View Full Version : Web apps for family hosting solution

06-12-2005, 05:22 PM
I'm looking to set up my family with some mini-sites off of our main url. For example, dad.reismans.net, mom.reismans.net, etc. so that we can have a virtual family album online. I'm looking for either an open source solution that would offer things like a wiki, photo album, blog, etc. in one package, or curious what individual packages people would recommend. I've been doing some research on the various offerings, but frankly I am simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of piecemeal offerings. The easier it is for the user to use, the better.

06-12-2005, 06:53 PM
Wordpress (http://wordpress.org) for the blog. It allows you to have multiple authors in the same blog, or just one or whatever

06-12-2005, 07:00 PM
I'm not entirely sure what you are hoping the software will do (blogs? photo albums? cms? wikis? ???) or what sort of control you have over the server (are you serving the pages from your own machine? are you uploading php, SQL, html, etc files to a remote server?), but if you have control over the server and what services are running on it, you might have a look at plone (http://plone.org).

'Out of the box' it will do quite a lot, is quite flexible, and is free. There are literally dozens of add-ons and extensions for it (see here (http://plone.org/products/plonesoftwarecenter_view) and here (http://www.contentmanagementsoftware.info/)). You can make it look the way you want rather quickly through the internal css or by using one of the skins (http://www.ploneskins.org/). If you like writing python scripts, you can extend it to accomplish damned near anything you want. In other words, it is rather easy to set up and customize, but also remarkably open ended.

Just a suggestion.


06-12-2005, 08:08 PM
I am simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of piecemeal offerings.
open-source unix stuff is largely piecemeal. The whole programming philosophy is do one thing, and do it well. Blog software blogs. Photo album software does photos. Want both? Put the blog in the main directory (www.mysite.com/index.html) and the photos in a subdirectory (www.mysite.com/photos/index.html). Swiss army knife packages tend to be missing that one feature I want, or have lots of unnecessary things hanging around.

To do your subdomains (mom.riesmans.net) you modify the httpd.conf file's <VirtualHost> directive to add a ServerName entry with a different DocumentRoot. If this is your server (all this stuff is built in to OSX) read the manual, if it's a commercial server call the support desk and ask. Most places it's either free or a one-time token charge.

Have you purchased reismans.net ? There's no DNS entry for it. You need that before going much furthur. If you intend to host your site from your home computers I'd recommend buying it at www.dyndns.org because you will end up using them for name/address resolution.

06-13-2005, 02:59 PM
For the blog, we have a full license of MT that we paid for. Plone looks very interesting, so going to play around with that tonight. We'll have full access to the box (I used to run the server off my dual G5, but when we moved, I couldn't get Speakeasy at the house, or DSL for that matter, so I'm stuck with the non-hosting option of cable) because we'll rent a dedicated server. Haven't set up DNS yet, because we're still trying to find the hosting company that we want to use.

Thanks for the suggestions. Open to any all others! :)

06-13-2005, 06:02 PM
You're renting a dedicated server for a family website?!?!!?? That's like buying an XServe Raid for the music collection. I've had the company website on Apollo Hosting (http://www.apollohosting.com) for several years now and I'm generally very happy with them.
Shared plans start at $20 a month, and virtual private servers start at $39. 200Mb of storage is plenty for a small business, should be more than adequate for a family site.

Craig/Phil/Rob: how much disk space does this place consume?

The hosting company and the domain registrar have very little to do with one another. Many places (including Apollo) do both, and it is more convenient, but there's no problem buying the domain at company A and getting the hosting from company K or P or D. If the hosting company says otherwise, hang up immediately.

06-13-2005, 06:10 PM
But will we have the ability to install applications and perl modules on a virtual server? Right now I'm using Dathorn for a few sites and frankly I'm not thrilled with it. It's a virtual server situation and we're quite limited in terms of custom applications. We'd actually be looking at putting more than just the family site up - maybe as many as a dozen sites, so it would end up being a decent use of a box, plus like I said we want to be able to put together customer offerings for the family.

06-13-2005, 06:23 PM
pair.com and pairnic.com have been around quite a while for web hosting and domain name registration. I have used the subdomain features on pairnic and it worked very well. I have several clients that use pair for basic web hosting and it works fine for them. I have no experience with or knowledge of their dedicated server packages.

Phil St. Romain
06-13-2005, 06:42 PM
infopop.com and quite a few others give you several subdomains and that would handle part of the request.

Seems you're getting some good suggestions for the others.

06-14-2005, 03:13 AM
But will we have the ability to install applications and perl modules on a virtual server?
On a true virtual host with root access, yes.
The ones at Apollo Hosting have several accounts on the same machine, but the OS is partitioned so that you "own" the whole works. You never see the other users. If you want to replace anything, go right ahead. If you completely hose the system, there's a nominal reinstall fee :D. They do the daily backups and replace failed hardware. Overall it's a pretty good deal and much cheaper than a completely dedicated host.

Have you looked at http://www.macminicolo.net ??

06-15-2005, 12:35 PM
Macminicolo looks seriously cool! Thanks for sharing that one. :)