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View Full Version : Being a total owner of your FH Site



Rove
21-03-2006, 7:48 AM
I dont think there's an easy answer to my query but no harm in asking.

Is there some way that you can build your Genealogy Site somewhere on the Web where you are the complete owner of the Site / space and you are not tied up with anyone ?

A friend asked me this question, also saying he would like to have the Site password protected.

At MyFamily.com you are not the total owner, a similar Site to MyFamily (but its dearer and less space, again you are tied up. Freepages and Rootschat you are tied up. Many Hosts that offer Free space are the owners of your Site.

And while I'm on this subject, is there any Host that can offer you / sell you a copy of your Site on a CD ?

So, is there some other way ?

Thanks. Bill.

Guy Etchells
21-03-2006, 9:13 AM
Yes, but it costs money.
You could pay for your site to be hosted on a shared server (similar to renting a flat in a block of flats)
You could pay to have your site hosted on its own server (similar to renting a detached house)
You could host your site on your own computer at home and direct all traffic there.
The problem with hosting on your own computer is you have to have the computer on 24/7 as your site can not be accessed if it is switched off.
You would also have to have broadband access to the internet (and pay a premium for this access).

The easiest and most cost effective way for the majority of hobby sites is therefore the first option.
Cheers
Guy

MarkJ
21-03-2006, 9:39 AM
And while I'm on this subject, is there any Host that can offer you / sell you a copy of your Site on a CD ?


Thanks. Bill.

I would agree with Guys comments regarding hosting the site - its either the cheap/free option which you have already discovered, or digging into the old funds to pay out for someone to sell you some sort of hosting package. Not as expensive as you may think - especially for shared hosting - I think I pay around £8 per month, but I have very specific requirements ( full shell admin access, lots of traffic bandwidth etc) - there are much cheaper packages.
Regarding getting a copy of your site on CD, why not do it yourself?
If the site is already online, a program such as WinHtTrack ( or httrack if you use Linux and probably Mac too) will allow you to download the entire site and put it in a folder - where you can create a CD from the contents.

Cheers,
Mark

Rove
21-03-2006, 10:04 AM
Hi Guy and MarkJ

Thank you for your prompt and most interesting replies.

Yes, I am prepared to pay a monthly fee for sharing like you decribed

Shall also have a go at copying a couple of my Site.

Thanks. Bill

Neil Wilson
21-03-2006, 7:25 PM
Hi Bill
Just checked the host details for the Chesterfield & District FHS web site for which I am the webmaster.
Prices vary for what you want, .co.uk names are £7.50 for 2 years and web hosting from £30, depending on which package you have.
They are very good with tech support on the phone and are uk base.
Not sure if I can advertise them on here but search for Low Cost Names web hosting. ;)
cheers
Neil

Jo Simpsons
21-03-2006, 7:50 PM
This is not the same as you are talking about but have you not thought or looked at Tribalpages?

You can have free ones or pay to have more space and get rid of the adverts. You can have it password protected to know one can see.
This is the address if you want to peek and haven't
http://www.tribalpages.com/

I haven't really done any work on mine for a while, but you can add styles of writing, photos, pictures and music. I have put music to my home page and also to some photos. I was starting to put relatives favourite music to go with the photos at the time. Just to make it more personal.

I don't have a password so you are welcome to look at mine if you would like. Not that I'm an expert but just to show what you can do.
Jo :)
This is my site under the line.

Rove
22-03-2006, 12:35 AM
Hello Jo

I have five Sites at Tribal Pages and I do dress them up, etc etc.
Three of them have no password. Tribalpages are good, the free Sites have recently been reduced in space but but still worth having provided you dont post too many pics. The paid Sites with extra space are reasonably priced.
Still you are not the total owner. I mean your Site is in their hands.

Go back to what Guy wrote re having the Site on your computer switched on 24x7.

I was just thinking. Hope this doesn't sound silly. Say you have an old computer that is still OK, sitting in the shed.

