Lessons in Web Hosting

Ever since the Internet began (I think that’s a pretty epic way to start a blog post, don’t you?), I’ve been wanting to purchase myself a website. Not because I have anything I want to put there, I just have been learning HTML, PHP, ASP.NET, and so on and so on for the past 10 years. Yeah, I can practice them all just by creating local webpages, but you can’t get a true feel for it unless it’s out there on the scary Web. I want to play around with databases. I want to create web forms and have people submit them. I just want to explore. Well, it looks like I finally got that opportunity.

A close friend and I had been talking for a while now about doing a podcast. You know, one of those podcasts where we talk for a while about whatever we feel like (mostly games, of course). I finally got our act together and we actually moved forward with this plan. While I don’t have anything to reveal just yet, I have been learning a ton this week about web hosting. It’s amazing how much I didn’t know, and I found it terrifying that these sites don’t actually adequately explain what it is you need to purchase.

For example, let’s say you’re a complete beginner on the Web, but you want to start a webpage. What does “Domain” mean? What does “Hosting” mean? Where do I get these things? What other things do I need to consider when purchasing? What’s “Shared Hosting”? What’s the other option?

I don't know what that means!

I know all the answers to the above questions, but not because any of the hosting sites I visited explained them to me clearly. It’s entirely possible I looked in the wrong place for the answers, but I think that should be the most important thing you see on a site that’s trying to sell you a product. What is your product? Why do I need it? This is Marketing 101, folks. Even I know that.

So, in order to have a site that can host a podcast, I figured out that I need enough storage to host, let’s say, at least a year’s worth of audio files. And I have no clue how much bandwidth I need, but I played it safe and went with “unlimited”. Can’t really go wrong there, right? It ended up being way cheaper than I expected, especially when we end up splitting the cost between the two of us. (Oh, yeah, did I mention that, partner?)

Right now I’m waiting for the Domain registration to complete (which takes 24 hours? That sucks), after which I’ll have fun playing around with installing WordPress, some forum software, and maybe a little playspace for me and my databases. I’ve always wanted to try to create a web game. No, Jick, I’m not copying off you.

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3 Responses

  1. I’ve personally been pretty happy with mediatemple.net ‘s Grid Service.

    Runs to about $20 USD per month for scalable storage, and a whole bunch of 1 click application installs (including WordPress.) About all you need after that is a FTP program like FileZilla and you’re good to go.

    I run two (soon to be three) domains off the same Grid Server account.

    Plus they managed to sort me out pretty quickly when I got confused and stuffed up my initial order.

    Looking forward to the website, by the way!

  2. oo nice! Have fun! 🙂 Can’t wait to see what your results will look like. 😀

  3. http://tbe.taleo.net/NA5/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=NCSOFT&cws=1&rid=652

    NCsoft is looking for people with 3 years experience in community management. I’m not particularly sure about your experience, but if you are still LFW (looking for work. lol) then give it another try. Glad to see you are doing well!

    -Maglama

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