Questions on website hosting

AtomicSnowflake

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#1
The man at our church who has been maintaining our church website, has recently turned it over to me. Right now, it's basically just a couple of pages with the address, phone number, calendar, and several of our most recent sermons.
I will be trying to make the website more informative, engaging, & interactive. I want it to be a tool to be used to reach out to our community.
I will be working on adding a section for podcasts that can be used with itunes... and also more pages of content, community needs/activities, forums, a blog from our pastor, and other things..

The webhost our church uses now seems to me to be over-priced when compared to what they offer. I have a website of my own from another host that is much cheaper, and I've been pleased with their service, (since about 2006?). Anyway, now that I will be designing/maintaining our church site, I have a few questions.
First of all I do not want to just use a managed wordpress account. I want to have access to all of the nuts & bolts. I will be wanting to get SSL for it due to having member accounts, storing personal information, (member directory with names, addresses, phone numbers.) There are no plans to ask for donations, sell anything, or any kind of exchange of money. But people don't like seeing their browser or antivirus telling them their login & connection is not "secure"..lol
So, what exactly should I expect from the webhost? Especially with what is available to me via the cpanel, plugins/features, etc.?
We are not big... just a little small church. But right now, we are paying around $170/yr for the site, (my "personal" website only costs me that much for 3 years!... and I just found out a few days ago that the church's "webhost" is actually a "re-seller" account)....

I don't really want to worry about those hosts that impose "limits"... the one I use is "unmetered", unlimited databases, unlimited subdomains, email, etc. I have access to SSH & other stuff.
What can I reasonably look for that would cost no more than the $170 we pay now, AND also be able to have SSL, (only needed for the one domain.. no subs).
Any tips on what to look for, or ask about when I'm shopping around??
 
Amens/Likes: bobinfaith

AtomicSnowflake

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Jan 8, 2017
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www.kz.indigo-phoenix.com
#5
Thank you for those suggestions Lanolin.
We have a church facebook page, as well as an existing website, (that currently uses wordpress). However, I'm stubborn and like to customize & change things so I don't get along very well with it :)
I am happy with the content software I have chosen for the future "make-over"...
Was just trying to get info. about the hosting plans/companies. It just seem that our host, (which is actually through someone with a re-seller acct), doesn't seem to offer enough for the cost... at least that's my opinion.
 
Amens/Likes: bobinfaith
Dec 14, 2014
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#6
The man at our church who has been maintaining our church website, has recently turned it over to me. Right now, it's basically just a couple of pages with the address, phone number, calendar, and several of our most recent sermons.
I will be trying to make the website more informative, engaging, & interactive. I want it to be a tool to be used to reach out to our community.
I will be working on adding a section for podcasts that can be used with itunes... and also more pages of content, community needs/activities, forums, a blog from our pastor, and other things..

The webhost our church uses now seems to me to be over-priced when compared to what they offer. I have a website of my own from another host that is much cheaper, and I've been pleased with their service, (since about 2006?). Anyway, now that I will be designing/maintaining our church site, I have a few questions.
First of all I do not want to just use a managed wordpress account. I want to have access to all of the nuts & bolts. I will be wanting to get SSL for it due to having member accounts, storing personal information, (member directory with names, addresses, phone numbers.) There are no plans to ask for donations, sell anything, or any kind of exchange of money. But people don't like seeing their browser or antivirus telling them their login & connection is not "secure"..lol
So, what exactly should I expect from the webhost? Especially with what is available to me via the cpanel, plugins/features, etc.?
We are not big... just a little small church. But right now, we are paying around $170/yr for the site, (my "personal" website only costs me that much for 3 years!... and I just found out a few days ago that the church's "webhost" is actually a "re-seller" account)....

