Website Advice

MadMaverick wrote on 11/23/2015, 7:06 PM
I know this may be a bit off topic, but I need advice on website building, and you guys strike me as the tech savvy website making types.

I want a website to showcase videos, short stories, articles and jokes.

Everybody seems to recommend WordPress, and I believe that's what I'll go with.

A concern I have is longevity. I believe you have to pay for a WordPress site (a .com one). So what if I was to fall on hard times, or die, and wasn't able (or even around) to continue paying for the website? Would my website die with me? Or, would the domain just become and keep existing?

I'm concerned because there's been sites (and articles) I've visited in the past that don't exist anymore. These sites could've just been taken down willingly, but there was this one site in particular that I really liked. I visited it one day and the owner had posted a message saying that he could no longer afford payment on the site.

I thought that it would be a good idea to have your content spread out to other sites in case your main site goes under. There's YouTube for videos... for articles, jokes and stories I'm not sure though. I know that for fan stories there's, and for articles you could post them on some blog site.

Basically I need tips on how to best distribute my content. Anyway, any info you guys have would be appreciated.


TheHappyFriar wrote on 11/23/2015, 8:22 PM
A website is like a brick and mortar store: if noone maintains it then eventually it shuts down.

you can get free wordpress sites from what I understand. There's others too. I pay for GreenGeeks.
Kit wrote on 11/24/2015, 3:08 AM
I think you are confusing the tools used to build a website with the hosting of one. You can have your own domain [eg] which needs paying for (to keep the name) and then you need to host it somewhere (so people can see it). You could set up your own server if you don't mind dealing with all the security implications of doing so or use a hosting service which will require fees as well. It's possible to create a website using notepad if you know how to write code. Wordpress automates the process of making webpages. I've used it but prefer using Dreamwweaver (but not the latest cloud monstrosity) A site could have both wordpress pages and pages created by hand.

When you say distribute do you mean sell or provide material freely? A shopping cart is a whole other ball of wax. Hope this helps,

JJKizak wrote on 11/24/2015, 6:27 AM
I had to pay GoDaddy about $15.00 per year for the URL then transfer it to my website at about $190.00 per year. But that's for artwork and pictures not movies.
rraud wrote on 11/24/2015, 9:44 AM
Most web hosting entities have their own on-line WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) site building DIY utilities. I would assume some are easier and offer more options than others. I originally started with Dream Weaver (Adobe as I recall) but learned HTML and Javascript code and updated it manually via Notepad and/or Alleycode.
I currently use for hosting and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload/download files. 1and1 has it's own DIY web building but I have not used it
MadMaverick wrote on 11/24/2015, 5:04 PM
By distribute I just mean, the best way of showcasing my material/getting it out there.

If I'm using as my host and I stop paying on my domain name ( then what would happen with my site? Would it revert back to Would clicking or typing in re-direct you to

There's (I believe) 2 different starter packs with wordpress that you can pay for yearly that will enable you to do different stuff. What would happen to your site if you stopped paying the server fee? Would it revert to the free and basic pack?
Birk Binnard wrote on 11/25/2015, 12:34 AM
Kit's response is correct - do not confuse the web hosting process from the website creation/maintenance process. These are 2 totally different things. And it is even a bit more complicated than that.

For a website to exist and be usable there have to be 3 things in existence: (1) the HTML etc. files that comprise the site, (2) the domain name that allows people to access the site, and (3) a web server that hosts the site.

You use the website preparation software of your choice to create (1). There are many pieces of software available to do this, many of which are free - but some can be quite expensive. And they all have a learning curve that varies from easy to very difficult.

Because websites today are so complex (for example, you need different page layouts for desktop & cellphone size screens) many people use the site creation tools provided by their web hosting service. These are usually free, but do lock you in to the capabilities of the tool and typically do not support moving your site to a different host service should that need arise.

A Domain name (2) is simply a name you pick for your site. Having a domain name has nothing to do with the content or physical location of your website - it is simply a name you own (and pay an annual fee for) that allows people to access you site by using that name.

What actually happens is your domain name is stored in one of many DNS (Domain Name Server) machines around the world, along with a specific IP address that is the IP address your web host provides for your site. When someone enters your domain name into their browser a DNS machine substitutes the actual IP address of your site and the server associated with that IP address loads up the site and presents it to the requester.

Your web hosting company is the place where your website resides; they put it on one of their servers, they maintain that server so your site is always available, and the provide backup services in case your site gets fouled up, hacked, or otherwise damaged.

