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Hosting to meet Geek requirements?


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jastanle84

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Registered: 17/12/06
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After being in the IT business for a while, I understand the importance of meeting the requirements to deploy a new software solution. In turn, I have found it difficult to find a hosting solution that meets 4 out of 4 of the major requirements for the Geeklog install, at a reasonable price ($5-10 a month). These requirements are Telnet, PHP, MySQL, and Apache. I have only found 1 hosting site that meets 3 out of the 4 requirements. Does anyone use a hosting site that meets all of these requirements, at a reasonable price? Plus how much space should I be looking for when choosing a plan for a small-medium site? By the way, PBJ time: :banana:
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TechSys

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I have a small (very small = no visitors as I don't advertise) GL website set up at freehostia.com. They meet all the requirements, well, at least all that I've noticed. I use the free hosting package which has 250meg of space, 5gig bandwidth, 5 subdomains, 1mysql databse, 10meg mysql db space, perl, php, and a bunch more stuff.
when I first got there, I ran into a little installation problems, which they fixed real quick. They have 3 more hosting packages at $1.95, 5.95, and 9.95 a month.

Not sure if that helped or not. If it didn't, I'm sorry. If it did, you're welcome.

(The address in my sig is not to that website. It's my testbed for GL and Joomla)
http://70.145.174.180/
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mevans

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jastanle84,

I use Bluehost.com and they do meet all 4 of your requirements. Actually, they don't have telnet, but do have ssh which is functionaly the same, just much more secure. Their price is $6.99/mo and I have been very pleased with both service and support. They also allow you to host up to 6 domains on that one accout which is very nice.

Shameless Plug Mode On

If you were to sign up with bluehost.com and use the link at my website: http://www.mediagallery.org, I do get a referral fee.

Shameless Plug Mode Off

Thanks!
Mark
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jastanle84

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Thanks everyone. Here is my reply to both replies: TechSYS, how well does GL work with FTP? Also, with the free hosting, do i have to advertise for freehostia.com? Otherwise, I am interested in a free solution. thx. Mevans, does GL have any documentation on how to use SSH with GL? I ask this because I am not familiar with SSH and I not sure how to use it in a windows environment. Can anyone tell me why I've been told to use Telnet/SSH instead of FTP for communication? Once again, IT'S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME: :banana:
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TechSys

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I don't use Telnet, never have, never will. GL seems to work pretty good with ftp, at least for what I've done. Everything on my free site was done via ftp (setup, graphics, etc). Site is pretty much still in it's infancy.

The free plan they offer has no ads. This was a plus for me since most free services want to put such a huge ad on a site, that you can barely even see the site itself.

I don't know much about SSH and stuff like that, but.. Here is the direct link to what the free package offers. Not sure if it's everything you need or not though.

http://www.freehostia.com/free_hosting.html
http://70.145.174.180/
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LWC

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My host is kind of like BlueHost, but you can get an account there for $6.95 :wink: (and yes, if you contact me first, I'll get a fee too).

But since you obviously look for a free host, I won't shill and mention its name and instead talk about freehostia:

First of all, according to its feature list, it has neither telnet nor SSH. As for SSH, there's nothing any of you needs to know about it other than it's more secure and that it uses a SSH/Telnet client instead of Telnet only client (and although Windows' own Telnet deals just with the Telnet there is a good open source Telnet/SSH freeware called Putty). Is Telnet/SSH needed for Geeklog? I have no idea how you manage to live without it. I keep using it to decompress plugins and Geeklog upgrades I've uploaded via FTP. I don't do so manually but with SH scripts I made myself that decompress them and move the sub folders under the right parent folders (it's especially helpful in Geeklog since the average plugin goes in 3 folders and it's nice to have it done automatically).

Secondly, Telnet/SSH aside, the real reason I participated in this topic is to realize what's the catch in freehostia if it doesn't use a banner. I'm curious as it sounds too good to be true to me (again, the lack of Telnet/SSH aside). Techsys, you use it so please tell us what is it they do that make it free. For example, does it forbid Flash files (my host has no flash, no MySQL packages for $3.95 so I was thinking maybe a lack of Flash files' support is the catch)?
Don't tell us there's no catch at all, especially being a COM site Smile .
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mevans

Anonymous
ssh and telnet are functionally the same thing, it is just that telnet passes all of the data (including your userid / password) in clear text, so it is possible that anyone with a sniffer on the line could capture that information. SSH on the other hand encrypts the entire communication session. SSH has kind of become the defacto standard for doing telnet type activities. For Windows there are several free ssh clients, putty, ttssh and even a free client from www.ssh.com.

Whether you use ssh/telnet or FTP as the communication method is really more of a matter of personal preference. As I said, my hosting provider does have SSH, but I do about 99% of my site maintenance via FTP. I have a mirror copy of my site on my Windows box and when I upgrade Geeklog for example, I unarchive the files on my Windows box, copy them to the right place on my copy site and then use FTP to move it all up.

