The Henna Page Tech Pages
How to Get Your Stuff on the Web
by Roy Jones © 2004
So, you have your nice new pictures you want to show to your friends on the Web and you need some place to put them so others can find them. There are two ways you can get your pix hosted on the Web either free or inexpensively. One way is to open an account with a photo hosting service. Some offer a basic package of free services or a higher level of service for a few dollars a month. They generally use an easy Web interface for uploads and a few display options.

The other approach is to get your own Web space and put up a Website. This is a lot easier that most people think There are plenty of tools you can use to put together a Web page, even if you know nothing about HTML, the markup language used for structuring Web pages.

If all youíre looking for is a few megabytes of Web space to build a small site so you can share a few photos with friends and colleagues, check with your ISP and ask if they have Web space for their subscribers. Some ISPs offer a few megabytes of Web space as part of the subscription package. Itís usually not much and you donít get any extras, but it might be all you need, or at least enough to get you started.

The real decision you have to make is how much service youíre likely to need and how much, if anything, youíre willing to pay for it. The two quantities you have to keep in mind are the amount of storage your photos and other files will require and how much network bandwidth you expect to use.

Storage

File storage is measured in megabytes. Hosting services have different limits on the amount of space you can use. Free services typically have low allowances, but some free Web services will allow 50 megabytes, which is plenty of room for a small personal website.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth, in this context, is the amount of data transferred from the server where you files are stored. A photograph stored as a full-color JPEG image at 640 X 480 resolution requires about 50 kilobytes of spaceÖ20 640 X 480 JPEGs take up about 1 megabyte.

If you link your photo to the Henna Page Forum, assume each time a person opens the link to see the image, the server where your photo is stored has to transfer 50 kilobytes of data across the Net to make the image visible at the remote location. Youíve used 50 kilobytes of bandwidth.

If youíre using a free service, the hosting company will limit the amount of bandwidth you can use daily, and can temporarily turn off data transfers from your site if it exceeds the bandwidth limit. If youíre paying for hosting services, you will have a much higher bandwidth allowance and the hosting company can charge your for bandwidth usage over the contracted limit.

The "Social Networking" Alternative

The past few years have seen an enormous increase in the presence and popularity of "social networking" Websites where users can build personal Web spaces and host and participate in online forums. Social networking sites can be sorted intor three main groups: "media sharing" sites, such as Flickr, blogging sites, such as LiveJournal, and "group" sites, among them, Tribe.net and MySpace.

These and similar sites offer free space where you can post words, pictures and other media using tools built into the site's Web interface, so even a Web novice can build a space and upload to it with ease. What distinguishes these sites from traditional Webistes is the level of interactivity. They all have some means for viewers to comment on and respond to what they see and for users to build extensive collections of links to each other's sites. In these days of increasingly available connectivity, easily portable datacom devices and mobile computing, some people attach as much importance to their cyber-relationships as to their contacts in "real" space.



But Wait!!!...There's more!!!

You're right...I haven't even mentioned podcasting, RSS, or personal video, all of which have come on the scene since I originally wrote this article. That means you have something to look forward to in future pieces on the HP Tech pages. Stay tuned...

Photo Hosting


Web Hosting (free to inexpensive)


Listings
These three sites are lists of Web service providers


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Roy Jones , streetleveltech@hotmail.com , is technical support for The Henna Page.   You got a problem?  Talk to Da Man!


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