Skip to content

Hosting Change

March 4, 2010

I’ve finally managed (after almost 2 years) to make some time and get my dats.co.za domain updated. I was using HostRocket, but the 2 year renewal is coming up soon and I felt I didn’t use the facilities enough to warrant the price tag any longer.

In order to keep the functionality of my dats.co.za domain though, I needed these things :

  • DNS Server
  • A new blog server
  • An app server of some sort (so I can host code)
  • Basic site

The DNS server is by far the toughest of the lot, lucky I own the dats.co.za domain directly with the co.za registrar, so I could make changes there without much hassle. I looked at, and almost switched to, http://freedns.afraid.org/, but then I found out that they share the domain amongst all their users. Which is quite terrible.

I eventually settled on http://www.zoneedit.com, which is free up to a certain amount of traffic. I’m happy with that since I don’t think my dats.co.za traffic is that great. ZoneEdit is quite minimalistic, but it works extremely well, so I’m very chuffed.

Another thing about ZoneEdit that I mustn’t forget to mention is that they support WebForwards and EmailForwards directly – which is great. I don’t know if all dns servers provide this, but it works like a charm!

Next up, a blog server. A major issue with running and hosting my own blog online is that hackers have an absolute field day – you need to keep on top of things and keep your software up to date so that they don’t exploit all sorts of arbitrary vulnerabilites. I found two or three folders on my dats.co.za site that were using my site as part of a botnet. fantastic. Not to mention the times I’ve had to entirely restore my site from backup because some script kiddie thought they were clever.

Anyway, to my point – I’m enjoying using an externally provided blogging solution, since the admin I have to do on my side is minimal.

It was a tough choice between wordpress and blogger – WordPress has more advanced features, and I’m familiar with it – where blogger is simpler and is a Google product, so integrates more easily and tightly with other Google products. In the end, I customized wordpress and blogger to what I thought was the nicest way, and WordPress just won me over. So here I am 🙂 (To be honest,  I think it was the fact that I could nicely display my buzzes on the side – blogger didn’t do as good a job on that – ironic, no?)

App server was a simple choice – Google App Engine – It supports Java now, so I’m going to be having a field day!

Basic site – I settled on using Google Sites since it already integrates well with the Google App Engine and I could see that it handles nicely when you point your DNS server to it. I enjoyed setting up the site, and while there’s more that could be done there, it serves it’s purpose well. Minimal effort for a well functioning site, what more could I ask for.

On the flip side I don’t have my Eashi wiki any longer, which is a little sad, but it was hardly being used so I think I can get away with running that locally, should I ever want to. I also don’t have the 5gb space any longer, but I don’t think that will ever be a problem, with the kind of free space floating around the internet.

Bottom line, my single point server from HostRocket has been fragmented across an array of free online services. That fragmenting is great because I get to drop and switch if I need to, without paying a cent.

Now, I just need to figure out how to do some kind of automated backup on all of this 😛 oh well, if all my stuff gets wiped from the face of the earth I doubt anyone will even really notice.

Advertisements

From → News

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: