Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

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Skywalker
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Postby Skywalker » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:29 pm

For my master's degree, I need to create a website, so which means I need to build one. It has been years since I have done this. I can use Omeka, which is something that a lot of public historians like myself use, but I personally dislike it. The site is small; everything has to be tagged in the Dublin Core, jobcorps.omkea.net, and historyiscool.omeka.net are the two sites that I have created, one while I was an undergrad (Job Corps), the other a grad student.

So I am looking for software that can help me build a site that can be utilized by educators to access lesson plans, and other information on the Vietnam War. There will be videos, and maybe music. As the whole topic of the thesis is using film and music to teach the Vietnam War. So I am currently reading up on my copyright law.

I am just after recommendations of software, free is always a plus, but I can spend some money buying it if it is not too expensive.


I do apologize if this is posted in the wrong place, but figure it is kind of like hardware, but the softer side.

Thanks for any help.
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Postby Zombie » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:00 pm

If I understood correctly... A Wordpress install would be a good start with plenty of plugins to create what you are looking for. If you need any assistance let me know ..

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Skywalker
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Postby Skywalker » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:15 pm

Thanks for the input, I tend to ramble. It is a side effect of writing history papers.

Yea, I am just looking for an easy way of creating a website for educators to use.

Would using Wordpress itself be an easy and straightforward solution?
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Corgimom
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Postby Corgimom » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:10 am

Personally I'd use Moodle. I has the huge advantage of being in the comfort one for educators. As far as hosting it depends on you budget.
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Skywalker
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Postby Skywalker » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:07 pm

Corgimom wrote:Personally I'd use Moodle. I has the huge advantage of being in the comfort one for educators. As far as hosting it depends on you budget.



Poor Grad student is my budget. I am trying to save some funds because I need to pay for new teaching exams, moved to NC. The Praxis exams are not cheap.

Isn't Moodle like Blackboard, if that is the case. I doubt it would be a good platform to help distribute curriculum and lesson plans. That is what I am creating, but there will also be some aspect such as worksheets and other resources for teachers to use.
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Postby Zombie » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:10 pm

Get me on Skype and I will be able to help more as you can't rant about what you need and I can see if I can customize a Wordpress install to fit. Also the admin side is quite intuitive
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Postby Corgimom » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:25 pm

OK so now I should rant - moodle is like blackboard as much as facebook is like a forum- slight resemblance in that they both connect people but in terms of how they do it there is nothing alike. Also blackboard costs a fortun- moodle is open source.
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merlin
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SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby merlin » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:19 pm

Just was looking at some things on the site and noticed it doesn't have an SSL Cert. I like to make sure I have Secure connections to websites and noticed ninja doesn't have one. Have you guys heard of https://letsencrypt.org/ ?

It is a new Certificate Authority that is FREE, Automated, and OPEN so anyone can get started.

They allow Admins to get a free SSL on their sites and it's super simple to use. No more needing to spend $50 on SSL!
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby Corgimom » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:16 pm

Thanks for the tip. Personally I have never worried about SSL since this is just a forum. I have tried the free SSL options in the past but in those cases it was not an acceptable solution. If and when we go SSL I would want a paid solution based on the theroy that you get what you pay for.
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby merlin » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:44 pm

Corgimom wrote:Thanks for the tip. Personally I have never worried about SSL since this is just a forum. I have tried the free SSL options in the past but in those cases it was not an acceptable solution. If and when we go SSL I would want a paid solution based on the theroy that you get what you pay for.


Interesting take on that, It would think that something Ninja would need all the security available connections. Let' s Encrypt is pretty much a web 3.0 standard now because who's going to knowingly leave SSL off the table when it's free. It's become a standard feature in my Web Design portfolio and I believe in "get what you pay for" but a simple review of the software really should be telling you, why have I been paying $50 a year for this? /who
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby Corgimom » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:10 pm

The reason I am happy to pay $50 a year for sites that need encryption is simple- my time to renew an ssl 4 times a year is worth more than that.

Encrypting has it's drawbacks including but not limited to making pages take longer to run. Honestly I think they give a false sense of security. All they do is encrypt the up and down of a page. Perfect for credit card information- not so much for a publicly readable forum post.
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby ghostdogg » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:44 am

does Letsencrypt encrypt your pages? I thought it was just the method of self-certifying your certificate. I've been looking at this (recently) too and my understanding is, it gives you a three-month certificate for free, so the drawback is really having to re-generate another cert every three months. I was looking at creating a PHP script to do this (using wget or w/e) and setting up a cron job to rotate every 90 days. Thoughts?
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby Corgimom » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:48 am

No our server (remember server load) does the encryption.

Your method would create and invalid certificate error for users.

Also this is a shared host- we don't install the certificate- the host does- so more time wasted.

I already ruled- it would be a time suck to encrypt recipes and thoughts. Literally slow running pages. Nothing here that rises to the level of needing encryption. If I thought we needed it I would pay for it myself.
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby ghostdogg » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:18 am

right - i wasn't thinking this was a good idea for the forum, I've just been thinking about doing this in some of my other projects. It's interesting to hear that it would slow down pages though... never heard of that before.
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby Corgimom » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:16 am

ghostdogg wrote:right - i wasn't thinking this was a good idea for the forum, I've just been thinking about doing this in some of my other projects. It's interesting to hear that it would slow down pages though... never heard of that before.