I don't really want to worry about those hosts that impose "limits"... the one I use is "unmetered", unlimited databases, unlimited subdomains, email, etc. I have access to SSH & other stuff.
What can I reasonably look for that would cost no more than the $170 we pay now, AND also be able to have SSL, (only needed for the one domain.. no subs).
Any tips on what to look for, or ask about when I'm shopping around??
As you noted avoid resellers. Also avoid bandwidth maxed too-popular hosts like GoDaddy, you will lose potential traffic on first deploy. Avoid webhosts with too much porn hosting as well, like HostGator, those vids and traffic eat bandwidth. Use like HostMonster or A1, and test your rank with Alexa which is finer traffic determination than Google's pagerank. A decent webhost and fair content volume should get you well below 5 million Alexa rank immediate, and even 500K is doable with a little content effort and strategy. The webhost selection is the first accidental mistake many make-- or the first accidental "good choice". A clogged or daisy-chained host kills your site automatically.

TEST THEIR TECH-SUPPORT, ASK QUESTIONS FOR 15 MINUTES--- IF THEY CANNOT SPARE 15 MINUTES THEY CAN'T ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, or they just don't care. I used to talk to late night BlueHost/HostMonster techs for an hour and more and they were into it, that was 2008. But I always deployed on HostMonster and when benchmarked against GoDaddy and HostGator they blew them away, they are at the internet hub locale as well. Imo, avoid non-centrally located hosts too, but that is just my opinion. Do some network forensics with Robtex freeinternat tool site.

I guess HostGator was acquired and is in the Bluehost group now. But, do your background research on whoever you consider, like complaints, security breeches, downtime occurences, real reviews, etc.
 
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Amens/Likes: AtomicSnowflake

AtomicSnowflake

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www.kz.indigo-phoenix.com
#7
Thank you so much StarTemple for the in-depth advice! There are actually only about 2 maybe 3 webhosts that I've been sort of focusing my research on. One thing I like to do for a "quick" check is to go to twitter and see how many people are either complaining or complimenting a host..lol (Although, many of the good comments are really just from those with affiliate accts...so.. )
Again, thank you for the tips. And if you have more, please share :) And I hope you wont mind if I have to maybe bug you with some questions later too...
 
Dec 14, 2014
21
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#8
Thank you so much StarTemple for the in-depth advice! There are actually only about 2 maybe 3 webhosts that I've been sort of focusing my research on. One thing I like to do for a "quick" check is to go to twitter and see how many people are either complaining or complimenting a host..lol (Although, many of the good comments are really just from those with affiliate accts...so.. )
Again, thank you for the tips. And if you have more, please share :) And I hope you wont mind if I have to maybe bug you with some questions later too...
You're welcome. Track your web performance no matter who you select and don't be against moving again because they are not all the same. And I have seen people who were on a backwater server and web developer scenario who wasted years with a web that might as well been on a memstick in their dresser drawer. Then they try to do a redo and end up with the same problem and another 5 years passes and so on. Just get the SEO basic best practices in place for starters, keep refreshing and adding content and be on a good webhost by doing your Alexa or some other tool, traffic due diligence because any site with a little content can get a hundred a day which is very basic traffic but it is better than a "well kept secret" kind of web with 10 "accidental" visitors a month. But there are some who learn a few best practices and do them and have had far better results.

But I do not know the purpose of your web, so not everyone has the same needs. But yes, check the searches for host background and be careful with your web-tech because they all "know it all" but many times they are the problem and they try to keep the client in the dark and can end up making bad decisions based on opinion rather than real understanding. It is not that hard to become more knowledgeable than most web techs and it is a good idea to be able to know what your objectives are for the main goal. Set some objectives and sort of realize the web does have best practices but a poor webhost can defeat them from first deploy. I have many horror stories from out there and all it was in most cases was a web-tech who milked clients not the technology and they liked their mushroom-clients in the dark and after a while they did very little or nothing but still milked fees. Therefore get used to checking your performance in the website yourself. But I assume or you said you will be maintaining the web and it can be fun especially when you get the results you want. Webs that meet the goal are not accidental, there is plenty of available tips out there but also many "improve traffic" web gyms who are based on high-turnover not actual results in many cases.

Hope it goes well for you.
 
Amens/Likes: AtomicSnowflake