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Daniel
29-09-2003, 08:29 PM
i have a website with my own address, hosted on escouts.
I visited pathfinder hosting and a small package is 39.99 per year! i struggled to get the money from my group to pay for the address. where can i get ad-free hosting at a very cheap price.

i could end up with an address but no where to host the site. will escouts help in the moves?

What will happen to my e-mail accounts that are with my site?

I can see why e-scouts are having to do this, so dont take this the wrong way.

Also much does it cost pathfinder to host all the sites?

Simon
29-09-2003, 08:45 PM
I don't know if you noticed but in the options, if you are a previous escout customer, Pathfinder Hosting have kindly offered a 30% discount on all the accounts if you transfer to Pathfinder Hosting.

It is my belief that if you transfer to Pathfinder Hosting, they will be able to transfer the site across for you with all the same settings but you have to change the nameservers.

If you move your site else where you will need to backup your site and upload to your new site.

Bloory
29-09-2003, 09:07 PM
Basically Pathfinder is doing the hosting at cost price.

Bloory
29-09-2003, 09:14 PM
Many domain providers can allow you to forward to free webspace, so perhaps check out whether your ISP can help out - most offer some features and I'm sure searching the internet might result in some good free alternatives too.

I'm currently trying to work out a special small plan for Scouts sites too.

I'm very sorry to have to withdraw my financial support, and stand by my conviction that free hosting should be available to all Scout groups. Sadly, Pathfinder Hostingm which I formed to cover the costs of Escouts has not taken off sufficiently well and combined with my personal circumstances, means that I am unable to continue. I have hunted around the world to find a cheaper option, but frankly, there is none which can offer a reasonable service for us. Maybe in time we can offer free hosting again. The team and I are committed to making a wide range of Scouting related services available freely via Escouts.

Bloory
29-09-2003, 09:18 PM
Those with multiple accounts may be interested in a special mini reseller account which will work out cheaper. Details to follow later tonight.

Martyn
29-09-2003, 09:57 PM
First a [u]Thank you{/u] to Bloory and the rest of the ESCOUTS team for providing the service in the first place.

Now the moan(s)
Why isn't Headquarters looking at providing this service ?

We are mean't to be the largest youth organisation in the UK !

Has anybody tried talking to one of the larger ISP (Sorry pathfinder no offense mean't) - There must be 100's if not 1000 of UK sites out there most paying for hosting (by the way £40 a year is a good Price)

The Scout Association seems to be an very instituionialized
Woggles, Camp fire Songs, Church parades
- but internet sites no Scouts don't do that

Ok rant over

Thank you again for providing the service - I only found it a few weeks ago and I am quite impressed with some of the sites I've seen

Martyn

Bloory
29-09-2003, 10:03 PM
I'm with you Martyn - The single server we are using is a top notch job and could handle probably around 1000 accounts, if it was carefully managed. That's £149 including VAT per month, not too much to pay out really?

Martyn
29-09-2003, 10:32 PM
Ok so to put it another way

If each of the 60 counties in England transfered there web site to a central location and paid £10 a month (Reasonable amount)

You could host all the counties sites and 15 other sites per county !

The only thing I'm not sure about (I have not got it right in my mind) is should it be totally free - perhaps a nominal amount

Right who do we hassle !
Any Ideas

Martyn

Richard
29-09-2003, 11:24 PM
Martyn you make some excellent points there.

In the greater scheme of things the money required to offer free webhosting to UK Scouts, is frankly peanuts. However that would require some joined up thinkining and that aint going to happen soon. Certainly not soon enough for the users on Escouts.

We just have to hope that HQ get around to thinking about it sometime soon

Martyn
29-09-2003, 11:45 PM
Has anyone tried contacting HQ ?

Martyn

Richard
29-09-2003, 11:54 PM
We have look at some options down this road, but had only just started. We were looking down the route of formalising things so that we could apply for grants, in our current state, ie a number of Scouters, we would not be able to apply for grants.

At the end of the day the situation overtook us and, I think we need to review our options, I certainly will be investigating possible avenues, I feel that HQ is an obvious door.

Will it stop this, no.

Martyn
30-09-2003, 08:01 AM
OK - Big Question

How much ?

Martyn

Richard
30-09-2003, 09:05 AM
About 2 thousand per year, if it's volunteers supporting the server.

philipcullen
30-09-2003, 04:14 PM
The single server we are using is a top notch job and could handle probably around 1000 accounts, if it was carefully managed


Is this a limitation of the server or of the bandwidth?

