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Smallsite Design

Online setup help

3. Buy hosting services

Web sites are run on a server connected to the internet. While we can set our own up, normally we would rent one to save us a lot of effort.

Unless we are expecting a lot of internet traffic to our site, it is much cheaper to buy shared hosting, which means several sites are being hosted on the same physical server. If traffic does significantly increase, the hoster should be able to migrate the site to a dedicated server, at substantial increased cost, but at least services should have minimal disruption.

Smallsite Design is designed to run on a fairly standard software stack known as LAMP, which consists of:
1LinuxOpen source operating system which runs most of the world's web servers
2ApacheOpen-source web server software, until recently the most used in the world, currently at over 30%
3MySQLOpen-source database server software. Not used by Smallsite Design, which uses XML files for streamlined portability
4PHPProgramming language interpreter used by almost 80% of sites, and which Smallsite Design is written in

In addition to this, cPanel is the web server control software that Smallsite Design has been developed upon, though others may well work. The advantage of cPanel is that because so many hoster's use it, transferring complete website installations between hosters can be done in hours from a full archive on the source hoster. Several upscale hosters have their own control software, which may make transfers more difficult and upon which Smallsite Design is not tested to work.

The minimum PHP version required is 7.4, though preferably 8.0, and the extensions required – and usually installed and enabled – are:

  1. a.dom – XML processing
  2. b.intl – multilingual support
  3. c.xsl – transform XML into HTML
  4. – single file installation and archiving.

This site and several others are hosted on A2 hosting (no kickbacks!) and they provided extremely quick transfer from a previous hoster who had really gone downhill, and continue to provide prompt and informative support. The procedure uses screens from them for illustration.

Other than these pieces of software and extensions, which are all included and kept up to date by the hosting services, Smallsite Design does not use any other third-party software that would require separate updating, which means that other than updating Smallsite Design itself as updates occur, no other maintenance is required.



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