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Help Finding a Web Hosting Service (UK)

P: n/a
Hello

I'm teaching myself web programming in ASP.NET using freely available online
resource and videos. It's going really well and I've built myself some
personal web pages based on the Visual Studio 2005 personal website starter
kit. I now want to take the next step and put these up on a public server
but I'm getting confused by what services I need - in particular whether I
need SQL services.

I've developped in ASP.NET 2.0 and I'm using the standard PhotoManager
pbject which links in to a SQL database so I'm assuming that means I need to
have SQL 2005 available. It seems though that many of the personal web
hosting services that offer ASP 2.0 and above don't offer SQL 2005 in their
budghet packages - it tends to come in at the business level. The price
difference is significant so I don't want to get this wrong. I know that
Visual Studio 2005 comes with a version of SQL 2005 - and I assume I'll need
this available on my Web Hosting Service if I'm using the Photomanager and
other data based controls?

So, can anyone recommend a company that can provide web hosting services
that will support a site built from the Visual Studio 2005 personal website
starter kit - I need about 500MB of space and I'm UK based btw.

Thanks for any help
Jeff


Oct 8 '08 #1
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P: n/a
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:0i*****************@newsfe20.ams2...
So, can anyone recommend a company that can provide web hosting services
that will support a site built from the Visual Studio 2005 personal
website starter kit - I need about 500MB of space and I'm UK based btw.
http://www.hostinguk.net/services/Co...dWindows08.asp

I'd go for the Pro version at 7.95 a month rather than the Starter version,
which is aimed at an absolute entry-level. I appreciate that you describe
yourself as a beginner, but good beginners tend to make fairly rapid
progress and I'm sure that if you go for the Starter version now just to
save yourself three quid a month, you'll very soon need one or more of the
features available only in the Pro version and above.

Technical support is available 24 hours a day.

ASP.NET 3.5 is fully supported.

SQL Server 2005 is fully supported (2008 is on its way).

And the fully web-based Plesk administration system is little short of
astounding.

I've been with them for over 5 years now and use them for all of my own
sites and all of my clients' sites.
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Oct 8 '08 #2

P: n/a

"Mark Rae [MVP]" <ma**@markNOSPAMrae.netwrote in message
news:OV****************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:0i*****************@newsfe20.ams2...
>So, can anyone recommend a company that can provide web hosting services
that will support a site built from the Visual Studio 2005 personal
website starter kit - I need about 500MB of space and I'm UK based btw.

http://www.hostinguk.net/services/Co...dWindows08.asp

I'd go for the Pro version at 7.95 a month rather than the Starter
version, which is aimed at an absolute entry-level. I appreciate that you
describe yourself as a beginner, but good beginners tend to make fairly
rapid progress and I'm sure that if you go for the Starter version now
just to save yourself three quid a month, you'll very soon need one or
more of the features available only in the Pro version and above.

Technical support is available 24 hours a day.

ASP.NET 3.5 is fully supported.

SQL Server 2005 is fully supported (2008 is on its way).

And the fully web-based Plesk administration system is little short of
astounding.

I've been with them for over 5 years now and use them for all of my own
sites and all of my clients' sites.

Thanks

I already tried a company offering shared web servers but it turned out that
their SQL servers ran on a different machine from their web servers and
apparently this causes some problems - in a nutshell a website derived from
the personal web starter kit won't work on this configuration due to the
need for a local sql server. I think I have that right??

I spoke to the sales guys at hostinguk and they say their configuration will
be fine for my application - I will need the Pro version though as you say.

Can you (or anyone else) confirm that HostingUK's Pro service will indeed be
suitable for a site derived from the Microsoft personal web starter site?

Thanks again
Jeff
Oct 8 '08 #3

P: n/a
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:AE******************@newsfe14.ams2...
I already tried a company offering shared web servers but it turned out
that their SQL servers ran on a different machine from their web servers
and apparently this causes some problems - in a nutshell a website derived
from the personal web starter kit won't work on this configuration due to
the need for a local sql server. I think I have that right??
That doesn't sound right, though I have to say that I've never looked at the
personal web starter kit.

Running SQL Server and IIS on separate servers is fairly standard,
especially in business...
I spoke to the sales guys at hostinguk and they say their configuration
will be fine for my application - I will need the Pro version though as
you say.
OK.
Can you (or anyone else) confirm that HostingUK's Pro service will indeed
be suitable for a site derived from the Microsoft personal web starter
site?
Almost certainly...

Have you considered these instead? They're both absolutely free...
http://www.microsoft.com/express/vwd/
http://www.microsoft.com/express/sql/Default.aspx
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Oct 8 '08 #4

P: n/a
A quick update on this.....

I signed up with HostingUk and after a few false starts pushed my site
across.

There is indeed an issue with the sql databases. The Visual Studio personal
website starter kit uses two local sql express databases - ASPNETDB.mdf to
store users and roles and Personal.mdf to store your photo album. Simply
pushing these across as is will not work on most commercial asp sites since
they run full sql servers on separate machines from the webserver. This
means that you need to trranslate the two databases from express to full sql
databases and then change the connection string in the application
accordingly. I guess this makes it a pain to maintain a local and a remote
copy of the website.