As servers these days are relatively cheap, would it be possible to simply put a similar server on a high speed internet line, and that way be able to host an almost unlimited number of users, within the limits of the connection. This way a server could be put, for example in one of the main scouting offices, and connected. This could be offset against the cost of their internet access, and coupled with other funds, such as from HQ, could provide all the services required.

Also has anybody thought about asking any large companies to pay for the costs of the server, or provide a connection as above, if escouts was made an official project, someone out there may want to provide these maybe in return for a "servers provided by ..." somewhere on the site.

Also what connection speed would be required to run this kind of server at a reasonable rate, for example would it run on an ADSL line, as there must be some used in scouting offices where it could be plugged in, even if the speed is only 250kb/s?

mattw
30-09-2003, 07:32 PM
as far as i understand it ADSL is not suitable for hosting a webserver, it is one of the things that most providers want to avoid.

In order to host a site from home as it were i was under the impression that you needed a dedicated cable type line that wasnt just a home broadband solution, at least for hosting more than a handful of sites, which would push the cost up drastically.

Personally im *hoping* that we wont have any trouble getting the money from somewhere whether it be the group or the explorer unit, especially if we think that the website has had over a year of being on 'borrowed time' getting proper professional hosting for nothing. I know not all groups are in this situation however, and for them it would be a shame to lose their website.

Daniel
30-09-2003, 07:51 PM
is there a way we can get a grant to keep web hosting for scouts free?

Also if every-one gets on to HQ could we do something about the situation.

if you can not supply free web hosting how much money per year do you need for all the scouting sites to be hosted? could we not pay like a small price per site which would cover this cost?

Ross
30-09-2003, 07:56 PM
We could pay a small price, but would everyone pay it? Some of the smaller sites who have nothing on them may decide not to pay for it, then the price will go up for others....

Ross

Graham
30-09-2003, 07:59 PM
It would depened on how many accounts we have, that are being used, i.e. the more people that leave or are not being used the more for everyone else.

Graham

Daniel
30-09-2003, 08:00 PM
If you can get every site to pay a price - if there sites are big or small - the sites can still be hosted.

Every site should pay or be deleted - all the sites are hosted for free so if they did not pay it they would be deleter

come on lets face it - at the pressent moment on a date if the sites have not been moved there going to be deleted - the only way is by buying a hosting package - approx £39.99 - ie. £10 is not as much

Ross
30-09-2003, 08:04 PM
True, but if we can't get everyone to pay, it may rise to £15 or even £20 each...

Ross

Daniel
30-09-2003, 08:12 PM
Sorry but i would pay £10 or £15 etc.
than pay £39.99

i have e-mail the scout association to see if they could some how fund the free hosting, probably wont work, but worth a try

Bloory
30-09-2003, 08:45 PM
Sorry but i would pay £10 or £15 etc.
than pay £39.99

i have e-mail the scout association to see if they could some how fund the free hosting, probably wont work, but worth a try

I've tried to accomodate that in the special plan I have created. This is professional hosting, not some oversold account from a school kid. The servers are quality servers, the bandwidth from multiple connectors and in a world class datacentre. The software (CPanel) is also top notch.

We did look for alternatives and seek sponsors, but if people are not prepared to pay why should I? The unfortunate situation is that I cannot continue. I am online from 5.30 am until 11.30 pm most days trying to make Pathfinder host work - solely to fund Escouts. That's on top of having a demanfding full time job, a (sick) family, a house to run, a Scout Troop to nurture and an Explorer Unit to help.

The best alternative deal was a low spec server in a 2nd rate datacenter with new, relatively featureless software. That was still £49 per month and may well not have coped with the sites we had.

Please, don't think I'm getting at you personally, but I want people to know how hard the team and I have tried.

Daniel
30-09-2003, 08:49 PM
im not aming any of this at you - if at any one it should be at the scout association.

i just cant see why the scout association wont help

Daniel
30-09-2003, 08:52 PM
how much would it cost to have the same things as the account i currently have?

Bloory
30-09-2003, 09:11 PM
im not aming any of this at you - if at any one it should be at the scout association.

i just cant see why the scout association wont help

I know, sorry I was so long winded. It is frustrating, isn't it.

Bloory
30-09-2003, 09:21 PM
how much would it cost to have the same things as the account i currently have?

basically, the Pathfinder prices less 30%, the starter is what we originally offered, but when we had a reseller account, they suggested we oversell the bandwidth less. (overselling is buying 10gb bandwidth but selling 20 to your customers/users). Pathfinder has it's own servers similar to Escouts, and has bandwidth to spare (we undersell for the benefi of our resellers).