What if you clean out all the data on the hard disc and just place your FH Site or hobby Site in it and have it switched on all the time. Does this make any sense.....LOL. I think you can have that computer connected in parallel with the one you are using. I know that if one is in use the other is out of use but when you are asleep and your main computer is off the other is online. This is provided you guys DO go to sleep......LOL

Bill in Melbourne

MarkJ
22-03-2006, 9:59 AM
Hello Jo

I have five Sites at Tribal Pages and I do dress them up, etc etc.
Three of them have no password. Tribalpages are good, the free Sites have recently been reduced in space but but still worth having provided you dont post too many pics. The paid Sites with extra space are reasonably priced.
Still you are not the total owner. I mean your Site is in their hands.

Go back to what Guy wrote re having the Site on your computer switched on 24x7.

I was just thinking. Hope this doesn't sound silly. Say you have an old computer that is still OK, sitting in the shed.

What if you clean out all the data on the hard disc and just place your FH Site or hobby Site in it and have it switched on all the time. Does this make any sense.....LOL. I think you can have that computer connected in parallel with the one you are using. I know that if one is in use the other is out of use but when you are asleep and your main computer is off the other is online. This is provided you guys DO go to sleep......LOL

Bill in Melbourne

You can use a PC for setting up your own site - that is very easy. Getting around the issue of your ISP dropping your connection and then issuing another IP address is fairly straightforward too - you can use something like a no-ip address. Thats assuming you have a dynamic IP address. Some ISPs have a "business" or similar rate where you can pay a little more to have a static IP addess - so it never changes.
The problem starts with security. Any computer is at risk on the internet. Those running servers for whatever reason are more at risk. The so called "hackers" (actually most are script kiddies and the rest are crackers rather than hackers) will run various tools to locate and identify PCs running web servers. If that server is connected to your local network - e.g where your own home PC and the website server use the same internet connection - then it is very easy to compromise the web server and then gain access to your home PC.
If you do decide to run a webserver at home, I would strongly recommend a good firewall - a hardware one is easy to create from an old PC and something like Smoothwall, which is a Linux distro specifically set up for firewalling and routing. That machine then has 2 network cards installed in it - one for your normal home network machine/s and the other as a DMZ - which is where your server would be. This stops access from the webserver machine to the main home network. Sounds complicated, but it isn't really too hard - if you have ever networked two machines together, setting something like this up is easy.
The other issue would be the speed of your old PC which youg like a no-ip address. Thats assuming you have a dynamic IP address. Some ISPs have a "business" or similar rate where you can pay a little more to have a static IP addess - so it never changes.
The problem starts with security. Any computer is at risk on the internet. Those running servers for whatever reason are more at risk. The so called "hackers" (actually most are script kiddies and the rest are crackers rather than hackers) will run various tools to locate and identify PCs running web servers. If that server is connected to your local network - e.g where your own home PC and the website server use the same internet connection - then it is very easy to compromise the web server and then gain access to your home PC.
If you do decide to run a webserver at home, I would strongly recommend a good firewall - a hardware one is easy to create from an old PC and something like Smoothwall, which is a Linux distro specifically set up for firewalling and routing. That machine then has 2 network cards installed in it - one for your normal home network machine/s and the other as a DMZ - which is where your server would be. This stops access from the webserver machine to the main home network. Sounds complicated, but it isn't really too hard - if you have ever networked two machines together, setting something like this up is easy.
The other issue would be the speed of your old PC which you wished to use as a server and your internet connection itself.
Bear in mind that to serve web pages can take a lot of memory and processing power - so, unless your site is low volume, you need a fairly beefy PC. A lot depends on the type of sites you wish to run - graphics, SQL server, databases etc. If its just plain text with maybe a few pictures, then an older PC will be OK - as long as the site is not receiving a high number of visitors.
The bandwidth of your internet connection will of course take a nosedive when others are accessing your server. Fine if you have a fast connection, or you don't use the internet a lot yourself - otherwise you may find yourself waiting for ages to load even basic websites.

I would probably go for a shared hosting package myself. If you look around, you will find all sorts of companies running these packages. Make a note of what you need - e.g password access etc - and look for someone offering what you need.

