Q's from a complete rook


#1

I’m looking to start a website and am considering DreamHost.

I know nothing about setting up a site, and am not a programmer.

I use Windows, and want to start with a discussion board which I anticipate having very light traffic initially. I will be learning as I go and plan to eventually add things like daily informational updates, photo and possibly video galleries, databases, etc.

Questions:

Is DreamHost a good choice for a complete newb like me who uses Windows?

For my discussion boards, does DreamHost have a product I can utilize, or will I need to look for something elsewhere?

Does DreamHost have decent tools that would allow someone like me to get a basic site up and running?

Thanks in advance for any responses.


#2

You can definitely get going with phpBB with no programming experience at all. You might have to read the instructions, but it’s all pretty easy and straightforward.

One-click install, add some boards, make some decisions about people signing up, etc, and you’re off!

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#3

Oops, I see that I should stop and read the manual sometimes too… :slight_smile:

So phpBB or SMF will provide a discussion board. A lot of sites get along with just that. They set up a news forum where the admins post news and such, allow photo uploads and such. I don’t see many databases implemented on top of forums, but certainly it would be straightforward to link to other software providing that functionality.

An alternative is a more integrated Content Management System like Joomla! The general pattern of Joomla! use is that you have a front page that provides news and then link to other areas that provide a forum, photo galleries, etc.

When I have to choose between a simple forum and a Joomla! site, I think about why people are coming to my site. If I’m primarily trying to create a community where the important thing is the interaction between the members, I create a discussion board. If I think that people are primarily looking for news and that discussion is secondary, then I use one of the bigger content management systems.

I find CMS’s much harder to configure than a phpBB. Most of this is because they are so flexible and have so many configuration options. I also find it hard to keep up with providing timely and relevant content for the front news page of a CMS. It’s much easier for me to throw out some forums and let the users provide their own content. :wink:

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#4

I think its ever wise for you to start with phpBB instead of Joomla. Lensman said on previous post that its harder to configure Joomla. True. But i say its more than harder for newbie who never still managed/administrated a forum. You can use Wordpress(blog) for your news needs, Gallery for photo gallery etc etc. All these are included on the DreamHosts one-click installation. Thats very easy to install,configure and run. And no need of programming knowledge. If you think forum is first priority for you then simply start with a forum and then add other contents. But if you think blog(for news) is first priority then setup wordpress on your primary domain and setup your forum on a subdomain(something like forum.yourdomain.com) . Also you can create a photo gallery (using Gallery) on another subdomain(something like photos.yourdomain.com) or on a subfolder. Remember that you can always link to your forum,photo gallery from your blog easily. Its not needed to create forum,blog,photo gallery at once. You can add them later anytime. But on Joomla you have start everything at the first time.
Wish that helps :slight_smile:

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#5

And doesn’t matter that you’re a windows,mac or Linux user,although DreamHosts shared servers are based on Debian Linux. If you use one-click installs,you’ll get online graphical click-n-configure type admin section. Thats very much easier.

Yes,ofcourse. I already said it doesn’t matter which operating system you use and there’s one-click installs for all of newbies to experts.

No,you’re getting everything you on DreamHost and with an affordable price. Even you can get your site only at $22.4 for the first year using a promo code(you can see my signature or others to get one). Again using a promo code you’ll get 200gb disk space and 2000gb bandwidth instead of the decreased quota if you use any promo code. But my advice for choosing DreamHost is for their fairly behaviour. You get lots of features on DreamHost what other providers don’t give. There’s no CPU usage limit,no concurrent connection limit etc etc. Even DreamHost isn’t intended to kick you off. If your site uses much more CPU usage and that harms to others customers then DreamHost will work with you to decrease your CPU usage. But most of the other hosting providers will just kick you off. That the reason i like DreamHost and advice other to get it.

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#6

Dreamhost has one click installs you can use, once you get a bit more knowledgeable there is plenty of other software that you can install for free that usually comes with a simple step by guide to install. PHPBB can be installed easily by one click install but there are other options you can look in to. As phpbb is pretty much standard there are usually ways t import data from it in to other software.

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#7

Using Windows should not be a problem. Many of the people I know who are hosted on Dreamhost use Windows.

As a host I think Dreamhost is fine for people who are newer to web design. Although the wiki and discussion boards can be helpful if you want to learn (x)html, css, javascript, php, etc you will probably need to get that information from elsewhere. Alternately you can use a basic free program like Nvu (helpful link below) or Amaya or paid more complete programs like Dreamweaver. You can create the files in these programs and then use the web FTP or an FTP program to upload the files.

The one-click install on Dreamhost is generally pretty easy to use. Dreamhost will let you run various other relatively easy to use tools you can find online (galleries, other discussion boards, etc), but you have to be careful with those because many have security issues.

http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Nvu