Realistically, most accounts don't use that much bandwidth or space and so a small amount of overselling is safe. Also, this means that most folks can get away with a smaller package than we offer. I'm fairly flexible about limits and would increase them a bit on a case by case basis.

I'm keen to work something out wherever I can.

Dave
30-09-2003, 09:36 PM
Firstly a big thank you to Jon and Richard without the idea and funding of Escouts we wouldn't have had first class FREE hosting without all the c**p that normally goes with it.
The end of a era but life goes on and what's £30 quid worth nowadays? a night down the pub? 6 packets of cigarettes? Very good premium webhosting for a year?
I use Pathfinder for all my hosting now (three totally different site all non-Scouting) and the people ivolved are all very pleased with the service they get. Try getting support from Yahoo on their hosting plans!

Escouts will survive in one way or another, be it with hosting in the future or not only time will tell.

Dave

Paul
30-09-2003, 10:02 PM
im not aming any of this at you - if at any one it should be at the scout association.

i just cant see why the scout association wont help

Sorry, but why should the subs of young people from groups other than yours pay for your group to have a website hosted?

The Scout Association doesn't have pots of money hidden away. To spend money on web server facilities would ultimately cost groups more in their capitation. Surely the cost of a facility used by a group should be borne by that group?

I'm sorry that the free hosting hasn't worked out, and that other sources of money haven't been found. I'm extremely grateful to Jon, and Richard before him, for all that they have done. It has given our groups the opportunity to have a website with many features that we wouldn't have had elsewhere (ad free, php, sql, mail features etc.). Now we have to look sensibly at what we have used, and how much it costs in the 'real world'. For my Explorer unit, the reality is that the benefit and amount of use that the site has had probably doesn't justify paying commercial rates for it. The likelihood is therefore that we will either use basic free hosting (that I get included with my Demon account), or that the website will close. I don't expect the Scout Association to pay for it. I see no reason why they should. They do provide Scoutbase, as a central resource for leaders, and it is right that the costs for that should be centrally borne.

Paul

Simon
30-09-2003, 10:22 PM
I am afraid I am going to have to disagree with you there about your views on HQ support. I feel it was a reasonable request to ask HQ for support. How scouting is operating is changing and this can be seen at least from the new programme. Websites are the new means of advertising and distributing resources for the members as can be seen from scoutbase. By providing free hosting it enables all groups to have access to these facilities. Web hosting for groups is also allowing many scouters to achieve their IT Badge.

Websites are an excellent way of allowing the scouting association to grow and is an excellent way of allowing new people become scouts as I know from at least my own district we received a fair number of recruitment requests via the website.

Richard
01-10-2003, 12:09 AM
The simple fact of the matter is we have always offered free professional webhosting. Those of you that got hosted by me in the begining on Donhost, they now charge 90 quid for the same account. What people fail to realise is that the free accounts they were given free were top quality.

Jonathan's prices are extremely fair and very very good. Jon is seriously bending over backwards on this.

The fact that a group cant find this small amount to promote themselves on a Website, really worries me, as its an indication of how seriously Scouting in general takes its image, it doesnt. We just rest on our laurels.

Now I know I'm preaching to the converted on this forum but some groups really need to give themselves a shake on this on, as our image is everything and things have moved on significantly and websites have never been more important.

As for the various options. I think its fair to say that the decision the end free webhosting on escouts is unfortunate but necessary. Jon should be seriously praised for the considerable financial burden he took on.

BUT, and it's a big but. In my view Free Hosting should be offered by the Scout Association. I think we should take this opportunity, to stand back take a deep breath and prove to the Scout Association this is the way forward.

We now have the proof that Free Webhosting is a service that would be well used. Now we need to speak to the right people to see where this could be incorporated into the scheme of things with the SA.

I know the SA has plans for a membership management scheme, and where and if local websites fall into that I'm unsure, but I and others will persue it, I'm sure

marcus
01-10-2003, 10:26 AM
I can probably get the cash needed for the Scout group site I have, but the SSAGO club is skint most of the time anyways.

I'm getting broadband in the next few days, so I probably see what the Dynamic IP trackiung companies like TZO.com can do on their trial with that, but may abe back with Pathfinder.

I would just like to thank Jon and all the team for their excellent support and unbelievably good service that I have enjoyed in the last two years. I hope to have dealings with you in the future and good luck with everything mentioned.