I am moving this to thread to tech since it is not a site issue and we will share several teachable moments.
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby ghostdogg » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:54 pm

Corgimom wrote:
ghostdogg wrote:right - i wasn't thinking this was a good idea for the forum, I've just been thinking about doing this in some of my other projects. It's interesting to hear that it would slow down pages though... never heard of that before.


I am moving this to thread to tech since it is not a site issue and we will share several teachable moments.


Sweet! Thanks... I just realized what happened lol
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Re:

Postby merlin » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:38 pm

Skywalker wrote:For my master's degree, I need to create a website, so which means I need to build one. It has been years since I have done this. I can use Omeka, which is something that a lot of public historians like myself use, but I personally dislike it. The site is small; everything has to be tagged in the Dublin Core, jobcorps.omkea.net, and historyiscool.omeka.net are the two sites that I have created, one while I was an undergrad (Job Corps), the other a grad student.

So I am looking for software that can help me build a site that can be utilized by educators to access lesson plans, and other information on the Vietnam War. There will be videos, and maybe music. As the whole topic of the thesis is using film and music to teach the Vietnam War. So I am currently reading up on my copyright law.

I am just after recommendations of software, free is always a plus, but I can spend some money buying it if it is not too expensive.


I do apologize if this is posted in the wrong place, but figure it is kind of like hardware, but the softer side.

Thanks for any help.


100% You should use wordpress to build out this website.

Everything you need for contact forms, custom Page/post types, and Logins and everything can be handled with simple plugins. You should be able to get a majority of the work done on a simple shared hosting plan from site5, dreamhost, or godaddy. There is an abundance of free themes for you to use to. If you need to get this done quickly , Wordpress is your best beat with the least amount of headaches.

NO MONEY

Get Shared Hosting
One click install wordpress
Build out Pages and subpages using the Page system
Create Posts for lessons and add them to a Lesson Categories
Create logins for Test teacher and lock down access to Editor. This will allow teachers to log in, edit lesson plans or add things to them complete with history and approvals.

SOME MONEY
Premium team
paid plugins
hosting

I can help you out anytime
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merlin
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Re: SSL Cert? letsencrypt.org

Postby merlin » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:22 am

Corgimom wrote:The reason I am happy to pay $50 a year for sites that need encryption is simple- my time to renew an ssl 4 times a year is worth more than that.

Encrypting has it's drawbacks including but not limited to making pages take longer to run. Honestly I think they give a false sense of security. All they do is encrypt the up and down of a page. Perfect for credit card information- not so much for a publicly readable forum post.


8 years ago i could see how some admins would look at Encryption slowing down a site but in my years I haven't seen anything that would be anywhere considered to be an issue for page loads. Nowadays I see less than a 0.1 seconds or no change. Really an SSL just creates a secure connection between the client and host to ensure data /requests are valid and signed. It's required for PCI compliance on Credit Card Transactions to ensure client data cannot be easily captured when being sent over the network. I just brought it up because of the nature of a forum and how user data can be intercepted and possible stolen over unsecure connections. Like people used to do with Firebug.

ghostdogg wrote:does Letsencrypt encrypt your pages? I thought it was just the method of self-certifying your certificate. I've been looking at this (recently) too and my understanding is, it gives you a three-month certificate for free, so the drawback is really having to re-generate another cert every three months. I was looking at creating a PHP script to do this (using wget or w/e) and setting up a cron job to rotate every 90 days. Thoughts?


Let's encrypt is a method of getting a Legit signed certificate that covers SSL/TLS certificate needs without the need to purchase. It works in the same way a Comodo, geotrust, etc certification would work. It does not encrypt pages it creates a signed trust Certificate that is covered under their system. It works exactly like a Paid SSL without any differences other than not needing to pay for it and needing to renew it 4 times a yet. This renewal can be automated easily and I have been running it for site without issue. It's just a call to the Let's encrypt that uses it's presigned cert to renew. It's actually so stupid easy, and you 100% correct you just need a cron job to call the system to renew. I have Dreamhost hosting for many sites and it does the renewals for me automatically and lets me know when it does.

Corgimom wrote:The reason I am happy to pay $50 a year for sites that need encryption is simple- my time to renew an ssl 4 times a year is worth more than that.


$50 a year and 10 mins vs $0 a year and 10 mins to setup a renewal script.

ghostdogg wrote:does Letsencrypt encrypt your pages? I thought it was just the method of self-certifying your certificate. I've been looking at this (recently) too and my understanding is, it gives you a three-month certificate for free, so the drawback is really having to re-generate another cert every three months. I was looking at creating a PHP script to do this (using wget or w/e) and setting up a cron job to rotate every 90 days. Thoughts?


it created and gives you a Lets encrypt signed cert that is not self generated.