If you really really need total control - then running your own webserver is the only way. But shared hosting companies do not tend to interfere with your site unless you are running something which is agaist their policies.

Blain
26-03-2006, 7:05 PM
Can I just say that from reading your posts, those of you with shared server hosting seem to be paying a huge amount for the service.

I pay £23.99 for 2 years hosting, a domain name, 1 MySQL database, PHP support and email services.

Thats the equivalent of £1 per month.

MarkJ
26-03-2006, 10:38 PM
Can I just say that from reading your posts, those of you with shared server hosting seem to be paying a huge amount for the service.

I pay £23.99 for 2 years hosting, a domain name, 1 MySQL database, PHP support and email services.

Thats the equivalent of £1 per month.

Hi Blain,
I suppose it depends what service you need.
I require various things from my hosting package - including full ssh access to the server, so I can run certain scripts - e.g I run a game server on there. I have unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited email addresses, the ability to park other domains etc. I also need lots of bandwidth. So I end up having to pay a little more for the requirements I have.
I agree - your package is very good value for people with less demanding needs - for example someone who wishes to host a family history site or two. £23.99 for two years is very good value indeed.

Rove
25-06-2006, 5:21 AM
MarkJ wrote (21-3-2006)

Regarding getting a copy of your site on CD, why not do it yourself?
If the site is already online, a program such as WinHtTrack ( or httrack if you use Linux and probably Mac too) will allow you to download the entire site and put it in a folder - where you can create a CD from the contents.
-----------

Hi Mark

I never followed your tip. Have you done this yourself ?

I'm only on IE 98, can I still download that program and use it to copy one of my Sites at Freewebs. Would it copy all the files in that Site all in one go ?

Thanks. Bill

MarkJ
26-06-2006, 9:09 AM
Hi Bill,
Yes, I make copies of my own site from time to time with the httrack program ( the Windows version is winhttrack).
Basically, it will download (very quickly) the whole site. It works fine with Windows 98 according to the website -
http://www.httrack.com/
The only small drawback is that the mirrored site will contain a small header and footer (which is in the html) noting that it was mirrored using httrack. Its easy to remove that anyway if you want to.
I use it mostly for when I intend major changes - splitting up a page into smaller ones for instance - so I have the original in case of accidents ;)

Mark

Guy Etchells
26-06-2006, 10:03 AM
Strange, don't you keep a copy of your site on your computer?

I would certainly recommend keeping a back-up copy of your web site in case the server it is hosted on develops a fault.
Even if the hosting company provides a back-up service it may not be as up to date as your site was.
Cheers
Guy

MarkJ
26-06-2006, 12:59 PM
Strange, don't you keep a copy of your site on your computer?

I would certainly recommend keeping a back-up copy of your web site in case the server it is hosted on develops a fault.
Even if the hosting company provides a back-up service it may not be as up to date as your site was.
Cheers
Guy

I do Guy, but I like to fiddle around with the layout at times - and a copy of it, which I grab via httrack for convenience - is useful for me. I do run a few different sites and have several computers with all sorts of bits and pieces on.
I certainly would not trust the server backups - although I am sure they do their best.
Mark

Ed Bradford
26-06-2006, 3:56 PM
I’m a novice when it comes to web sites. I have a couple of personal sites which are not very elaborate that I maintain. I keep two copies of each web site in folders on my workstation that are called “current web site” and “work in progress.” When I want to make changes to my web site I start off making them in the”work in progress” folder. After I’m satisfied with the changes and have tested them, I transfer them to the web site and test them again. Once they have been up on the web site and have run successfully for a couple days, I copy the contents of the “work in progress” folder to the “current web site” folder. Also on a weekly basis or when I’ve made significant changes to some of my files, I copy the files, favorites and the emails of my workstation to another computer that I use for storage. In addition, on a monthly basis I copy everything to DVDs and store them in a fireproof safe.

I’m paranoid about loosing data because I’ve lost a couple hard drives over the years and each occurrence was devastating. Is there anything else that I should be doing?

.............Ed