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Thread: Web Sites from Scratch - A dying breed?

  1. #1

    Default Web Sites from Scratch - A dying breed?

    It seems every time I have looked for web hosting, I can't find one that DOESN'T use bloody site builders. I (finally) found one today, and have been working on creating a forum for my alliance in OGame, but it's been a long trek to find it.

    What are your experiences with hosting sites?

    What's your experience with hosting specifically PHP sites?

    And finally, do you think that non-prebuilt websites are a dying breed?

  2. #2


    My experience with hosting sites is that they almost always use a site builder tool or template of sorts. as for the php sites some hosts don't support it well and is a pain to update anything at all. as for the non pre built sites yes i believe they are a thing that is seen less and less. if you want something that you can fully control I suggest hosting your own site and use a redirect site to get a web name. with a little bit of time a good Internet connection and a computer that is always on you can get a apache server with everything you want setup and running.

  3. #3


    a) I've only had experience with Hostgator, the host my brother uses for his firm, and never had a problem with them.
    B) It's been ages since I've touched PHP, so wouldn't be able to help there much
    C) It's certainly a dying breed, and it's very sad. It used to be you would code everything by yourself, add your own designs, custom layouts and features, etc. but now, it's like "Oh, that's a really nice template *added to cart*" or "Oh this is a nifty little tool" and then be limited to the options that tool offers. It's no longer a pure art form, just buying half completed art someone never finished, clicking a few buttons, and adding the features you want, while limiting yourself to the available options. It's no longer "lets make this a one-of-a-kind masterpiece", but rather "lets take someone else's work, throw a few pre-made nav bars and buttons in there, and have a great site". The art of web design dies when the artist doesn't make his art from scratch.

  4. #4


    I used to like WebHostingBuzz, but they weren't perfect. Nowadays, I use a VPS, which is a bit on the pricey side but lets me install whatever I feel like on my site, without the expense of paying for a dedicated server. I use Linode as my host for that, but they are definitely not cheap for the specs you get. They do have great reliability and support though, so I guess it's a case of you get what you pay for.

    The problem with a lot of the "site builder" hosts is that even when they do let you run your own PHP scripts, they tend to have all sorts of problems including capacity, mail (big one here), rDNS (you don't usually have a dedicated IP, so it's not even possible to get this one right. Enjoy everything from your site being spamfiltered), and so on.

    As for the other traditional shared web hosts, they have to deal with the fact that other languages and frameworks which are eating away at PHP's popularity such as RoR, all the Python web frameworks, and ASP.NET, don't play nice with shared hosting like PHP has, and they have a lot of users moving to dedicated servers or VPSes. Then you have software like Wordpress, which if it's not set up right can easily consume a ton of CPU, so they need to limit users on shared machines, which further pushing theses users away from shared hosting. At the quick and cheap end, you have a lot of companies settling for a Facebook page or Twitter account, too, which hurts their business model.

  5. #5


    I've had a lot of luck with dreamhost for shared hosting, and slicehost for VPS hosting (although I'm looking at switching over to linode).

    As for websites from scratch .. yes.. mostly a dying breed. Myspace started it and now facebook (sorta) finished it... and as much as I don't use either, I recognize that they've made it really trivial for people to share the kind of content that most people making personal sites in the mid to late 90's wanted to share.

    Even if you want to create a "website from scratch" .. no one truly codes it from scratch any more.

    - Back "in the day" I coded a custom website/application as an apache module in C. That's my baseline for "from scratch".
    - Fast forward a bit, perl/cgi then PHP ... still mostly doing the work (though less and less)
    - Now we have comprehensive frameworks and tools like drupal that have matured to the point where there is very little justification for rolling your own beyond "for shits and giggles". Chances are you are using some pre-made forum software and just mucking around a bit with the templates.. maybe installing someone elses plugins or at most writing a few of your own plugins. Can you really say that's "from scratch"?

    Luckily I went with my gut and never pursued web dev as a career (and stuck with traditional programming, doing the web dev thing as a hobby of sorts)... although all software is going in this direction (which is good for tech in general, but bad for guys like me who like to play in the weeds)
    Last edited by BoundCoder; 20-Dec-2011 at 22:44.

  6. #6


    I actually use Lefora, with the major code done for me, but all of my CSS is hand done. I find it to be pretty easy, and I think Lefora really is a pretty stable platform to work off of.
    Other than that I really have no other experience.

  7. #7


    I've used Pipeten, from the UK, in the past for hosting scratch built sites. They offer packages for both Windows and Linux hosts, shared or dedicated. The sites I hosted were ASP.NET, so I don't know what their PHP support is like, however I can say the Windows hosting I was on worked fine. Their support is also excellent, I've never had to wait more than a few minutes for a response!

    Here's their Linux plans, 2GB of space with 20GB of transfer and one 100MB DB, with PHP 4 or 5 is 50/year;

    Linux Web Hosting with PHP MySql Linux Web Host

    Hope that helps!

  8. #8


    I've got a number of live sites and an in-development one. Everything is custom built from scratch in PHP, no frameworks or anything. The reasons for me doing that were simply that I didn't know PHP and wanted to learn it, that a custom made site will do exactly what I want it to and finally that I'll know exactly what the site is doing and how to modify/fix things.

    I'm on 123-reg for my hosting. I've not had a problem finding hosts that support it. Many offer the usual one-click sites and things, but there still seem to be loads offering the usual LAMP hosting

  9. #9


    My experience with hosting sites has always been pretty bad. The only plus of having a server in a datacenter is the speed, but usually it's too pricey for what you get, and the support is either poor, or very expencive!. I host my site on my own server stored in a friend's basement in holland. He has a fiber connection to his house (ISP experiment ), so the speed is wonderfull, and I don't pay anything. Of course it's only a home build pc, that runs a lamp server, but it works like a charm! and if something's broken, I repair it myself Having physical access to your server is so much easier then calling the hosting provider for support.

    As for php websites: I've programmed a few back in the days, but when I compare free out-of-the box frameworks with having to write your own code and designing (time consuming), and the security (self-made websites are usually an easy target for hackers), I choose for having the fast, free and secure alternative

    so yeah, self-made websites are a dying breed.

  10. #10


    It seems to me that the only website builders who build using their own code, just host on their own servers as well, i think most hosting sites have found it more marketable just to have a tool for people. Although I'm pretty sure that you can go to an advanced user mode with most hosting services can't you?

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