Do you own or help manage a website?  have you had past experiences with such a thing?  What tools, services or other goodies have helped you maintain it efficiently?  How accessible are they?  what do you recommend to someone starting out on such a project?
And yes, for the record, that someone is me myself and the voices in my head.  I don't really need anything fancy at the moment; simplicity is perfectly fine.  I would, however, appreciate any input I receive on this topic.

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

Thumbs up


Hello smile
I've been a website owner over many years.
So basicly I code my websites from the ground up but if you don't know how, have the time or any other reason, you can use wordpress.
Wordpress , for those who don't know, a cms system that are muchly used for bloggers, but can be used for any type of website.
With wordpress you can install themes so everyone can get a good design. And the best part, it is free, it is accessible on all platform and it can be extended with plugins.

Hope you could use that for something.
Any questions, just ask smile

I'm me. Just me. No one else. Only meeee!

Thumbs up +1


@NicklasMCHD, The only problem with word press is that it is extremely vulnerable to hackers. If your a security-type of person I would definitely disavow it's usage.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

Thumbs up


Ethin wrote:

@NicklasMCHD, The only problem with word press is that it is extremely vulnerable to hackers. If your a security-type of person I would definitely disavow it's usage.

What do you mean it's vulnerable to hackers. I mean sure, but that goes for everything. Especially something self code if your just starting out.

I'm me. Just me. No one else. Only meeee!

Thumbs up


@Ethin Wordpress is used by millions of people all over the world. It is the number one platform for bloggers. There are hundreds of installations daily. Software with such a fame will be targeted by hackers. No software is perfect, so yes, there are security issues occasionally, which are patched when discovered. But this is certainly not grounds for dismissing Wp.
You hear about a lot of planes crashing every year, but what nobody talks about  is the fact that hundreds of planes land successfully, every day.

@Nocturnus This depends on many things, mainly on what kind of site you would like to have. My two personal recommendations are Serendipity or Grav, see later.
I am sorry if some of this is not new to you, I tried to be as detailed as possible, so you have many options to choose from.

First, you need a place to host your site. This can be a free service or a paid one. Usually, the free ones are limited, i.e. they will not allow you to run resource-heavy software, host many databases, etc. If you'd like to go down the free path, http://freehostingnoads.net might be a good start.
You can also buy a dedicated server, https://www.kimsufi.com/en/ has very nice ones starting at around $5 a month.

Next, you will need a domain (an address that people can use to reach your website). Yet again, this can be free or paid.. If you'd like a free .tk, .cf or .ga domain, you can use http://www.freenom.com/en/index.html?lang=en
If you'd like to go with a paid one, http://namecheap.com is probably the most affordable. Don't forget to pay for whois protection, to hide your name/address, if you do not wish to disclose them. Also, check their blog, they have discounts almost every month for certain domains.

Now that you have a host and a domain, you probably want to choose something to run. This can be a blog engine, a cms (content management system), etc.
I personally like Serendipity. It is lightweight and fast. https://s9y.org/
You can also use Wordpress, however for a simple site it is quite a pain to manage, often having complex things that you do not need.
If you are okay with editing text files and uploading them, static site generators can also work. I am using one called Grav https://getgrav.org/. It has a ton of features and it is as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
There are other similar static generators, such as Nikola https://getnikola.com, or Hugo https://gohugo.io/.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Visit my site
You can also stop by for a slice of Pi

Thumbs up +2


I've managed a few sites and even more servers that run other services other than an http/s web presence, so, while of course you should choose what fits your situation and usage case the best here are some things I've found to work well.

First, the site itself:

As noted above, one way you can manage your own website is by coding it by hand. This means you'll need knowledge of (at minimum) HTML, managing a web server (if your hosting company doesn't do this for you), css, and maybe some java.
With this method, you would be writing out your pages by hand complete with HTML tags for tables, links, and forms; any css themes you want to include (to get a similar "feel" across pages on your site); including any java code (if you want ads or usage stats), etc.
This method is as accessible as your operating system's "notepad" program. You would upload your oh-so-carefully handcrafted HTML pages and any other files to your server (hopefully not over ftp); if the files were placed in the proper directory the web server would start serving them immediately.