I am thinking of e-mailing HQ to see if they have anything to say on the matter (If enough of us do it they may listen) so I would like to know how many accounts are here (to get my facts right)

I think that Escouts has been an inpiration to Scouting and Guiding websites in the UK, and TSA may ahve more interest in the idea of web hosting now than they did at the start, partly through this service. Now, with the new sections of web-site building in the IT badges, hopefully they will look into the dea of hosting some site themselves (I think the Irish Scouts already do something like that, but I'll have to check)

Just thanks again
Marcus

PS: Wrong time I know but I've just re-launced the Sheffield StinGS website (http://www.stings.org.uk) can people please have a look and suggest any improvements?

Thanks

Martyn
01-10-2003, 12:00 PM
I can't believe groups could not afford £30 a year !

One of the big problems is we always try and do stuff on the cheap, using photocopiers for letters - were the copier was thrown of a company because it puts lines down the pages.

the other problem we have is people are allowed to completly an utterly over extend themselves. Going to scout meetings 5 days a week and camps at weekends and because you are doing it no one else volenteers until in the end you say I'm not doing this anymore

Anyway Back to Hosting
I think there should be a 'Scout assocation' hosting
Those people that ar paying for hosting are giving money to external parties and not keeping it in house !

Paying vs Free - An Internet site is 24*7 advertising and information
the best example I can give is it is great if you get something put in the local paper in the past you had to put for more information contact fred on telephone 01982 etc now you can add or look at the website at www.sscouts.org.uk - people never rang me up as phoning the unknown is scary but browsing to a site and sending an e:Mail is not

So my suggestion would be a bit of both Groups would get a free site for up to 20ish pages and pay after that !

ecconomies of scale - as I wrote somewhre up there - Lots of groups are already paying for hosting, if they were put together they may be able to afford a server togther ( I said something in a previous post about the 60 counties in England paying £10 a month to host there sites would pay for the rest of the sites on the server).

Some control - If the sites wee togther you could have some control - I've seen a few sites that not only break the scout rules on web sites they break leagal rules as well

I have writtern to the SA about ESCOUTS, I'm not sure I'll get anywhere but I've tried

Again thanks to the ESCOUTS team - Jon seems to utterly over extended people I mentioned at the beginning

god do I waffle at times

Martyn

marcus
01-10-2003, 12:16 PM
The problem comes around when certain members of the group (like our Scout Leader) don't have web access, and so think that there is no need for a web site.

It has taken about 2 years to persuade my group that we needed one, but I can see other group who came to the net later, or have less web-enthusiastic groups than mine may find it hard to get funding fromtheir scout group for what they see as an add-on to the group, not part of it.

I'm not 100% certain that my group will sponsor it, but I will probably find the extra if they don't, as for a Student Group, like the stings site, it's a totally different matter.

Marcus

PS: Thanks for the comments Martyn

JohnR
01-10-2003, 12:22 PM
Now I know I'm preaching to the converted on this forum but some groups really need to give themselves a shake on this on, as our image is everything and things have moved on significantly and websites have never been more important.

BUT, and it's a big but. In my view Free Hosting should be offered by the Scout Association. I think we should take this opportunity, to stand back take a deep breath and prove to the Scout Association this is the way forward.


Yes, you're right. Web sites have totally replaced the old fashioned hard copy newletters, and notes pinned up in the local library, that we used to use to promote ourselves and to show parents what we get up to. So the SA nationally should provide the facilities for that in the same way as they always used to provide the facilities for the newsletters and notes in the library.

Nonsense! If the web site is intended to promote the Group, the Group is responsible for that in the same way as it is for any other form of promotion. If the web site is intended to communicate to parents, why should my parents subsidise you communicating to your parents? If the web site is a badge activity for your Scouts shouldn't the cost of that come out of your section's subs in the same way as it does for any other activity? And more often than not, of course, the web site is a hobby for the web master. And you want the SA (which means me!) to subsidise your hobby? Get real.

JohnR
01-10-2003, 01:04 PM
Nonsense! ...... Get real.
Sorry, I know it's bad form to respond to my own post. I guess I'm not used to this new fangled technology yet! I'd like to emphasise that the tone of my remarks is not aimed in anyway at Richard or Jon. You've both made an immense contribution - which I'm sure you will continue to make - to the Scouting presence on the internet.

But I was a bit peeved to read people who've been given a gift, and now expect somebody else to carry on giving it to them. When you've been given a present you say "thank you" and then try to make good use of it. But you shouldn't come to expect it as of right.