The support guy at HostingUK is promising to help me through this exercise
once a few other issues have been sorted out. I'll keep you posted about the
outcome.

Another important issue is that sql database storage costs are many times
more expensive than regular website storage costs so the idea of storing
your piccies in a sql database is not really a good idea. I have to say
though that what promised to be a very simple exercise is proving to be
anything but. I mean why are MS providing a personal web starter kit that
will only operate on your local machine - that's not really a web site is
it?

Thanks
jeff
Oct 9 '08 #5

P: n/a
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:62******************@newsfe14.ams2...
The support guy at HostingUK is promising to help me through this exercise
once a few other issues have been sorted out. I'll keep you posted about
the outcome.
OK.
Another important issue is that sql database storage costs are many times
more expensive than regular website storage costs so the idea of storing
your piccies in a sql database is not really a good idea.
Not a good idea anyway, IMO... Why would you want to store pictures in a SQL
Server database, especially in a web environment?
I have to say though that what promised to be a very simple exercise is
proving to be anything but. I mean why are MS providing a personal web
starter kit that will only operate on your local machine - that's not
really a web site is it?
As I understand it, the personal web starter kit is designed as an
introduction to web development - nothing more...
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Oct 9 '08 #6

P: n/a

"Mark Rae [MVP]" <ma**@markNOSPAMrae.netwrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:62******************@newsfe14.ams2...
>The support guy at HostingUK is promising to help me through this
exercise once a few other issues have been sorted out. I'll keep you
posted about the outcome.

OK.
>Another important issue is that sql database storage costs are many times
more expensive than regular website storage costs so the idea of storing
your piccies in a sql database is not really a good idea.

Not a good idea anyway, IMO... Why would you want to store pictures in a
SQL Server database, especially in a web environment?
>I have to say though that what promised to be a very simple exercise is
proving to be anything but. I mean why are MS providing a personal web
starter kit that will only operate on your local machine - that's not
really a web site is it?

As I understand it, the personal web starter kit is designed as an
introduction to web development - nothing more...

Thanks.

Yes, it would seem like storing photos in a sql database might not be a good
idea from a commercial point of view. Presumably the reason that a byte
costs more on a sql server than on a web server is because that byte might
involve significantly more processing that a simple http transfer and also
because it will need to be kept more securely? Any other reason?

Anyway, this is a learning exercise so I'm not too bothered about
practicality. The problems with migrating to a commercial server have
higlighted gaps in my understanding so if I manage to overcome these
problems it will have been a valuable exercise.

Thanks again
Jeff
Oct 9 '08 #7

P: n/a
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:0P*****************@newsfe19.ams2...
Yes, it would seem like storing photos in a sql database might not be a
good idea from a commercial point of view. Presumably the reason that a
byte costs more on a sql server than on a web server is because that byte
might involve significantly more processing that a simple http transfer
and also because it will need to be kept more securely? Any other reason?

That would be the main reason, IMO.

Some people store images in databases for perceived security reasons, or to
make backups "easier" - I've never seen the point of that, especially in a
web environment...
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Oct 9 '08 #8

P: n/a

"Mark Rae [MVP]" <ma**@markNOSPAMrae.netwrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:2v******************@newsfe24.ams2...
>Do you use Visual Studio to develop your ASP.Net website?

Yes.
>If so, could I just check with you how you upload your website to Hosting
UK?

In particular do you use the Publish Website option under Build and enter
the ftp location of your httpdocs folder?

No way! I use the Web Deployment Project add-in:
http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourc...ts%22+2008+%22
Thanks for that - I assume there is something similar for 2005?
Can I ask why you don't like the publish option?


Could I just ask one other question regarding databases?
Apparently I can't just copy my SqlEpress databases across to HostingUK's
sql server. I needed to create new databases and then use a script to
transfer the data across. This was a bit tricky but worked eventually and
was a useful learning exercise.

The next issue though is to set theconnection strings in my web.config to
use the new databases rather than a local SqlExpress Database.
HostingUK advised me that I should have something like this :-

Driver={SQL Native
Client};Server=sql6.myhostcp.com;Database=myDataBa se;Uid=myUsername;Pwd=myPassword;

But if I try replacing the strings on my local machine with this type of
string then I get a complaint that the keyword "Driver" is not supported. I
haven't yet got to a position where I'm able to try this on the HostingUK
webserver so I can;t say if it works there or not.

But, if I try to configure a new sql database within Visual Studio using the
location, name and password for my database it produces a string of the
form:-
Data Source=sql6.myhostcp.com;Initial Catalog=myDataBase;Persist Security
Info=True;User ID=myUsernamePassword=myPassword"

And what's more when I use the test connection option in Visual Studio with
this string I am able to retrieve all my data in tabular form.

Would you or anyone else reading this happen to know what's going on here?

Thanks again

Jeff

Oct 9 '08 #9

P: n/a
"Jeff" <so*****@somewhere.comwrote in message
news:VC******************@newsfe23.ams2...
>>In particular do you use the Publish Website option under Build and
enter the ftp location of your httpdocs folder?

No way! I use the Web Deployment Project add-in:
http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourc...ts%22+2008+%22

Thanks for that - I assume there is something similar for 2005?
Yes.
Can I ask why you don't like the publish option?
There's nothing particularly wrong with it per se - it's just that WDP is so
much more feature-rich...
Could I just ask one other question regarding databases?
Apparently I can't just copy my SqlEpress databases across to HostingUK's
sql server. I needed to create new databases and then use a script to
transfer the data across. This was a bit tricky but worked eventually and
was a useful learning exercise.
OK.
The next issue though is to set theconnection strings in my web.config to
use the new databases rather than a local SqlExpress Database.
HostingUK advised me that I should have something like this :-

Driver={SQL Native
Client};Server=sql6.myhostcp.com;Database=myDataBa se;Uid=myUsername;Pwd=myPassword;

But if I try replacing the strings on my local machine with this type of
string then I get a complaint that the keyword "Driver" is not supported.
I haven't yet got to a position where I'm able to try this on the
HostingUK webserver so I can;t say if it works there or not.

But, if I try to configure a new sql database within Visual Studio using
the location, name and password for my database it produces a string of
the form:-
Data Source=sql6.myhostcp.com;Initial Catalog=myDataBase;Persist Security
Info=True;User ID=myUsernamePassword=myPassword"

And what's more when I use the test connection option in Visual Studio
with this string I am able to retrieve all my data in tabular form.

Would you or anyone else reading this happen to know what's going on here?
They are getting confused and thinking that you need an ODBC connection. You
don't - you need a native .NET data provider connection string, which you
already have.

See here for further details about connection strings for the various SQL
Server versions:
http://www.connectionstrings.com/?carrier=sqlserver2005
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Oct 9 '08 #10

P: n/a
Thanks a million Mark - seems to be going great now.

Everything is working on the HostingUK site except for my Microsoft
Silverlight DeepZoom control which works fine on my local machine.

Can you or anyone else see anything obviousy wrong with the following :-

<object data="data:application/x-silverlight,"
type="application/x-silverlight-2-b2" style="z-index: 100; width: 206px;
height: 245px;" >

<param name="source" value="DZ/TestProject/DeepZoomProject.xap"/>

<param name="onerror" value="onSilverlightError" />

<param name="background" value="white" />

<param name="initParams" value="InitViewportOriginX=1,InitViewportOriginY=1 "
/>

<a href="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=115261"
style="text-decoration: none;">

<img src="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=108181" alt="Get Microsoft
Silverlight" style="border-style: none"/>

</a>

</object>
The Directory DZ/TestProject/... is located in httphosts as is the aspx page
containing the above.

I'm thinking that I may need to set an absolute or relative path somewhere?

Thanks again
Jeff
Oct 9 '08 #11

P: n/a

Sorry to reply to my own posting.....

The problem with the silverlight control was caused by the Web Server not
being configured to recognize Silverlight MIME types.
It's now sorted.

Jeff
Oct 10 '08 #12

P: n/a

Jeff;9204930 Wrote:
Hello

I'm teaching myself web programming in ASP.NET using freely available
online
resource and videos. It's going really well and I've built myself some
personal web pages based on the Visual Studio 2005 personal website
starter
kit. I now want to take the next step and put these up on a public
server
but I'm getting confused by what services I need - in particular
whether I
need SQL services.

I've developped in ASP.NET 2.0 and I'm using the standard PhotoManager
pbject which links in to a SQL database so I'm assuming that means I
need to
have SQL 2005 available. It seems though that many of the personal web
hosting services that offer ASP 2.0 and above don't offer SQL 2005 in
their
budghet packages - it tends to come in at the business level. The
price
difference is significant so I don't want to get this wrong. I know
that
Visual Studio 2005 comes with a version of SQL 2005 - and I assume I'll
need
this available on my Web Hosting Service if I'm using the Photomanager
and
other data based controls?

So, can anyone recommend a company that can provide web hosting
services
that will support a site built from the Visual Studio 2005 personal
website
starter kit - I need about 500MB of space and I'm UK based btw.

Thanks for any help
Jeff
Try 1and1.co.uk
--
nage
------------------------------------------------------------------------
nage's Profile: http://nettechguide.com/forums/member.php?u=268
View this thread: http://nettechguide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2241131

Oct 11 '08 #13

P: n/a
"nage" <pn************@gmail.comwrote in message
news:na*********@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au...
Try 1and1.co.uk
I've had several clients who have had nothing but trouble with them -
totally unreliable in terms of up-time.
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Oct 11 '08 #14

P: n/a

webwider;9216049 Wrote:
Nah I wouldnt bother with 1 and 1 if I were you.
Try zen or if you are on a budget hostgator.
--
worksheet
------------------------------------------------------------------------
worksheet's Profile: http://nettechguide.com/forums/member.php?u=275
View this thread: http://nettechguide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2241131

Oct 11 '08 #15

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