Either method works just fine and with great FTP clients like FileZilla, you can even edit your config.php and other files directly from the FTP client.

From my experience, what you want to look for in a hosting plan for Geeklog is this:
  1. Fast MySQL server
  2. Ability to store files outside of the webroot
  3. Control over the php.ini file
  4. Access to the raw web server logs

I'm sure others can add to this list, but if I can find the items above, hosting a Geeklog site is pretty painless.

A note of caution Almost all hosting providers offer a tool called Fantastico to install Geeklog and several other CMSs. Unfortunately, Fantastico does not install Geeklog in a secure manner. You are much better off doing the installation yourself. Granted, using Fantastico is pretty simple, just click a link, but a manual install of Geeklog is also pretty simple and straight forward and you will have a much safer system in the end.

Anyway, there are lots of good hosting services out there that will give you a good environment for Geeklog. Figure out what is the most important to you and go from there. For me, I really like the fact that I can have upto 6 different web sites using different domains with my hosting plan.

Good luck with your quest...

Thanks!
Mark
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jastanle84

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WOW, I can't believe all the support you all have given me in just one day. Now I know I have picked the right CMS tool. I still have a few more questions, though, especially about the 4 things i should look when find a host. 1. Fast MySQL server (what is the an ideal speed?) 2. Ability to store files outside of the webroot 3. Control over the php.ini file 4. Access to the raw web server logs How can i get the info determine if the host lets me do the above things? Mark, does your hosting do these things? Also, what is the difference between an Apache versus an IIS configuration. Why does the GeekLog documentation put emphasis on Apache over IIS it seems like. I want whatever has the most pull in the Geeklog community so I ask questions later and get an answer. Mark, can you tell me what server configuration your host is Apache or IIS? I am still a little wary for a free site, but I have seen situations like Geeklog that are free. For everyone else, thank you and keep rolling the replies. You guessed it, PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME with a baseball bat: :banana:
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mevans

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Location:Texas
Generally the hosting service should have a contact to answer pre-sales questions. This is how/where you should check on those 4 items. The 'fast' MySQL requirement is one that may take a little research. You can always ask the provider, but I'm sure most will say theirs is just fine. I would see if they have a support forum you could browse and see what other subscribers are complaining about and what they are praising. Bottom line, you want to find a provider that has good MySQL support. I had a few sites hosted by PowWeb, while they offered a great set of services, their MySQL servers were very slow and that slowed down everything else. It finally go so bad, I moved all my sites to Bluehost.

Apache vs IIS usually is a Linux (Unix) vs. Windows environment. Both work fine with Geeklog, but you will find that Apache is usually a bit more prevelent since it is free and available for almost any operating system. Again, I would recommend focusing more on your needs / requirements and then see what fits it the best.

With my provider (bluehost.com), they are an Apache shop. And yes, they do meet all 4 of my requirements, I've been very pleased and impressed with the speed of their MySQL servers, I can control how PHP works via my own php.ini per site, I have the ability to store files outside the web root and I have full access to all of the raw web server log files. There are several other nice features too, but you'll find most services all offer a pretty similar set of features. I'm sure if you search around the forums you'll find other folks talking about excellent hosting providers. I have friends who use Dreamhost and are very happy (and they use Geeklog).

I think it will come down to just biting the bullet and going with a provider. Check and see if they offer a 30 day money back trial period and just jump in and give it a try...

Thanks!
Mark
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TechSys

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LWC, I haven't ran into any gimmicks with them. I do know there are some restrictions like no hotlinking and 500kb limit on files. I'm currently logged in to my Cpanel to see what all is going on. There is no streaming of audio/video files with the extensions .wma, .mp3, or .avi.

O.k. found some other things. Free hosting accounts do not include an IP address (all websites resolve at the default IP address of the host/server). For many customers the IP address is important for starting SSL hosts.
FTP usage for webcam purposes is not to exceed uploading once every 30 seconds.
No domain name available for the free hosting (I use a redirection service, which is actually a subdomain)
No smtp service
No e-mail forwarding
No e-mail autoresponding
no access to access and error logs
no webalizer statistics
no mailing lists

freehostia does offer something called, "Elefante Installer". It supposedly allows you to install script packages. Geeklog is one of the ones listed as well as drupal, joomla, mambo, and about 10 others.

When I signed up for their service I was trying quit a few others. Some bannerless services you had to join the forum and be active in it. I'm not sure if that is the way it is on freehostia or not. I've never joined the forum and haven't had a problem. I have 5 months left of their service before I have to renew.

Am I going to say they are the best? nope. Just trying to give an alternative to him and thought it may help.
http://70.145.174.180/
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lwc

Anonymous
With such a funny size limit, you can't even upload an average plugin, not to mention Geeklog itself (but I guess you used their pre-installed version).

