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  1. #1
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    Personal Web Pages

    Okay, so I know Jeff is working on a new one, and a lot of you have them up. I've been considering doing one for a while, to get pictures and the like up for family and friends, and just sort of general stuff that only people who know you are interested in. I also have many pictures of NYC that I want to get up, with some thoughts..

    Anyway. A few questions.

    - Is it worth it to go for paid hosting as opposed to one of the 'free' places you can put pages up?

    - For a site that will have many pictures, is a hosted site pretty much the only option?

    - What software is good for creating pages. I know some HTML, but have no desire to write the entire page - and not the kind of time to invest in it either. Used to use Netscape Composer or whatever it is, but obviously, that doesn't appear well on IE, which is even more standard now than it was then - any recommendations?

    Thanks!

    ------------------
    "I want the fairy tale..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  2. #2
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    I just use my ISP's free space. So far it's been enough for me, but my page structure is generally lean and I have maybe a dozen photos total. (Remember, too, there are programs out there which can significantly reduce the size of a JPEG with virtually no visual difference on the screen.)

    I write my own HTML, partly as a learning exercise, and partly because whenever I've used an authoring tool I've never been entirely happy with the results and have ended up editing the HTML by hand anyway. And the tools usually put so much font tag garbage in that it ends up more aggravating for me than just writing it from scratch. However, I've not tried any of the more recent and advanced tools, so maybe some of them are better.

    For sharing photos with friends and family, you might want to look into MyFamily.com. I have a site set up for my mother's side of the family, and a cousin set one up for my father's side. It's free if you don't mind ads and somewhat limited storage space, and for a small yearly fee (per family or whatever sort of group, not per person) you can get much more space and no ads.

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    Charles Reace

    charles{DOT}reace{AT}verizon{DOT}net
    web site | [url=http://www.ebookworm.us/[/url]

    [i]...Sound trumpets! Every trumpet in the host! / Sixty thousand, on these words, sound, so high the mountains sound, and the valleys resound.</i] (The Song of Roland)

  3. #3
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by QAGirl:
    - Is it worth it to go for paid hosting as opposed to one of the 'free' places you can put pages up?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you just want to do simple things, not in a professional capacity, then, yes, these freebies can be worth it. Some problems that might crop up: (1) Make sure that your content remains your property; some services had problems with this. (2) The price may change from "free" to something later on. (3) The free service may go away.

    Again, if your site is just "for fun" then those caveats will probably not matter all that much.

    You also cannot get your own domain name with most free services. You are, instead, a virtual directory on the hoster's domain. (In the "Any Writers?" forum, notice how my "jnyma3" directory is actually part of AT&T's domain. My GlobalTester domain, however, is my own.) However, again, if your site is not for professional purposes that probably does not matter to you.

    Also, many hosters throw in various frills like periodic backups, site trends reporting, CGI scripts, etc., etc. Once again, however, if those are things you really do not need, then you do not have to worry. (And some freebie offerings do give you a few things, like simple scripts for guestbooks and such.)

    Bottom line: you get more freedom with a hosted solution but you also pay more. And if you do not need your own domain or the benefits of a hosting service, it hardly makes sense to pay for such.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>For a site that will have many pictures, is a hosted site pretty much the only option?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    When you check out the free hosting option, just check how much space they give you. Usually it is around ten megabytes or so but some give more, some give less. So it depends on how much space your "many pictures" will take up.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>- What software is good for creating pages.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am biased on this because I dislike tools that "do it for me." I want to get into the HTML markup myself, particularly because I always use style sheets. I tend to use Allaire's HomeSite (not free) or EvrSoft's 1st Page 2000 (free). Occasionally, if doing something complicated, I will use Dreamweaver (definitely not free).

    In general, something like Dreamweaver is good if you want to do complex layouts, multiple layers, or have good integration with Flash, for example. However, for simple HTML editing it may be way too much depending upon how much you like to work with these tools. Dreamweaver does offer an excellent template ability but it is hardly worth using the tool solely for that option. Also remember that you can simply use NotePad, WordPad, or any Word processor as long as you save to ASCII text format.

    I do not use any tools that are specific to Microsoft (such as FrontPage) or Netscape (such as Composer). I do like FrontPage as far as its interface but it adds way too much Microsoft overhead in the code, particularly if you use things like themes or shared borders.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    Thanks for the feedback, guys!

    Charles: I actually have a number of albums created on www.photoisland.com for my family to just view photos.. I'll probably continue to upload some there, as I have never had issues, they continue to be free for up to a certain amount of storage, and my things have stayed there even when I was inactive for periods of up to six months.

