Continuing webhost or not?

(Rick) #1

I bought my domain and have had web hosting since about 2007. It seemed like a necessity back then, just before the explosion of social media and before I had really fully embraced photo sharing sites. It seemed more ‘professional’ to be able to point to my own custom domain.

It’s now 2018, almost 2019, and I find that, other than my own vanity email address, my webhosting rarely gets used. The only exception is when I upload pics to a custom gallery to deliver them to a client. I also have a couple of blogs that I use with my webhosting. With social media, dropbox, etc… it seems like I’m able to accomplish what I need to without my own hosting.

Even though my domain/hosting is currently <$100 USD a year, I’m wondering if I can put that money to better use elsewhere. Flickr Pro, for example (I’m quite active there). I guess I’m not asking for your advice; I’m just wondering if other photographers are, or have been, in the same situation: Continuing to spend money on your domain/hosting after it might not seem worth it to do so. Have you dropped yours? Used it in a different way? Just put it on hold? I’m curious to know what your experiences are.

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#2

I would look to get the cost down if it’s rarely used. My personal hosting plan only costs couple of bucks per month (namecheap). That way I don’t flinch when it’s time to renew.

(Alan Gibson) #3

I first used snibgo.com in 1999, with great dot-com ambitions. It rusted away, but I revitalised it in 2014. Domain plus hosting cost about £25 (GBP) per year. This is nothing; the real cost is my time.

For me, the great thing is that it’s under my control. I decide what gets shown on my pages, and how the pages work, and how I build, upload and maintain them. I’m not subject to the fashions and fancies of social media 12-year-old techies.

That’s also a drawback. It highlights that I’m not a social media guru with all the latest toys and gizmos at my fingertips. I can live with that.

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#4

I have hosted stuff on my home server forever, and it served me surprisingly well. Nothing fancy, but I got my photo galleries and blog there. The galleries suffer a bit from the bad upstream, unfortunately, so I’ve been thinking about fixes for that.

I would probably never go to a commercial service. I care about my data. An acceptable compromise would be a shared hosting or virtual server, but not something like Flickr, unless it’s just a vanity page and I have a full backup elsewhere.

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(Rick) #5

Thanks for the reply. To be sure, I use Flickr very differently than I do my web hosting, and I really don’t use either to back up my images. Right now I don’t have the inclination to have a home server, although I know some people are very successful with those. I will probably just look for some bare bones/minimal hosting for the times I do need my own webspace and go from there.

(Pat David) #6

We are using Stablehost for hosting pixls.us (excepting discuss, which needs way more than a simple webhost).

As @snibgo already mentioned, the greatest thing about your own hosting is that you control what gets shown. I’ve already linked this before, but it bears repeating:

If you’re going to post consistent content on your own site, then it’s totally worth it.

If you’re not really doing much with it, I can certainly offer to host it for you (for free).

I can also offer wordpress if that’s your thing, or we can absolutely do a static site (if you wanted help with a design at all it might take a bit as there’s a small backlog).

At the very least you can always just park the domain on a simple landing page or couple-of-page site to make sure the presence is always there (and contact info, of course).

So, yes, I’d keep the domain and either switch to us hosting it for free, or consider a really inexpensive option (like I said, Stablehost has a plan for $4/mo). That should get costs down and let you purchase that Flickr Pro account.

[edit] - hmm, now that you’ve got me thinking about it I wonder if I might be able to offer free hosting to anyone in the community. It might actually be do-able without too much trouble.

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(Rick) #7

That’s incredibly generous of you, Pat. I do have a Wordpress install that I’ve been using to showcase and share my portrait work to clients, but it has become quite bloated. My plan moving forward is, if I continue with any kind of hosting, to not share via that method anymore. Really, all I need is access to my email, a static page, and room for some subdomain folders. If the subdomains aren’t possible, that’s by no means a deal breaker; they would just involve some static pages anyway. My traffic is minimal and I would of course limit how data I store on there at any one time. And if your hosting doesn’t work out, I’ve been looking into some that is just a few bucks a month. Let me know if you would like to look into that further and we can discuss it more. Thanks again.

#8

It’s unclear to me what that means - do you run stablehost.com? or do you mean sharing access to the account?

I’d sure love to have a place to dump my hi-rez images other than my crappy home DSL … :wink:

And I do believe that static site generators are the way to go. So much simpler than managing a CMS, database and so on. Easy to install anywhere, cheap to host, easy to backup… The only downside is lack of comments/starring/etc, but I don’t really use that anyways. I started using Sigal and I don’t think I’d ever go back to previous galleries I used (Menalto, Coppermine, Piwigo, Photofloat… i did try a bunch…)

(Pat David) #9

Sorry, let me clarify.

We host the main website on a webhosting plan at stablehost.com. (As a side note, they’ve been a fantastic webhost in terms of uptime and responsiveness to problems or requests.)

If you’re looking to host a bunch of images I’d personally recommend using a service for that like Flickr if possible.

If you’ll need a website as well, we can figure something out possibly. I had toyed with the idea of setting up accounts for users to showcase their own photography off this domain, something like https://pixls.us/patdavid or https://pixls.us/anarcat, but I honestly haven’t gotten past the thinking about it a bit phase. In theory it’s a super neat idea. In practice it may be more than we can handle… :slight_smile:

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