Again like BlueHost, my host supports all those things, and it has a forum and 30 days' free tryout too. I guess Mark is right those any decent host offers these things so it's just a matter of settling on such a host and sticking with it.
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TechSys

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I didn't use the pre-installed stuff. I ftp'ed everything. It's running 1.4.0sr3 with the forum and mediagallery plugins (didn't need anything more). I've got 216.71megs left for storage. Right now elefante has 1.4.0sr2 available, but when I first signed up they had an older version (1.3.7 if I remember right). That was why I ftp'ed everything.

Oh well, I gotta get ready to go to work. Oh, before I go I may as well do this.

http://denbuy.freehostia.com/ or http://audiotechs.vze.com

Both are the same site. The first one is straight to the site. The second one goes through a redirection service (shorturl.com)
http://70.145.174.180/
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antonio

Anonymous
I've just made a hosting change and now i have my geeklog site at Dreamhost. I think it's a great hosting and also it's very cheap. You can use the promo code: dreamhostcomes to save 97$.
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lwc

Anonymous
I have no idea how you FTPed Geeklog with a size limit that is less than 5% of Geeklog v1.4.1rc1's size...
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jastanle84

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by the way, LWC, what is your host? plus do I have to know Apache, PHP, or SQL to do a small-medium site? or can i just touch up on it or not know it at all? can someone please tell me what WYSIWYG editor u use, remember cost and Geeklog compatibility? what's a *nix install and I'm not familiar with SSH so can u please tell me how I can unpack files from my local computer to my web server? :banana:
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beewee

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Location:The Netherlands, where else?
Quote by: jastanle84

These requirements are Telnet, PHP, MySQL, and Apache.



Well, you don't need Telnet for Geeklog, but it will make your life a lot easier if your host allows you to put files one level above the public_html directory so you can put the system files on a safe place. I have a reselleraccount over here in the Netherlands on a regular Linux server with a DirectAdmin controlpanel, and do not have any problem with installing Geeklog. Normal end-user accounts with at least 100MB webspace and 2GB traffic cost only a few $ a month, so I do not understand why it should be so difficult to find a decent hosting provider.
Dutch Geeklog sites about camping/hiking: www.kampeerzaken.nl | www.campersite.nl | www.caravans.nl | www.caravans.net
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ScurvyDawg

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I run my own website hosting company.

http://www.ezserver.biz

I host many GL sites and offer SSH access upon request with proof of ID.

Email me with any questions ezserver@gmail.com
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LWC

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http://www.westhost.com but if you register please mention my site (see signature) and name (based on my URL) in the proper fields so I'd get a fee.

My WYSIWYG editor is Notepad. As Mark said, I just edit files directly from the FTP using Notepad. There are certain things you have to know, at least to some level. Apache in general shouldn't conern you (except maybe editing php.ini if needed, although you may miss out things like the task scheduler, seeing hosts instead of IP addresess, etc.), MySQL should - but at least it has a great frontend called PHPMyAdmin. PHP supposedly you don't have to know, but before you even install Geeklog you must edit config.php (in PHP, change the wrong letter and you break your site) and everything else is in PHP too so if you don't know PHP you pretty much make no use of the open source concept (you can't tweak anything).

So yes, you can "not know anything", but it's like showing up in court without a lawyer. Possible, but is it worth it?

At this point I'll shill out a little and tell you I'm an official reseller, which means you can pay me directly and for you all you care you just think of me as your host (in theory I can just pretend I'm a real host as technically you can't tell I'm not). My cost is the real host's fee + my own fee (which is up to my client and I). My own fee makes me "your web guy" so you get personal help.
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mevans

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Location:Texas
I'm going to have to disagree with LWC here.


PHP supposedly you don't have to know, but before you even install Geeklog you must edit config.php (in PHP, change the wrong letter and you break your site) and everything else is in PHP too so if you don't know PHP you pretty much make no use of the open source concept (you can't tweak anything).

So yes, you can "not know anything", but it's like showing up in court without a lawyer. Possible, but is it worth it?

Editing a config.php file does not imply knowledge of PHP. It does require that you read the installation instructions and follow them. I would be willing to bet that the majority of Geeklog sites are run by folks who do not know how to program in PHP. The wonderful thing about Geeklog and the plugins that come with it is that the programming is already done, all you have to do is follow a few simple installation instructions and you are set.

Certainly, with Open Source projects you can tweak the code to better suit your specific desires, but I think it is safe to say that most folks run Geeklog in an un-modified form. I can certainly tell you from the support I've done for Media Gallery over the last year, there are a lot of folks out there with zero PHP skills successfully running Geeklog sites.

I disagree with the analogy of showing up in court without a lawyer, instead I'll use this analogy. Using Geeklog without PHP programming experience is like driving a car without knowledge of building the car.

Thanks!
Mark
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LWC

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If my analogy is too extreme, I say yours is too extreme to the other side (it just takes one letter to ruin config.php or the other PHP files. Imagine the panic a newbie would get in). The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Maybe like a driver who can't change a flat tire in a world where flat tires are not that uncommon.

Anyway, it's actually pretty interesting. Maybe this site can run a poll about it?
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