Hosting and FTP applications

What is a hosting? Which hosting is the best? What is an FTP client? Why do I need it? And how does it work?

Note: Since I’m using Apple Macintosh since 1995 and never used Microsoft Windows for the example on how an FTP application works I will use Cyberduck which is Mac-only. However all FTP applications work pretty much the same.

Chapter 1: Hosting
1.1 What is a hosting?
1.2 Which hosting is the best? And what server should I use?

Chapter 2: FTP applications
2.1 What is an FTP application?
2.2 Why do I need it?
2.3 How does an FTP application work? (basic)

Chapter 1: Hosting

1.1 What is a hosting?

An internet hosting service is a service that runs servers. Servers are machines connected to the web 24 hours a day. Servers allow you to store files on them which are always reachable through the internet.

1.2 Which hosting is the best? And what server should I use?

The minimum requirements to install WordPress is PHP 4.3 (or greater) support and a MySQL Database version 4.0 (or greater). Most of the hostings should fulfill the requirements. If you can choose what server to use to host your site choose a Linux server.

There are a lot of free hostings to be found on the web. I tried about ten or fifteen of them but I really wasn’t satisfied by any of them. I found them to be pretty unstable, sometimes even signing up for an account was a hassle and the support was poor. I’m glad I switched to a paid one...

The only problem is that there’s a jungle of hostings out there. As always in a jungle there are good hostings and there are bad hostings. The good hostings care about their customers, the bad ones don’t. It’s pretty difficult to know which hosting is good and which one is bad. Unless you know someone who has a website and ask him whether he’s happy with the service his hosting company provides or not.

If you’re looking for a good hosting I would really recommend you to use HostGator since I’m using it for my own websites. It’s working great and their customer support is great too. They are definitely on the good side of the jungle. Also I think it’s really easy to use.

HostGator currently offers the following hosting packages: Hatchling, Baby, Business, VPS.



Recommended for:

People who plan to build only ONE website.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer
- Unlimited MySQL
- 1 Domain allowed

and more...



Recommended for:

People who plan to build multiple websites.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer
- Unlimited MySQL
- Unlimited domains allowed

and more...



Recommended for:

People who plan to build multiple websites.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer
- Unlimited MySQL
- Unlimited domains allowed
- 1 dedicated IP address

and more...

All plans offer toll free customer support by Chat, Phone, Ticket and Forum.

Hatchling allows only one domain so it's only for people who want to build only one website. Baby allows unlimited domains hence unlimited websites. The Business Plan adds a dedicated IP address. A dedicated IP ensures faster response during periods of high traffic load and may also improve your website's ranking on search engines.

If you decide to use HostGator I would not recommend you to use the Hatchling plan unless you want to build only one website since otherwise it's way too limited. I would recommend you to at least use the Baby plan but better use the Business plan (which is the one I use). Of course you can upgrade your plan at any time.

If you plan having a lot of different websites or a website with a lot of traffic then you may want to have a look at VPS which offers more resources.

When you signup you can either choose a new domain or provide a domain you already own. You will also have to choose a username and a password. If you signup with an existing domain make sure to change the DNS Servers with the ones you will be provided by HostGator at your current registrar.

You will find a short review I wrote about HostGator as well as some basic instructions and FAQs on how to use HostGator on this page.

Other Hostings


www.hostexcellence.com

In comparison to HostGator HostExcellence doesn't offer a Forum for support and I find CPU usage on HostExcellence to be pretty limited. CPU is particularly important when having WordPress Blogs or PhpBB Forums. I used HostExcellence myself but am not using it anymore.

You will find a short review I wrote about HostExcellence as well as some basic instructions and FAQs on how to use HostExcellence on this page.

www.bluehost.com

I didn’t try it myself.



www.dreamhost.com

Compared to HostGator DreamHost doesn't offer customer support by Phone nor does it offer Live Chat. I'm really not a friend of the phone and use it as seldom as possible but I'm happy to know I actually have the possibility to call HostGator if I need to. I didn’t try it myself.



www.godaddy.com

An often used hosting is GoDaddy. While GoDaddy is great for Personal Domain registrations it doesn’t seem to be as good for hosting too. A lot of users complain about the poor customer support provided for GoDaddy’s hosting. I didn’t try it myself.

Chapter 2: FTP applications

2.1 What is an FTP application?

FTP means File Transfer Protocol. So an FTP application is an application that allows you to transfer files from let’s say your computer to let’s say your server.

2.2 Why do I need it?

You will need it to upload files to your server. Even if your hosting has one-click WordPress installation you will need an FTP application to upload images and other files to your server which are not part of WordPress (example: a Flash slideshow, music, images, ...). Delete files from the server. Download files from your server to your computer.

2.3 How does an FTP application work?

First thing to do is, of course, choose and download an FTP application. If you’re using an Apple computer like me I would recommend you Cyberduck which I will use for the example here. Cyberduck is Freeware (or Donationware), it is pretty good, really easy to use and the one I like the most...

First thing I have to do when I launch the application for the first time is configure it to allow it to access the server and retrieve/send data.

I click on Open Connection
Cyberduck - Open connection
and get a dialog window like this one:

FTP

In the FAQ’s and/or Support section at my hosting I am told what I have to insert in those fields
What the server is, what the username is to access and of course my password.
I check the Add to Keychain box (so I don’t have to insert the data each time) and click Connect.

It now is ready to connect to my server and retrieves the data from it. It displays the files that are on my server in the main window

FTP2

To make things easier Bookmark the location you upload your files to in Cyberduck.

Click on Cyber then Click on “+” at the bottom of the Bookmarks to add a Bookmark.

Next time you use Cyberduck simply go to

cyber2

click on the downward flash at the right and a drop down menu will appear from which you choose the bookmarked location on your server to connect to it.

To upload a file go to the File menu and choose Upload, choose the files to be uploaded (your wordpress folder or its content) or drag&drop them from the finder into the main field.

When the upload starts a window will popup displaying upload progress

FTP3

and that’s it...

To delete files select them in the main window, hit ctrl+click and choose Delete.


This FAQ is also discussed in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


© WPFAQ.org - Tutorials, Tips & Tricks is made with WordPress and for WordPress.
It's an EBookStoretoday.com company. It’s presented by Cédric Giger and hosted by HostGator.com

Thank you for visiting and supporting my website,
- Cédric -




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