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Host a website myself or use a image storage website?
Old 04-08-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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Host a website myself or use a image storage website?

I'd like to get a domain name and start up a website that I can use to display my pictures, mostly baby pictures. I've never run a website before, but come from a technical background so it doesn't intimidate me. I'd like to have some albums in the website be password protected and don't want any of the images showing up in a Google search. I don't want to host the site myself since I don't want to have my computer on all day. I don't have any need for email and I would probably store a max of a few thousand pictures there. If I can keep the cost of this down to less than $100/yr, that'd be great!

It seems like I have two choices, get a domain name and find a web hosting company, or get a domain name and point it to something like smugmug.com.
I currently use Picasa and upload my pictures to Google which I like, but would like to see if there's a better way than just pointing the domain to my Google Picasa page.

Any suggestions or specific site recommendations? I hear that it's not a good idea to get the domain name and host the domain with the same company?

Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
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Have you looked into Google Blogger?
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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I've used all three options (blog, web site, and Photobucket.com).

First, note that you do not need to get a domain name. Your ISP has probably given you web site space, and you can refer to it with something like "pages.suddenlink.net/blahblah).

Which you choose depends on what you want to do.

If you are adding pictures a few at a time, the blog may be most convenient. Adding a lot at a time is not as easy, so a web site might be better for that. I started doing our Waikiki trip photos with a blog, but I had to individually upload each image. Instead I did it with Frontpage, designed everything then uploaded with one click.

If you're just uploading some photos now and then to share, a photo site might be best.

If short on space on a web site, you can store photos on a photo site, and display them on your web site via links.

Blogs and photo sites usually restrict the max image size.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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I'm using googles service. For ten bucks a year I get a domain name autorenewed through google checkout, the domain name is 'www.myname.org', I get google mail built in so its myname@mydomain.com, I get something like 10GB of file storage, google apps like word processing/spreadsheet, a blog and a web site. Took me about 15 minutes to type up a stupid home page layout using building blocks and stick some photos in it. I can add something like 250 users to my email and make any part of it public or private.

Works great, and I think they'll be in business for a while so I wont have to change companies.

Google Apps

Click on 'compare editions and sign up', choose the free standard edition, then click on the "I want to buy a domain name" button.

If you've already got google checkout, it takes a couple of minutes to do the registration; otherwise you can just bill it to a credit card.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:46 PM   #5
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I use siteground. It is $6 a month for two years. I host a website there and multiple photo galleries. It will also host blogs, calendars, and a bunch of other php software. I have been impressed with how easy it is to install these products. Home is also hosted there. It is my daughter's scrapbooking site. I till give you an idea of the bbs and photo gallery. You might have to register to see it.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:32 AM   #6
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I have had a web site since 1994. I set it up for the fun of it and learning purposes, moved it to the basement on Linux in the late 90s and moved it to an online host a couple of months ago. I use Gallery (an open source php application) to store and present the photos. It has all of the features you suggest. My current gallery is on the 1.x version which is file based. They have a 2.x version that uses MySQL to store the albums. I tried that but ended up going back to the file based version since I like it. I am hosted by Brinkster paying $10 month because I want more disk space and more features. My daughter uses the $4 month version for her art stuff but can only use FTP to upload - not secure shell. If she keeps up with this I will counsel her to spend a few bucks more for security.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:37 AM   #7
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I throw my vote google's way as well, they are great. And they will be around for a while.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:13 AM   #8
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Don...i'm impressed that you managed to get linux to run on your basement. Great retro idea for large heavy computing.
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Trust but Backup
Old 04-09-2008, 09:32 AM   #9
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Trust but Backup

Make sure any hosting site you pick also gives you the option of backing up your website to your local PC.

I don't have faith all of these hosting companies will be in business long term. If you have a current backup, at most your website will be down a day or two while you locate a new hosting company.

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Old 04-09-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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I'm surprised you guys spend money on this stuff which is available for free. You probably get free web site space with your ISP account, blogspot.com is free, google calendar and other calendars are free.

