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Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

You dont NEED dedicated servers for a site if you are ok with using a shared SSL.

SSL (secure socket layer) basically encypts the pages that you collect ANY customer information. So you would want it on your login page, create account page, and the checkout pages.. Among others.. You know you are in an SSL page when you see https instead of http and there is a padlock on your browser bar.

So if you have a shared server, you can usually use that server's SSL which makes your site just as secure as a dedicated. The downfall to that is that when a customer goes a secure page on your site, the url changes from
mysites.com
to
https://host12.yourhost.com/~mysite

Thats not a bad thing, but if you want to keep it consistent, a dedicated SSL has to be on a dedicated server.

I have heard of some companies really hitting people right in the pocket for dedicated serve and SSL, which is sad. Sometimes they charge you an extra $10.00 per month - thats $120 a year.. or more. THEN you have to pay for the server separate.

I personally have been very happy with my host. Y ou can START with the basic plan. Their basic plan is amazing though. it gives your website a LOT of room to grow - more so than some other companies. I can list a few that i can say DEFINITELY DO NOT USE.. from personal experience.

With the host i use you get unlimited space AND unlimited bandwidth. That means no matter how much content you upload, or how many visitors you have on your site at one time, you will NEVER hit a wall.. That is hard to find anywhere else.

Anyways, if you want tolearn more about it, you can go here:
http://www.hostmonster.com/
On this site, you get a dedicated SSL AND a dedicated server for $90 a year.
 

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Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

You can also get your own SSL with shared hosting. You just need a separate IP address with shared hosting to get your own SSL certificate at your own domain.


The main difference between dedicated hosting and shared hosting is that with dedicated hosting, you are the ONLY person on that server. It is basically your server (you're actually leasing or renting it).

So you can add software to the server, install apps on the server, use as much bandwidth or space on the server as you want. Add as many sites as you want. The server is COMPLETELY under YOUR control. You are the server administrator. Nobody else's sites are on your server. This is why it usually costs more.

With a shared hosting, you are just paying for a some SPACE on someone else's dedicated server (usually the web hosting company is the server admin). So if the server has 1000 Gigabytes (GB) of hard drive space to store files on it, then they can split up that hard drive space for 100's of different customers and share the costs of that server over the span of 100's of customers. The potential drawback being that if there are some high traffic sites on the same server as you, they may use more of the server's resources and cause your site(s) to slow down through no fault of your own. Most web hosts are managed pretty well to avoid things like that from happening, but you do see it happen on occassion with smaller companies. Shared hosting is more affordable because the costs of the whole server are "shared" over lots of people.

Places like hostmonster, lunarpages, etc offer afforable, reliable shared hosting plans.

I would say that 99% of people starting a website selling t-shirts probably don't need a dedicated server. A shared hosting account will work just fine.
 

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Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

You can also get virtual private servers which is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers such that each has the appearance and capabilities of running on its own dedicated machine. Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system, and each server can be independently rebooted.

That is actually what i have. i misspoke when i said hostmonster had private servers.. they have the DEDICATED IP (not server) and the private SSL..

I do have to say though, even though you dont have a dedicated server, with hostmonster, you do get UNLIMITED SPACE AND BANDWIDTH - usually you only get that with dedicated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

I'm sure there must be thread here somewhere but.....I am an extreme neophyte, so when you are talking about SSL and IP address I really don't know what you are talking about. Is there a thread that explains all this stuff? I thought I had remembered stumbling upon it at some point, but didn't pay close attention to it since I wasn't ready for the info at that time.

Cheryl
 

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Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

I'm sure there must be thread here somewhere but.....I am an extreme neophyte, so when you are talking about SSL and IP address I really don't know what you are talking about. Is there a thread that explains all this stuff? I thought I had remembered stumbling upon it at some point, but didn't pay close attention to it since I wasn't ready for the info at that time.

Cheryl
If you type in SSL in the search box at the top of the page, it will probably bring up the thread about SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and IP addresses.

SSL is basically what makes a website secure for processing credit card transactions. You need an SSL Certificate installed on your web hosting account in order for you to have that https:// type web address that you see on ecommerce sites that tells you the website is secure.

An IP address basically is just a number that tells the web browser where to go. Sort of like a phone number for websites (In the format like: 255.255.255.255) . Most websites on shared webhosts share the same IP address. If you want to have an SSL certifcate for processing secure transactions, then you will need your own IP address. You probably won't need to know what that IP address number is, but your web host should be able to tell you if you need your own or not.
 

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Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

IP address is actually your domain in number form. Back BEFORE the internet was what is it today, people would call up websites by IP address.. Looks like this
12.123.123.123
NOW they have domain names attached to the IP address. The HOSTS own a load of IP address, usually 38.0.0.0 - 38.244.244.244 and they give their customers one of those. You can get a shared IP or dedicated IP, but it is like your address on the web, and your domain is what points to your site.. OR you can get a dedicated adn customers can type in your IP or your domain and ALWAYS get your website.

You want a dedicated IP when you have a dedicated SSL because SSLs are IP specific and will ONLY work on that particular IP address. That is for the safety of the customer.

Now the SSL (secure socket layer) is a way to encypt your website so that when the data that the customer enters into a form on your site is completely encypted as it passes from the site to your database. So everytime a customer logs is, the login form shoudl be on a secure page, or when they create an account, or when they check out.

You can define which pages of your site are secure and which ones are not usually through a configure file. (oscommerce makes this easy to do). You never want to make your entire site secure because you then technically have TWO sites.. https://yourdomain and http://yourdomain and you will get penalized by google for duplicate content.

