General Question

Perchik's avatar

What do I need for this website?

Asked by Perchik (4982points) June 13th, 2007

I'm building a simple website for a college church group. It's only 6 pages. They're all in .apsx format with some ajax stuff on a couple of the pages. Right I'm trying to determine two things. Firstly- I need to do some database connections. I can do it with an access database and .. or I can use an SQL server thing. The question is what kind of hosting capabilities do I need to achieve this? (Currently I'm doing web programming with a state agency and they have a dedicated server machine with IIS enabled, so I haven't had much experience with outside hosting)

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14 Answers

ben's avatar

Well, I don't know much about aspx, but if you're in the Windows world of IIS, Access may be a good match... I also don't know much about Microsoft's technology though. SQL can be nice, and is not so tricky. For a site so small, I would start with sqlite (http://www.sqlite.org/), which is very simple and easy. As for as hosting, a dedicated machine should be more than you'll ever need.

If you're feeling ambitious, you could try setting up the machine with Linux and setting up an open-source webserver. Something lightweight like lighttpd would be good. That will take more time and learning, but ultimately may also prove more useful and enlightening. Is that helpful?

Perchik's avatar

Oh I mean that I do not have a dedicated machine for this project. I'm used to working with a dedicated machine.

ben's avatar

Ah, so you using shared hosting with IIS... well, nevermind. I would still look and sqlite for the db, and if that's no good you should probably check out Access (but others may know more than me about this).

andrew's avatar

So you don't actually need to use IIS, it's just being used in the system you're familiar with?

If that's the case, I'd recommend that you build it using a rapid web framework: either django (which we use for Fluther: www.djangoproject.com) or Ruby on Rails if you're so inclined.

The great thing about the frameworks is that they're not database-specific and they make web programming fun.

Perchik's avatar

Thanks ben. What kind of hosting will I need for this? the school has some basic hosting for people wanting to put up little html sites, but i don't think their service has any database support.

Evan's avatar

Look.. if it's only a 6 page website, and you're looking to just set it up and host it somewhere, then I think your best bet is to just redo the the structure. I'm unclear about what you're skills are...

Evan's avatar

As far as hosting, my experience has been that most schools won't support anything that's not static, so you'll need an external site to host it. For a lot of my own stuff I use GoDaddy.com, simply because they're reliable and extremely cheap. Hosting can be as low as around $4/mo. Depending on what type of database you use, you'll just have to tell them that you want asp support or php support (mysql) and they'll set you up with it.

Evan's avatar

I've found that mysql is a lot easier to work with, so if you write those six pages with .php extensions on the end instead of .html, you would want to get mysql hosting.

Perchik's avatar

well like I said they're all asp.net pages and right now I've got it set up where all i need to do is make some database connections. I'm familiar with working with the databases already built. I've never had to create a database from scratch though, thats why I wanted to look at other options.

Evan's avatar

I'm not great with asp, but I know that with MySQL you just create the database, and by default there aren't any tables.. so just go in and create one with however many columns you need, and in general you set one up to index, and if you're dating things then one to date, etc. If you've worked with asp databases in the past, then just go get one and look at it to copy.. As far as hosting is concerned, I'm pretty sure that GoDaddy is the cheapest, and has fantastic service, and all you would need is the super-ultra basic plan, with one database - and then you can create as many tables as you need. Like is said before, don't pay more than 3 or 4 dollars per month.

...Honestly though, with a 6 page site, what exactly are you using a database for? Just an email list? or do you have a web-updated events page or something? It really seems so much easier to just copy all the text content into some php pages and go for it - writing in asp is just a pain. :) :)

Perchik's avatar

Well the big page in the project is a bulletin board type page. Theres a "board" and a "pad of sticky notes". Users can drag a sticky note from the pad onto the board. Then the user decides if the sticky note is an event reminder, or just a "random note" . The random note has a title and a short description and long description. The title and short description are shown on the sticky note, with a "more info" button that expands the full description. The random note also has date range for how long to display the note. The other "event reminder" note has the same features, along with more details about the event.

I could do the GUI in flash, but I couldn't get the database connections set up right. So then I switched to asp.net because frankly, that's what they want me to use at work. (I work on websites for a state agency) . So I'm familiar with working in ASP.net. I've got all the GUI set up now anyway, however it's all built locally. That's why I'm trying to determine how to host it.

andrew's avatar

I second Evan about MySQL. Maybe because it's because it's the first engine I learned, but I've found it the easiest to comprehend. And any MySQL questions you can ask to Fluther (see http://www.fluther.com/disc/1244/how-can-i-search-for-a-specific-column-name-in-mysql/)

Evan's avatar

well it sounds like you're set as far as building goes.. so to host i would just go to godaddy and set up a hosting account with them. just make sure you tell them what you're hosting, and what you need, and they'll set you up on the right kind of server. (aka a server that supports asp).

out of curiosity, when you get it hosted i'd be interested in seeing a link to it. :)

glial's avatar

I agree with the MySQL statements, if you are going to be using PHP. If you are deadset on using ASP, Access with work fine (providing you don't have a ton of concurrent connections). I am thinking, and don't take this the wrong way, that you have written .aspx pages but aren't connected to a database, you really haven't "written" anything important yet as far as scripting goes. Basically, your haven't gotten into any connection scripts or SQL yet, or the question wouldn't of been asked.

My advices would be to go with a economical host that supports PHP and use a MySQL database. Again, if you are set on using .asp and access (MS SQL is way beyond your needs, and most of our wallets) then use an economical Windows host and you will be fine.

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