Webhosting companies own big blocks of IP addresses and your site will get one of them - this is the IP address that gets propagated across all the DNS machines, along with your website name. Needless to say you pay the webhosting company a fee for this hosting service. This fee has nothing to do with the fee for your domain name, although many hosting companies bundle to 2 together.
riredale wrote on 11/27/2015, 2:34 PM
If you're just starting out I'd suggest signing up for one of the hosting companies that also have tools that allow you to build a simple web page.

Once you get the hang of things you can get as sophisticated as you wish. In my case, I got my domain name from CompanyA that charges me about $12 a year. I get my DNS service from CompanyB and that's a couple of dollars a year. I host several websites on my personal PC using a freeware program called "Abyss" but there is another called "Apache" that is very popular. Since my PC is on a conventional home Internet drop from Comcast my actual literal IP address can change from time to time at their discretion (currently it's If you run your own server you either get a "static" IP address (costs more) or you run a simple program that pings your address periodically and then updates all the DNS servers around the world. I do the latter, works great.

There are also many ways to have a website built. The foundation is code called HTML and some masochists built sites in raw HTML. Most others either use the free tools that hosting companies offer to build very simple websites or purchase programs that make the task much easier than HTML. I've used in the past a very cool program called SiteSpinner. You build web pages the way you build slides in PowerPoint; this block of text goes here, that graphic goes there. Very WYSIWYG. You can even use SiteSpinner to make different versions of the same page, one for big screens and another for small screens.

I find all this stuff fascinating, which is why I have taken over more and more of the tasks involved in running a website, but you can keep it real simple if you have a life outside of computers.
DrLumen wrote on 11/28/2015, 3:20 AM
The simple answer is, if you don't renew your domain name then it reverts back to the registrar and the name goes up for sale. If you still have time left with your hosting company (usually a 1+ year renewal thing) then you can still get to your site but you have to use the IP address (ex: If you don't pay your hosting company they will delete all your files to free up space for paying customers. If you still have your domain name when the host locks you out then people will get a 'site not found' type of message when they try to visit your domain.

If you don't renew them then they will go away. They just don't hang around out there unless some company like google has a cached version of your site. WayBackMachine is another such site. I'm sure they probably have a time limit as well though too and eventually it will be purged from their systems.

If you are trying to leave something for posterity then youtube is probably the best place. I'm not sure if they have an inactivity time limit before doing a purge.

intel i-4790k / Asus Z97 Pro / 32GB Crucial RAM / Nvidia GTX 560Ti / 500GB Samsung SSD / 256 GB Samsung SSD / 2-WDC 4TB Black HDD's / 2-WDC 1TB HDD's / 2-HP 23" Monitors / Various MIDI gear, controllers and audio interfaces

DiDequ wrote on 11/28/2015, 8:19 AM

From my knowledge, the best host could be Ovh (fast, reliable, secured)
But I only use 1&1, Ovh and our french "Education Nationale " host servers.

If your upload transfert rate is high enough, you can use a home solution.
Of course, you can also use a realcomputer, but think about electricity :
4wh power consumption with a raspberry pi : it's always "on" and connected at home for my private needs.
This is the cheapest solution. You just need an sd card as a backup solution.
Do not forget 95 % host servers on earth use linux. Just because Windows is not secured enough.
You 'll need some linux knowledge.

Now, CMS (Content management systems.)
I do not recommend Wordpress just because I maintain a site made by a previous person : yes, it's easy, but heavy : if you try "which loads faster" to compare the speed of wordpress websites to others, you will understand what I mean.
Keep in mind speed : above 2", you loose 10% of visitors. Above 4", more than 20% will try another page.

Other free choices ? Drupal, Joomla. I use all of them. Plenty of others too !
Drupal and Joomla are quite heavy too. (on the user side)
You can also use google webdesigner - very fast - html5 capabilities - and you can add php code ( not easy if you've never used php and have no online sql base)
As I also use it, I can tell you you have to think about how to organize your files, and prepare your own template. (It's aim is about ads, but I enjoy using it for a complete website ! )

If you only want a video / photo gallery, have a look to coppermine first. It is fast and easy to use. You can also mix a standard cms (wordpress, joomla ) with coppermine.

Now, how to edit your pages ? Wordrpess, joomla, drupal, etc, embed editors. The best I know is Ckeditor.
The seconf thing you have to do after installing your cms is to configure it with ckeditor !

Even with a Cms, it's like using Vegas pro : you will have to learn "how to".
Knowledge is the key of success !