Hosting....Sorry to ask the same old question

  woofbarkdonkey 22:08 02 Jun 2008

I'm sure you're all fed up with this old chestnut but I don't have a clue which to pick.
I am looking for a free or really cheap hosting package for an animal rescue site, at the moment it is a forum that started December 21st & has 750 members already. I have asked admin what bandwidth/traffic we are using but all she could tell me was...

Statistic Value
Number of posts: 42112
Posts per day: 256.48
Number of topics: 3365
Topics per day: 20.49
Number of users: 750

All that means nothing to me but we are getting on average 100 new members a week at the moment. We now want a website & forum preferably together, a free one would be great but then we would more than likely get ads & on the whole they would probably not fit in ethically, I think it would be better to let our own ad space on the site & forum then any money raised could go into the rescue funds.
As you can guess I am a novice at this (only ever built two sites before) & have somehow volunteered to build the site, so it needs real easy web building tools. The site will have lots of info, loads of pictures, links & much more as it grows (hopefully).
I have looked at so many hosting packages my head hurts & I'm getting more undecided the more I look at.
I can give you the link to the forum if it helps & the free site I built to show you my limited capabilities if links are allowed.
Sorry for the long post, I do tend to waffle!

  sean-278262 02:02 03 Jun 2008

click here I use these to host my site. $20USD allows lifetime upgrades on your account. 300GB monthly data use (my site is currently hovering at around 500mb per month so not even 1% and it has about 200 users as well as a few outsiders visiting.

You also get 5GB of space. 8mb max file size. Most people wont need more than half this and if you pay the £10 or so to upgrade you get 100mb max sizes and this is just the best anywhere for that little money.

They offer a one click installer to load up a forum to your site.

Easy to use. A huge forum to ask questions and gets the thumbs up from me. If you have any problems getting the site running PCA is always here to help.


  sean-278262 01:50 04 Jun 2008

Personally I would keep them together as it makes life easier and allows you to easily download everything to a local drive for back ups, as this is what I do myself on my site and forum and this means if you make a mistake you wont loose everything and can simply FTP the entire site as it was when you downloaded it for back up and only loose the posts and content uploaded since that time.

However, hosting them on separate services has the advantage that if one goes out for any reason you can put an update on the other to say why it is not available. However the disadvantage is that using 2 hosts means 2 sets of FTP data to input to upload and might confuse you especially as a newbee to the whole webdesign thing.

On a responce to forum member I would also point out that $20US is only about £11GBP for the life of the site so in theory that will pay for itself in no time, however if you dont need mysql then you may not really need to pay anything depending on the overall needs (and free is the best thing in life). Especially if the site remains online for a few years. Advertising revenue is very possible with the growth you say you are having.

A final point I would make is that you could try a free host not necessarily 110mb
click here
This is a great resource.

At the end of the day I personally weighed up my options of paying £5-10 a month vs. the £10 once off and felt that I was more than happy to live with the very minimal imposed limitations at my host and it has been a decision I have never wanted to go back on.


  woofbarkdonkey 12:05 04 Jun 2008

Thanks for that & I am taking all that's said on board. I have emailed several hosts & had some pretty good responses, the most helpful being Heart so far. I'll update you when I make my choice.

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