Understanding the How of Web Hosting

I’ve done reviews of a few different web hosting providers on John Chow dot Com before, but today’s review is a little different. Instead of promoting a particular provider, HostHow aims to “create the largest free repository of web hosting tutorials on the net.” For anyone who is confused about any aspect of hosting a website, HostHow hopes to provide you with the best answer possible.

The Web Hosting How-To Guide

They say that Web 2.0 is all about collaboration, with the monetization behind of secondary concern. When you consider places like Facebook and YouTube, they were originally designed to provide users with a valuable service and it was only after the user base was established that they started tossing in some advertising. It seems that Julian Patrick Stockwell, the guy behind the web hosting tutorial site, is taking on the same philosophy, because you won’t find any advertising on HostHow. At least not yet.

As I mentioned above, HostHow is a collaborative tutorial project, so the number of articles on web hosting is supposed to grow exponentially as the site continues to mature and expand. There isn’t all that much on there right now, because the site is currently in “pre-launch.” Over the course of the next couple of weeks, Julian will be seeding the site with as many tutorials as he can.

Here are a few examples of what you can expect. Remember, HostHow is based on user-created content, so the editorial mileage will vary.

Welcome to Two Years Ago

The concept of collecting a mass of web hosting knowledge in one place is a good one and I particularly like the collaborative aspects of HostHow. What I don’t like is the layout. Welcome to the land of old school WordPress.

hosthow-layout.jpg

Some people call it clean, but I say it’s far too plain Jane. Worst still, Julian failed to enter anything between the <title> tags, so when you visit HostHow, you don’t get a descriptive title in your browser at all. This can’t possibly be good for SEO purposes, let one user experience. You’ll also notice that the login page looks terribly dated as well. Mr. Stockwell needs to be welcomed to 2008.

But wait, there’s more. I understand that HostHow is still in a “pre-beta” kind of stage, but broken links are a definite no-no. A few broken links within articles aren’t nearly as bad as having links to empty categories, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. If you click on the Linux category in the sidebar, you get this 404 page.

hosthow-linux404.jpg

The same is true of other categories as well. Realistically, there’s no point in having the links to the categories if there’s no content there yet. In like manner, HostHow has forums too, but they’re pretty empty right now. Hopefully, that will change as a larger community starts to develop.

hosthow-forums.jpg

Free Web Hosting for Contributors

You might be wondering why anyone would feel motivated to contribute to HostHow in the first place. Well, you do get “paid”, in a sense, for providing some tutorials to the site. More specifically, everyone who submits 10 or more tutorials gets treated to free web hosting. What’s not clear is that how long this web hosting will last. Is it 10 articles for one year of hosting? We’re not sure.

That said, HostHow is offering a special deal to all John Chow dot Com readers. Instead of the usual requirement of 10 tutorials, you can get in on the free web hosting after submitting just five articles. Julian has asked that all those interested should comment in this review post, so that he can verify that you are indeed a reader of John Chow dot Com.

Who Wants to Win a Nintendo Wii?

To generate some buzz, HostHow is giving away a Nintendo Wii during the pre-launch period. Everyone who submits at least one tutorial before February 12th will be entered into the contest. The winner is based on the number of pageviews, as reported by Google Analytics. Think you got what it takes to write a killer web hosting tutorial? You just might score a Wii in the process. The winner will be announced via RSS and if he/she makes contact within 24 hours, the winner gets a bonus Wii Nunchuk too.

Click here to win a Nintendo Wii from HostHow.


31 thoughts on “Understanding the How of Web Hosting”

  1. Neil Duckett says:

    As always, a detailed and informative review Michael, nice work.

    1. Michael maybe missed something. The site is about providing free tutorials on web hosting, automatically the question raises How are they going to keep the site live (the expenses) and the layout seems to lack on spaces where the advertisements could be placed in the near feature.

