Web hosting resources
In the coming days (weeks), I'll be setting up a website. This is something I have not done before.
Most of the online resources I have suggest it is easy. "Buy a domain," they say, "and get a host. Then, just upload your shit and you're set!"
The trouble is, I'm left with quite a few questions, which I'd like to bounce off you guys.
Now, I've done some server admin-ing, but it's all been technical shit, none of this hoofy-floofy web crap. I find myself with a domain from Gandi, a one-year hosting plan from Bluehost with no frills, and a bunch of install scripts. And heeeeeeere are my questions:
- Is there a pro/con list to transferring my domain to Bluehost vs. just pointing my domain's nameservers to Bluehost? I understand the principle behind it, but for the life of me I can't think of any situation where I'd care either way.
- Hardening a webserver - I've done some simple hardening on Ubuntu Server, but that was a home machine where I had OS-level access. Am I correct in imagining I am only responsible for hardening the packages running on my server? If not, what else might I have to harden?
- I don't have OS-level access, and I don't know how these guys do their thing. What packages generally run on hosted webservers with fancy-schmancy web interfaces that I simply won't know about? For instance, I can see right off the bat that the machine has MySQL installed, and I can't imagine it DOESN'T have Apache installed. What else? More importantly, what else that I'm responsible for understanding, configuring, and hardening?
- Managing email accounts is something I've done. Setting them up is something else entirely. Some time ago, Ars Technica did a beautiful four (or so) piece report on building your own email server from scratch, so I know email is a BIG freakin' beast. I notice in my control panel I have the OPTION to turn on spamassassin... okay, that's not hard, but just how much else do I need to handle?
- I don't know shit about SEO. Does anyone have a preferred resource (obviously I'm googling, but I also like personal recommendations)? How much SEO does Icrontic do? How bout other websites forumgoers run?
- I'll be using wordpress in general - looks like Bluehost has a nice install script from it, and I'm going through wordpress tutorials... what kind of pitfalls am I looking at admining wordpress in the wild?
- We may at some point be looking at ads. How do you guys handle this? Do you collect ad revenue as a business entity? Are ads linked through wordpress, or will I need to get my hands dirty and edit my theme to include them?
- What other questions am I missing?
I feel like this is a good start! Thanks folks!