Corgimom wrote:No our server (remember server load) does the encryption.

Your method would create and invalid certificate error for users.

Also this is a shared host- we don't install the certificate- the host does- so more time wasted.

I already ruled- it would be a time suck to encrypt recipes and thoughts. Literally slow running pages. Nothing here that rises to the level of needing encryption. If I thought we needed it I would pay for it myself.


I guess, I see your point of view, but I just disagree for a few fundamental reasons. I'm all about speed, security, and safety.

ghostdogg wrote:right - i wasn't thinking this was a good idea for the forum, I've just been thinking about doing this in some of my other projects. It's interesting to hear that it would slow down pages though... never heard of that before.


it's a great idea. Slowdowns however aren't going to be anything a people would notice since most ssl only adds less than 100ms. Personally even if it is a shared server it's not something people are going to see, feel, or notice. They will be just happy to see that lock in the corner.
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Re: Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

Postby ghostdogg » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:59 am

merlin, thanks for that info - but why would you need SSL for a forum? I mean, it's not like sharing pii or anything... if there were/are donation links, those should probably be locked but for regular-use, I don't see why we would need any data to be encrypted in transfer. Is it just so that people have that nice "lock" symbol beside the URL?
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Re: Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

Postby Corgimom » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:24 am

I am always open to the idea that the tech has changed but I just ran a test on 3 different servers I manage for page loading- 3 times as long with encryption. Turn your browser security to high and try it on any site. Less than a second without encryption, 3 seconds with and those are dedicated servers.
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Re: Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

Postby ghostdogg » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:54 am

Wow... Three times?? That's insane. The more I think about this, the more I'm wondering if my understanding of how SSL works is corrupt. Doesn't it just encrypt packet information between the client and server? The idea being to prevent man-in-the-middle and/or if that data is intercepted, it would be encryoted/masked...?
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Re: Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

Postby Corgimom » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:01 pm

Pretty close but everything that you ask a server to do is one more thing to do. When a file is encrypted it becomes larger by the nature of encryption. Larger file slower load.
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Re: Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

Postby Corgimom » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:10 pm

If you have a wireless router I assume you are running WPA encryption. Load a script and ad heavy page like your zip code for the weather service and do 1 Mississippi 2 ect then turn off WPA - live dangerously for 2 minutes. Shut your computer down for a minute then power up-- get all normal background programs running and visit the page again. COunt again. Do you see a difference? I know I do.
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Re: Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

Postby merlin » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:14 am

ghostdogg wrote:merlin, thanks for that info - but why would you need SSL for a forum? I mean, it's not like sharing pii or anything... if there were/are donation links, those should probably be locked but for regular-use, I don't see why we would need any data to be encrypted in transfer. Is it just so that people have that nice "lock" symbol beside the URL?

You don't need SSL for a forum it's just another layer of security. I also like having that green lock symbol in my browser, makes me feel nice inside. /bigsmile

Corgimom wrote:I am always open to the idea that the tech has changed but I just ran a test on 3 different servers I manage for page loading- 3 times as long with encryption. Turn your browser security to high and try it on any site. Less than a second without encryption, 3 seconds with and those are dedicated servers.

I get that but if the sites are not optimized for SSL delivery it's going to take it longer to load. It really gets down to be a notion of delivery method and transport optimization. Normally I'll build something and get the load times down to 1 sec without caching or SSL, then I will turn it on and make adjustments but that some right fast load speed /flame

ghostdogg wrote:Wow... Three times?? That's insane. The more I think about this, the more I'm wondering if my understanding of how SSL works is corrupt. Doesn't it just encrypt packet information between the client and server? The idea being to prevent man-in-the-middle and/or if that data is intercepted, it would be encrypted/masked...?

It's really dependant on the server, everything that is transported for delivery is encrypted and needs to contact an SSL Authority to verify the cert, that does offer a slowdown. Most dev's don't worry about it SSL for non E-commerce projects yet some feel that leaves all input and output data interceptable. Kinda like with jeep, they didn't encrypt anything and now people hijack your car.

Corgimom wrote:Pretty close but everything that you ask a server to do is one more thing to do. When a file is encrypted it becomes larger by the nature of encryption. Larger file slower load.

it does add padding to file size that amounts to a few bytes. Sha-256 has been shown by bitcoin that even the most crazy encryption can be taken down with ease.

The different styles of hosting systems will have more latency for sure, like shared or VM's. 3 Seconds is pretty good for SSL delivery.

I guess I was just trying to make more of a point that Let's Encrypt is disrupting the very corporate and high profitable SSL Cert system with an open source free system. The more site that are using it the valid it becomes a standard.
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Re: Best Website Hosting and Well Software??

Postby ghostdogg » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:46 am

[
Corgimom wrote:Pretty close but everything that you ask a server to do is one more thing to do. When a file is encrypted it becomes larger by the nature of encryption. Larger file slower load.


merlin wrote:I guess I was just trying to make more of a point that Let's Encrypt is disrupting the very corporate and high profitable SSL Cert system with an open source free system. The more site that are using it the valid it becomes a standard.



These are both very good points! Thank you.

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