent. They had a multitude of platforms available from blogs to Ecommerce stores. My website was really just for displaying photos though, and with all the free image hosting available out there, I couldn't justify paying the annual $100+ (hosting and domain name), so I switched to a free blog, Wordpress, and now use a combination of Flickr, Picasa, and Photobucket to eliminate the need to pay for storage. The Wordpress free package allows 3 GBs of server space for users, and that would get chewed up very quickly, but I am finding that linking to slideshows and galleries off site is extremely frugal and effective.

    Regarding the portfolio, if you are interested in clients viewing your work in photo sizes larger than 1024 x 788, then I would not recommend my methods of sharing content. Eventually you will approach free hosting limits, and end up paying for an upgrade anyway for hosting that is inferior. Better to shop wisely now, and leave room for an upgrade on your same host of choice...this will eliminate host switching headaches down the line. http://www.zenfolio.com/ looks very interesting, and the packages are very inexpensive, with commercial applications available when needed. I cannot speak to their reliabilty or CS, but I'm sure Google will have plenty of material to sift through.

    Don't forget to post a link when your up and running!