Personally, for any site that's going to have more than 3 or 4 pages that will be updated even on a semi-regular basis, I think that's too much work. So moving up on the "less work, more gain" scale, you have static site generators.
A bit of background first though: Most sites (including this forum!) aren't static sites. That is, there aren't html files sitting on a server somewhere that (to use this forum as an example), have the text of people's posts. Instead there is a relational database somewhere that has posts as a field in a row of that database. When users request a page (http://forum.audiogames.net/viewtopic.php?id=21432) for example, a php or other wsgi (web server gateway interface) compliant program takes the data it's given (URL parameters, post body, headers), and builds a response. In the case of this forum, it looks at the specific topic (that's what the id parameter is), and pulls the posts for this topic out of a database and returns them in the form of this web page your reading now.
After that digression, you might understand a bit more about "static" and "dynamic" web content. When you have a static site (like in the case of hand-coded HTML or using a static site generator), web content is not pulled from a database and no extra script needs to run to return your content; when you request a file, all the web server has to do is send it to you. For dynamic sites, a script must run and (based on things like what the client is asking for in the URL, post body, etc), it must build an HTML page and send it back.
Static site generators (ssgs) are tools that make creating and managing "static" sites easier and far less painful. This is what I use for my personal blog for many reasons, not the least of which that static sites are less vulnerable to easily being hacked from common content management system vulnerabilities. I use Nikola, which lets you write your pages in a multitude of markup languages (markdown, ReST, even the markup this forum uses I believe). It then converts that into valid HTML, handles themes, handles comments with several different backends, etc. All in all it's very nice, as you simply write your pages / posts in whatever markup language you want, run a command and then upload to your server (Nikola can also automatically do this for you, you just need to tell it how).
There are drawbacks to this method, of course. With "dynamic" content management systems like Wordpress and others, all you need to make a new web page on your site is a web browser. With Nikola (and any static site generator), you either need that software on the server (and if so you'll need root access to it, more on that in a minute), or you need it installed on your local machine.
As mentioned above, the ssg method has advantages, the biggest (in my opinion) being security. Since your website's pages are just static files, an attacker would need to compromise your server and be able to modify or create files. In the case of dynamic sites, every request to a site runs a script that needs to do some work to return the page; this gives an attacker chances to break things (e.g, inserting a new post in your database when they shouldn't be able to, etc).

Dynamic sites (as mentioned above) have to run a script / program that (based on the data it's given) does some work to return the requested content. This is how wordpress and similar sites work; your posts are in a database and the "work" is pulling them out and rendering them into HTML. The advantages of this are that you need no extra software on any client where you want to create a new post or page; you create your post by visiting a web page, entering text in the forms provided, and hitting a button (like this forum does). A script runs and inserts that page or post into your database.
Disadvantages are, of course, security. Wordpress and friends are very popular platforms for people's web content; thus they have a lot of eyes on their code, looking for vulnerabilities that can be used against them. Also, setup (while not as bad as it used to be), is still more than the other methods, as you need to configure your web server to pass certain requests off to php (not all URLs that request dynamic content end in .php, very few do, in fact). Most web-specific hosting companies can do this for you.

This brings me to my next point: hosting

Hosting your website also depends.
There are companies that deal with things like server configuration, wordpress setup, and leave you to do the content creating. This is all well and good, but if you do this you usually don't have "root access" to the box your site is running on. This means that, (outside of what your hosting company supports), you can't offer any other services as you can't install packages, compile things, etc. As a typical example, you won't be able to host a team talk server with just a web hosting company.
The other option is to buy a server. Companies like Digital Ocean, Linode, and chunk host allow you to buy a server (really a virtual machine running on a large machine somewhere, but it makes no difference) and pay monthly for it's usage. These are cheap (5 dollars will easily support a small to medium website with a database and other services). With this option you have more control over what specific web server you use, where things are stored, how you can upload content, etc. This also means you can mess up if you, say, accidentally enable a firewall but don't allow ssh connections through. You also should be familiar (or know someone who is and is willing to help you) with the linux terminal. With this option, (in case it wasn't clear), you have root access to your server, so you can change anything you like; installing packages, setting up a mail server (though that's a whole different can of worms); and generally doing what you want.