      Overall, there are some good tutorials

  2. AXA says:

    well,, i see a tight competition in Web Host nowadays,,, ofcourse, Pormotion Price, Performance and Value Added Features will determine who is the winner,,, πŸ™‚

  3. Julian says:

    Thanks for the review Michael!

    As you mentioned, HostHow still hasn’t “officially” launched. The site is a bit bare currently, but those 404s will dissapear as soon as their associated categories get some tutorials. I’m pretty excited about providing a cool, uncluttered resource for web hosting tutorials. I’m still tweaking the template and code, and welcome any advice.

    To clear up the hosting offer, the deal is for life. People who submit 10 tutorials (5 for JC readers) will get a free account on a really nice 8 core Xeon with 24/7 support (provided by a third party).

    -Julian

  4. Great idea, but still a bit lacking… Hope this review will kick things off…

  5. Asela says:

    Interesting post Michael! I think I will do a few article myself for HostHow and see how it goes…

  6. Shoemoney says:

    John Chow, should turn this blog into a review site…… πŸ˜•

    1. Will says:

      lol shoe. don’t forget about the food he reviews as well πŸ˜‰

  7. Will says:

    wow that’s actually really helpful. thanks

  8. Eivinas says:

    Awesome post, I’m sure this will help out a lot of people looking to begin a web venture.

    Photoshopic.

    1. Reginald says:

      No kidding! As each year passes, more and more employees are beginning to realize just how mundane, limited, and insecure their current jobs are.

      In an avid effort to match this emerging revelation, individuals are searching for business opportunities that could be relied upon should one get fired. Not to mention, with the current economic downturn, being your own boss is becoming more appealing and attractive to the employed masses.

      Journalist and TV host, John Daly, used his skill and experience to develop β€˜The Real Money Show’, an invaluable online resource that reveals how to search for an online business capable of supplementing an income or even providing much desired financial security. You can email me for more info at [email protected].

  9. You should write a review then link to it, you would probably win the wii.

    1. Reginald says:

      Why is the wii so important to me?

  10. You should write a tutorial then link to it, you would probably win the wii.

  11. Shoemoney says:

    John Chow writes too many reviews, he should write more about how to make money online…

    1. John Chow didn’t write this review.

      1. Angel says:

        I’m willing to bet this is a fake Shoemoney post.

  12. Googlelady says:

    I think the concept is great because Julian know that if he is an authority in this niche will be very profitable. But I will recommend Julian to put at least the title of the site and each article.

  13. Ew to the layout. Yum to the Wii.

  14. jayson says:

    This seems like something that could catch on but the website seems to be lacking the things needed to compete with other hosts – money, web development know how and what are the benefits of using their hosting service? I’d also question posting articles from writers motivated by receiving free hosting – are they going to be quality articles?

  15. I find it utterly amazing that someone would pay $450 for review on a site that’s still in “pre-beta”, what the heck is that? What’s up with the forums, there’s nothing there?

    1. Julian says:

      I have a bit of a budget to launch this site. The site doesn’t have a ton of tutorials yet, or an active forum. HostHow has literally been available for a few hours. Users are starting to sign up and email me about ideas…but only time will tell right? Man I wish I knew how to have thousands of users and a super active forum within the first few hours.. πŸ™‚

      1. Didn’t know your site was only a few hours old. 😳

      2. RacerX says:

        Best of Luck. Worst case it is a good idea that will get refined!

  16. Mike Huang says:

    Interesting post, I’ll keep this post in mind.

    -Mike

  17. Gah, great stuff for newbies.

  18. Katie says:

    Thanks for sharing this post Michael. I didn’t know others wrote on here besides John. Just found out now πŸ™‚ But I think your review is great. I give the site an 8 out of 10. There are many blog designers that can help them out and make their design really nice and help them with their html problems. I’m going to get my site professionally designed in the near future. I have a great designer in mind. I can’t wait to use their awesome service!

    ~Katie πŸ™‚

  19. Feed Flare says:

    And the Shoe comes out to pick on John…..lol

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