    I thought it would be fun to create my own page, though.

    When you refer to your ISP, do you mean your Verizon account? Do you use their dial-up or DSL? I have the high-tier (fastest available) DSL, and know I get dial up, but wasn't aware they do free space for pages as well...

    And from both of you, I'm getting the general consensus that the page-building software isn't a good way to go. Aside from personal preferences, and wanting to 'do it yourself', are there major benefits to writing it yourself? When I say I know 'some' HTML, it's fairly limited, so the next question would be how tough it is to learn...

    And a side question... on average, how much do 'hosted' sites charge?

    ------------------
    "I want the fairy tale..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  5. #5
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by QAGirl:
    When I say I know 'some' HTML, it's fairly limited, so the next question would be how tough it is to learn...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is extremely easy to learn. So is CSS, XHTML, XML, XSL, etc. Remember these are only markup languages - not programming languages. In general, also, I think QA/QT people should be proficient in, at the very least, HTML coding because it allows you to suggest usability, accessibility, and performance concerns. So, regardless of how easy or how hard it is, I recommend learning it.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>And a side question... on average, how much do 'hosted' sites charge?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It totally depends. Most have different price plans for different setups. For example, some, like Burlee, offer a very cheap offering with unlimited disk space, but you have to adhere to a few rules or guidelines in order to be allowed to use that. You can find them as cheap as $9.99 a month up to $60.00 a month.

    Obviously you are not doing to be doing things like co-location hosting or dedicated server hosting. You are just going to want a basic shared hosting solution.

    If you think of going the hosting route, check out sites like:
    http://www.webhostdir.com/ http://www.findahost.com/ http://www.hostreview.com/ http://www.webhosters.com/

    There are a few others but those can give you some ideas.

    A lot of people like Burlee so you might check them out:
    http://www.burlee.com/

    Keep in mind, also, that if you go the hosting route, you can get a Linux server, a WinNT server, or a Win2000 server. So if you have a preference make sure you look for that. But, again, also consider if you need to pay for a hosting solution. If you are just doing stuff that will be of limited interest to friends and family, then you might not need a full hosting solution.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    I found learning HTML and CSS to be fairly simple, but I worked for 3 years at a typesetting company (many moons ago), so some of the concepts and terminology probably came a bit easier to me than they would to some. The neat thing about HTML is that if you see a page you like, you can do a "View Source" on it and figure out how the author did it (though sometimes it can get pretty obfuscated, especially if they use a lot of JavaScript).

    I have a Verizon DSL connection at home (the cheapest/slowest one, and it's plenty good enough for me). If you go to www.verizon.net and then click on the "My Account" tab and log in, you should get a page with a link over on the left side to "Personal Web Space" which should get you started. You can get 5Mb of free space.

    Have fun!

    ------------------
    Charles Reace

    charles{DOT}reace{AT}verizon{DOT}net
    web site | [url=http://www.ebookworm.us/[/url]

    [i]...Sound trumpets! Every trumpet in the host! / Sixty thousand, on these words, sound, so high the mountains sound, and the valleys resound.&lt;/i] (The Song of Roland)

  7. #7
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Charles Reace:
    I have a Verizon DSL connection at home (the cheapest/slowest one, and it's plenty good enough for me).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yeah, you and me both... I'd say it was a man thing if you weren't male too - Roomie needed the faster connection to play online games like JumpGate with less issue...

    Thank you SO much for the info!

    ------------------
    "I want the fairy tale..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  8. #8
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    I think that Dreamweaver that Jeff is talking about has now been upgraded to "UltraDev" which has added features like database access support. More info at macromedia.com, of course.


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  9. #9
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gilbert:
    I think that Dreamweaver that Jeff is talking about has now been upgraded to "UltraDev" which has added features like database access support. More info at macromedia.com, of course.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Keep in mind they are definitely two separate products. UltraDev has actually replaced the idea of Drumbeat 2000, not Dreamweaver. It contains a few more advanced features than Dreamweaver. UltraDev is more if you want a full development platform for building Web sites with a lot of fancy features. It is built on the same platform concept as Dreamweaver is, however, and offers the same kinds of integration. Ultradev also offers more options for team-based development.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Personal Web Pages

    Allrighty then...

    Charles, Jeff... good books on HTML?

    Anyone else use *anything* that 'does it for you' and have differing opinions? I'm feeling so like it's gonna make me a bad person if I do things that way LOL

    ------------------
    "I want the fairy tale..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

 

 
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