Domain & Hosting

Web hosting is a location, and the domain name allows us to identify and arrive at that location.

To publish a website — any website, whether created with TTG web engines or otherwise — one must have purchased both a domain name and web hosting. In most cases, these two items may be purchased and setup together. In this article, I will:

  • briefly introduce the concepts of domain name and web hosting;
  • outline services most suitable for running TTG products;
  • recommend trusted vendors from whom services should be purchased.

Web hosting is space which exists online and which may be used to store the files comprising your website. In essence, hosting is little different from a folder on your hard disk, and is managed in much the same way. The difference is that your web space is accessible to visitors, while your hard disk folders are private. Allegorically speaking, we may think of web hosting as an empty building waiting to be moved into; and if your hard disk is your private home, then your web space is your public storefront.

A domain name is an address which points to your web hosting, and does not itself include any storage space for files; without hosting, a domain is useless. Allegorically, the domain name is the street address of the lot or building. Much in the same way that a street address allows us to locate and refer to the building which houses our things, the domain name allows web browsers to locate our hosted web space.

Just as buildings come with a variety of differing amenities, so too does web hosting. The ideal configuration for running the range of products offered by The Turning Gate is:

  • Linux Operating System;
  • Apache Web Server;
  • PHP 5.2.6 or newer.

Fortunately, such amenities are commonplace. One should be mindful of these requirements when shopping hosting services, but should not find them stress-inducing.

We do not recommend MobileMe or Microsoft IIS hosting services. MobileMe does not support PHP of any kind; TTG features such as gallery indexing, PHPlugins, password protection and form-to-email contact forms will not function on MobileMe hosting. Microsoft IIS servers claim to run PHP, but due to differences in operating system requirements such servers on incompatible with TTG’s gallery indexing features.

If you already have hosting meeting our requirements, then you should be in good shape to publish your site.

That said, for reliable hosting of your TTG-created website, we strongly recommend setting up with Bluehost. They offer the easiest user interface and the best customer services of any hosting company we’ve worked with (and we’ve worked with a lot), and they are 100% TTG-approved!