When you choose a host, the BEST thing to do is choose one that can grow with you.. that is why i chose hostmonster. Off the bat your get unlimited EVERYTHING, which means your site has built in growth.> Then you can add things like dedicated IP and SSL afterwards, if you feel you NEED it. (Or you can use hostmonster's free shared SSL which does the same thing).

You also want a host that will allow for php AND mysql. The cheaper ones do not all that type of coding which means that you could never have an e-commerce site.

If you are STILL entirely confused, i suggest you go and call hostmonster;s tech. support.. they are AWESOME and will explain everything. They also one click installation of some of the most complicated shopping cart systems (like oscommerce) which means that you can just jump right in and start designing. You dnt have to configure the database or anything. I LOVE THAT FEATURE!!

Oh yea, AND they use a control panel called cPanel with is top notch for newbies.. nice, easy to understand layout and big icons for all the different things you can do with your hosting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

OK - So I can decide on my hosting site and then design my website using what the hosting site ahas to offer - or do I hire or use another service or applications to design the site then just rent out the host? I'm sure I am missing a thread on this somewhere too. Sorry :confused:

Cheryl
 

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Re: shared hosting vs. dedicated

OK - So I can decide on my hosting site and then design my website using what the hosting site ahas to offer - or do I hire or use another service or applications to design the site then just rent out the host? I'm sure I am missing a thread on this somewhere too. Sorry :confused:

Cheryl
Your webhost just hosts the files (webpage files, image files, shopping cart software files, etc)

You can either use the tools provided by the webhost to create those files (create your website), or you can create your website yourself on your computer and upload those files to your webhost. OR, you can hire someone to create a website for you, and when their done, they give you the files and you upload those webpage files to your webhost.
 

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I think i aconfused your on the on click install of oscommerce..

MANY hosts offer one click installs of SCRIPTS. Scripts are prewritten "programs" that you can use to build your website. They offer photo gallery scripts, forum scripts, classifieds scripts, and more. That are all just programs that you use as PART of your website.

For instance, oscommerce (I am using this because i KNOW the program)

You go to SCRIPTS on your host's cpanel.. Then you install. Now, all of a sudden, you will have once folder called catalog and you will have a LOAD of files on your server that was not there before.. Then, you can go to your website, mydomain.com/catalog and you will see the stock oscommerce install. THIS is your working website.. Its done. You instantly have a full hundred page website that is fully functionings.. it just doesnt look like what you want.

oscommerce, and ALL other shopping carts REQUIRE the use of a database to run. Unlike html sites, where the information on the site is all on that page in that page's code, the information on the pages in oscommerce is pulled from the database and the layout and functions of that page are in code.. So all of your products and customer information are in a database and called upon only when needed.

So thats it.. You set up for host, use a one click install and then head over to the forum and start reading how to configure and use it..

it will be a STEEP learning curve, because you dont know much about php.. but i was where you are right now, about 2 years ago..
 

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I jumped in head first and installed oscommerce. I had no idea what FTP even was.. my host helped me set all that up.

FTP - file transfer protocol. It is a program (like Fetch or Filezilla) that takes files from your computer and puts them on your host.

So i installed the oscommerce, bought two books. One by David Mercer and the other by Monika Mathe. I cant remember the names, but Amazon.com has them.> David Mercer has two, i bought the 2nd pro one.. the beginner one was even too beginner for me!!

I also went to the forums. There are a bunch of tips and tricks. LOTS of information in the oscommerce knowledge base gives you some step by step how tos.

Basically i just went ahead and installed my first addon. That is basically a package of files and some instructions. I printed the instructions and followed them step by step and wrote notes as i was doing it. I paid close attention to the actual changes i was making and how it effected the site.

After all of that, i now have a GOOD handle and do websites for other people. I have actually written some tutorials for begininers. Its all just trial and error. Expect to break the site a few times, ALWAYS make backups and go to the forum and ask for help.. Really, there is help there that is something MOST poeple would pay for.

the ONE piece of advice i can give to you is DO NOT install a template that you buy from template monster or other providers.. REALLY research templates if you choose that route. The reason is that the people who create templates made them years ago and just keep re-selling them to make money, but never install the updates or security packages that oscommerce comes up with. They just keep selling it and eventaully people get templates with code that is SOOO hacked and SOO out of date that it is impossible to help them/

I have regularly told people that using a template usually requires more php knowledge than most people have.
 

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So how did you learn it?

Cheryl
I learned the same way as lindsayanng. Trial and error, making mistakes, just "trying it", reading lots of forums.

I personally would suggest cubecart over oscommerce because to me it is much easier to template and make look the way you want to, but really it probably just boils down to preference and what each person is more comfortable with or what they learned.

If you are a "do it yourself" kind of person, my best suggestion would be to "try it". Try downloading the software, try reading the instructions, try installing it, and then whenever you get stuck, use the forums (here or the official forums for the software you pick). You will likely find an answer for whatever you get stuck on because so many people have used the software from all different skill levels. Then keep moving forward.

Doing it and trying it is so much easier on the learning process than reading about things (in my opinion). Making mistakes is half the learning process :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
lindsayanng the forums you are mentioning are the ones connected with oscommerce and such?

Rodney - In the search area I have typed in starting a website and creating an e-commerce site - should I be putting in different key words?

Thanks,

Cheryl
 

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Rodney - In the search area I have typed in starting a website and creating an e-commerce site - should I be putting in different key words?
It depends on what exact information you're looking for. Sometimes you may need to try out different terms. One or 2 terms may not cover all the different questions you come up with as you start reading more.

This is another great place to look for finding lots of post about a particular keyword topic:
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