ISPs and free website hosting

  Jim Thing 22:39 04 Jan 2009

I've been with my present ISP for years — since the days when most of its staff and clientele used to get together for a drink every Friday night. The company's customer service was knowledgeable, polite and largely conducted on first-name terms, and I was entirely happy with the whole arrangement.

However, the company was bought out some years ago when the local commercial TV giant decided it wanted to get into the internet game and made its founder an offer he couldn't refuse. Since then it has grown greatly and, in the process, has developed many of the problems that seem to afflict larger organisations: the quality of service is no longer what it was; the familiar, friendly voices on the tech support line have all disappeared, and to cap it all, better deals are now available elsewhere. As a result of all this I'm considering jumping ship.

My problem is that this ISP hosts my strictly non-profit website (approx. 750MB total) for free. So I'm wondering: do other ISPs offer a similar service or is it a rare survivor from a time before maximising profit at any cost became the name of the game? I haven't seen it listed in any of the ISP comparison charts I've seen up to now.

I'd be grateful for any relevant information.

Thanks — and a Happy New Year everyone.

  Diodorus Siculus 01:50 05 Jan 2009

Sounds a bit like back in the good old days!

Sorry I can't help with your query...


  Taff™ 07:04 05 Jan 2009

There are BB packages out there with web space. For example Plusnet (Now owned by BT) offer 250Mb with their Your Way Option 2 but way short of the 750 Mb you require. I`m sure you can increase this though. I think your paragraph regarding rare survivor is close to the mark.

Do you have your own Domain Name for this website? If so it would be a better option to have it hosted separately then should you change ISP`s in the future you won`t face the same problem.

  Covergirl 12:35 05 Jan 2009

I've just done a couple of "best broadband" checks but obviously webspace isn't one of the most important factors these days and details aren't given on the 2 summaries I've seen.

Try it yourself, but do what I didn't do, and go into each one individually to see what they offer - if anything.

I'm with Tiscali and I know they offer 100MB which can be increased at a cost. click here


  Jim Thing 12:55 05 Jan 2009

Unfortunately I don't have my own domain name for my website. It's a schooldays nostalgia site which is aimed at elderly ex-pupils of a long-defunct grammar school and which grew like Topsy from a single photograph to its current 1400 pages.

My website generates no income (and very little traffic now that I appear to have emptied every shoebox and photo album between here and New Zealand...) It's a labour of love and it's funded entirely out of my pension; hence the whole thing is very much a shoestring operation and free hosting is quite important to me.

Thanks for your response. I'll check whether Plusnet can offer anything interesting.

  Shuffty 13:04 05 Jan 2009

Zen give 2gbs free web space

  Jim Thing 13:22 05 Jan 2009

Thanks for your suggestion and link. I've had a quick look at Tiscali's free hosting offer but sadly I don't think it's for me. I suspect that a request to increase the server allocation from 50MB (or 100MB after much messing about) to 750MB may provoke either a dusty response or a hefty bill.

  Jim Thing 13:24 05 Jan 2009

Thanks. I'll have a look at Zen after lunch.

  Taff™ 07:27 06 Jan 2009

I`m going to recommend Heart Internet click here as a stand alone web hosting company. You will need a domain name which will cost less than £10 for 2 years and for less than £50 in year one you have unlimited webspace and bandwidth. This company is recommended by many in the Webdesign forum including FE.

This approach will allow you to take an independent decision on your ISP. You may want to have a broadband, Line Rental and call package for example. I`m sure this would would work out a better option for you and your site members because the domain name won`t change even if in 12 months you change ISP`s again.

One word of caution, and this applies to any decision you make - transferring your website exactly can be difficult depending on the way it has been set up originally. Can you provide a link to it and tell us how you built it.

  Jim Thing 14:45 06 Jan 2009

Thanks for what will no doubt turn out to be sound advice. However, I'm quite concerned about your word of caution re transferring my website, as I know that my HTML coding is a dreadful mess which just happens to work for me right now but may not appeal to other servers.

My website began about 6 or 7 years ago when I saw an interesting photograph on the web. It showed a large group of famous jazz musicians and was image-mapped so that the name and details of each one popped up as the mouse cursor passed across his face. I fancied image-mapping
one of those long whole-school panoramic photographs so I set about learning how image-mapping was done. Next step of course was to find out how to get the photo onto the web, so I bought a book on website design and taught myself the rudiments of HTML coding. As a result my website consists entirely of DIY HTML code (because I didn't know that there were easier ways to go about it) and frankly it's a right mess.

I'm not the most consistent man in the world, and I've always been a bit reluctant to parade my source-code in front of knowledgeable people. However, if you fancy a good laugh, start with
click here and follow the links.

Thanks for your interest.

  Covergirl 20:46 06 Jan 2009

. . . I've just had a quick shuftie and all I can say is what an interesting, well put together neat and tidy website it is ! All logically laid out and indexed with never more than a click or two back to the home page.

Jim Thing you have obviously spent years on this and despite your statement of a mess of HTML, it works! The image mapping is excellent too.

You might try posting a similar request on the Webdesign forum - some of the experts on this forum may ignore the Consumerwatch forum (just like I, by and large, ignore the Business forum) and you may be able to get a few leads from there.

All the best.

PS. found these 2
click here
click here

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