Both are great options, and it depends on how much you know (or are willing to learn).

You'll need a domain, but someone has already given a good recommendation so I'll just agree with them.

Whew, this post was longer than I thought it would be.
Hope it helps, and good luck.

Twitter: @bladehunter2213

Thumbs up


I thank everyone who has already posted advice on this matter; it has certainly given me a lot to think about.  Currently, I have a Linode at my disposal though I see there is quite a bit to learn if I'm going to make this work myself from that perspective.  Much appreciation to all!

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

Thumbs up


i coding to my website on note pad, you just know a web design languages.

thanks for reading! and click to thums up please!

Thumbs up


@Nocturnus, I'd recommend you learn another page instruction language like Textile or ReStructuredText. Then go get Pandoc and convert it to HTML5. Or, you could also just learn PHP...
@Blademan, Java isn't used in web site design unless your writing applets (which are extremely restricted) or if your using a Java Web Server or writing your own custom web server. I think you mean JavaScript. JavaScript is used a lot (although I'd say PHP is far better than JavaScript is, IMO).

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

Thumbs up


@ethin Php and javascript are meant to do different things. Traditionally, one runs server-side, the other runs in a browser, client-side. With the advent of NodeJS, of course, javascript can also run server-side now, so the lines are fairly blurred. See the famous note taking app which uses NodeJS: http://etherpad.org/ But even client-side, javascript can do interesting things, such as power a wiki http://tiddlywiki.com/ or even a cms https://cdmedia.github.io/cms.js/
Javascript client-side can do a lot of things which can dramatically reduce your server load, I assume you have no experience with a website that deals with hundreds of thousands of visitors daily. The point of my post is that these languages are not really comparable. You have the right to prefer one of them over the other, of course, but this is going to seriously limit you.


Visit my site
You can also stop by for a slice of Pi

Thumbs up


Anyone else used CPanel/WHM?

Proud to be the official hosting provider for http://www.vgstorm.com!

Thumbs up


Hey folks,
I have some experiences with HTML for a longer time already, and a couple of months ago, I learned a bit of PHP during our coding lessons. It was funny and interesting to code, but to be honest, I preferr the CMS way.

I tried Drupal and Wordpress for a while, but for my purposes, Drupal is pretty complicated, and I have Troubles with Wordpress creating my own Website structure.

As far as Servers are concerned: If you'd like to just Play around with some CMS', I'd recommend XAMPP. XAMPP is a package with Tools that come in Handy on your local Server in combination with Apache. You just start XAMPP, and you can run your Websites and scripts over localhost.

I am currently trying to run a simple Webpage with a home page, a static page for example "About us" or "imprint", a page to post any upcoming News or Events (most preferrably using a preconfigured form to post any News/Events) and a contact page with a contact form.
So, in short, I only require some static Content and the Option to create my own forms that makes it easier editing my dynamic pages. What CMS would be therefore most recommendable?

Thanks in advance!

For more randomness, follow me on Audioboom at Sanostro!
Aut enim do tibi, ut des, aut do, ut facias, aut facio, ut des, aut facio, ut facias.

Thumbs up


i'm a web designer that works with html5, css and php for the most part, using javascript when needed.
I like to write my code and everything related to it from the ground up.
i started a website in 2015 when i was still at the institute where i learned programming, and by working on it i improved  not only my skills, but the site in general as well.
from static pages in 2015, to a homepage moved and powered by php and mysql, i went a long way.
from my own experience, i'd say that, if you want to seriously learn your code, you need to work on it, on every little part of it.
with a cms your job is easier, but if you want to really learn, code it yourself.
i learned a lot more working on my website than i did reading programming tutorials and books.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Thumbs up


@Robjoy, I do not recall me explicitly saying that Nocternous should use one or the other only; in fact, I think I never said anything of the sort, thereby allowing Nocternous to choose how he wishes to implement his site. Both languages are, in fact, comparable: both run on the server-and client-side of things now (Yes, PHP can run on the client-side of things (see command-line PHP apps like Composer)), both can do as many things as the other, and buth have other advantages and disadvantages I am unwilling to think of.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

Thumbs up