The only thing you need to pay for is a domain name, and you can get that directly from godaddy.com for as little as $1.19 per year.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:33 AM   #11
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Al, I think thats a teaser promo rate for one of the odder domain types, like ".info" or require a separate product purchase of storage space, services, etc. The cheapos also dont make the domain private, they charge an extra $3-10 for that. A non private domain allows anyone to pull up your site, see your name, address, email and telephone number. Not a good thing at all unless you like spam and telemarketers.

I found a few that offered regular rates on .com and .org for around $7-8. Given the number of these that flame out or get bought up on a regular basis, I figured I'd spend the extra couple of dollars and have a company that'll be around for a good long time.

An early experience with a freebie company who wouldnt let me take a backup of my own site yet assured me that it was 100% bulletproof lost my site and all my data. Turns out they were relying on raid-5, which didnt protect anyone from one of the operators deleting a crucial database and half the site data by accident. The operators then proceeded to ban anyone who complained about it and/or asked for a self-backup tool until as far as I could tell, almost everyone had gone elsewhere.

I've also heard of a lot of people losing their domain when a company quietly submarined and didnt autorenew it, then someone else grabbed it.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Don...i'm impressed that you managed to get linux to run on your basement. Great retro idea for large heavy computing.
And efficient use of an underutilized resource.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:23 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'm going to look at the Google Apps as suggested by the Bunny, especially since it's so cheap. I might just end up using Picasa Web Albums with this and maybe put up a simple password protection page for albums I want to protect.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:28 AM   #14
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Why is it that you want a domain name?

1. Easier to type CuteFuzzyBunny.com instead of something like pages.myISPName/cutefuzzybunny

2. Won't change if the ISP changes

3. Vanity

4. Other
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Why is it that you want a domain name?

1. Easier to type CuteFuzzyBunny.com instead of something like pages.myISPName/cutefuzzybunny

2. Won't change if the ISP changes

3. Vanity

4. Other
Combination of 1 and 2, but especially:

1. Easy to tell grandparents and friends to go to "www.mykidsname.com".

The grandparents aren't too computer literate so it's just easier this way. Also, I figure this is a good way to park the domain for the kid's future use anyways. I guess vanity is a bit of it too since I just know the grandparents are going are be excited about "my grandson's website!"
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
1. Easy to tell grandparents and friends to go to "www.mykidsname.com".
True, but I decided that it's easiest to send them an email that says

Click here to see blah blah.
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:50 PM   #17
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Hmm, so I guess I feel better about having parked my sons name.com when he's only three...

Al, that works great until they tell aunt millie and uncle bob that you have a web site and they say "cool, whats the url?" and gramma and grampa say "Uh...I dont know. Maybe the next time we're doing email we'll send it to you". And then they forget. Three months later, desperate and destitute, gramma and grampa are tired of the relatives badgering them about it and leave the country for good.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:20 PM   #18
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Hmm, so I guess I feel better about having parked my sons name.com when he's only three...
You waited till THREE?! In this day and age!? I thought the financial checklist after having a baby looked like this:

1. Update Life Insurance
2. Open 529
3. Park kid's domain

Quote:
Al, that works great until they tell aunt millie and uncle bob that you have a web site and they say "cool, whats the url?" and gramma and grampa say "Uh...I dont know. Maybe the next time we're doing email we'll send it to you". And then they forget. Three months later, desperate and destitute, gramma and grampa are tired of the relatives badgering them about it and leave the country for good.
Bingo! Give that Bunny a carrot! This is exactly what I'm trying avoid. Also, I don't have to send emails every time pictures are uploaded. They can just check periodically to see new updates.

Maybe I'll put a PayPal link for his college fund!
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #19
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Yeah I know I'm late to the party. It wasnt until I read an article on how parents were buying up domains to park for their kids that I thought about it. I was surprised that his name was still available...
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