Richard
01-10-2003, 01:29 PM
Nonsense! If the web site is intended to promote the Group, the Group is responsible for that in the same way as it is for any other form of promotion.If the web site is intended to communicate to parents, why should my parents subsidise you communicating to your parents?

Simple it saves Scouting in general significant amounts of money. Under the Escouts model with voluntary support, you could run the server for 2 grand a year. With a higher profile and you'd probably get up to 2 or 3 servers, but there is only so many groups, districts, counties/areas



If the web site is a badge activity for your Scouts shouldn't the cost of that come out of your section's subs in the same way as it does for any other activity?
Yes you are right this type of activity can use free and internet accounts with webspace. I'm not really talking about that.


And more often than not, of course, the web site is a hobby for the web master. And you want the SA (which means me!) to subsidise your hobby? Get real.
Okay say the service was to cost 10 grand, that would be 2 pence onto the Membership Fee, if funding could not be accessed for it elsewhere.

I know there is some great Group sites out there, but I do wonder if some groups would benefit better by merging resources and a District approach taken for the website, with group news on it.

No I dont want the SA to subside my hobby, I want the SA to take a more strategic attitude over this issue and I know they were working on this, to their credit, how far it will go is anyone's guess.

Martyn
01-10-2003, 02:06 PM
[code:1]I want the SA to take a more strategic attitude [/code:1]

This what I'd like to see happen too

and as for groups contributing to other groups it already happens
when you ring the information centre you can use local rate calls or direct (where does the money come for the difference ?)

Martyn

Craig
01-10-2003, 04:33 PM
I'd liek to take the chance to say thank you for the service, but also to say, i don't think they'd have a funding problem. the GSL of the local group has told me, our district has a ncie £190, 000 just sitting in the bank, (wether it still is true or not i dont know, i dont see District Bank Details) this isnt the same for every district, but i mean im sure something could be done for it.

Once again, thanks for the EXCELLENT service.

Craig Worcester
1st Snodland Scout Group & Pegasus Explorer Scout Unit

Daniel
01-10-2003, 04:38 PM
Can you not get a grant - i.e. The national lottery grant?

Daniel
01-10-2003, 05:01 PM
sorry about the last post = ive just read the second page!

I do think that escouts has provided an EXELLENT SERVICE and im with Jon - Scout groups should get free web hosting, but as escouts stops the free hosting better things should come out of it.

TSA should help on this one - i did e-mail them on the 30th and i have not yet got a reply but as soon as i do i will post the reply on this forum, lets see what they have to say, may work, may not.

What about having a forum page where all the groups can list there names and sent a link to the SA showing how many sites are hosted and that may do some thing about it if there are a good number.

Refering to my last post - Have you had a look at the lottery site - you can get grants - i think its between £500 - £5000. check it out anyway



A VERY BIG THANK YOU FOR THE SERVICE YOU HAVE PROVIDED!
AND TO THE TEAM, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSIBLE FOR ME TO BUILD A POST NUKE SITE WITH OUT YOUR HELP.


I was not saying our group can not afford the £30 for the hosting, but im an explorer scout and i struggled to get the money out of my group for the domain because the group did not think it was a good idea.

how ever i am building my site for my Gold D of E and im half may thourgh so i think i have a good chance of getting the money.

I will be using Pathfinder Hosting as it has the same things - e.g. c panel . . . .. .

lets wait and see what the SA have to say.

daniel
www.4thgolcarscoutgroup.org.uk

mattw
01-10-2003, 09:46 PM
Some control - If the sites wee togther you could have some control - I've seen a few sites that not only break the scout rules on web sites they break leagal rules as well


sorry :oops:

anyhow i will def be using pathfinder for our site, imo it would be rude to scab free hosting for so long then just jump out of here as soon as money is mentioned. Luckily im in the position where i know that if the group refuse to pay we can get it from the explorer unit funds no problem.

Anyhow after i challenged our people to find a host that could host our site for free or even for less money than Jon has offered it for, nobody could find anything (although one did suggest geocities, i havent a clue why :? ), and as i leave torquay and move to york on sat its not a good time for this to happen to them so they had to agree really!

Sam_Butler
02-10-2003, 01:25 PM
I have emailed the Scout Association. I'll let you know more later.

Sam

watfords
04-10-2003, 05:07 PM
First thanks a lot for all the work you have done!!

I am probably going to swithover to the pathfinder server but since I am only still doing simple things I will still need help. I know the e-scouts forum is still going to keep going, will I still be able to ask for advise and help when needed.

Greg

Ross
04-10-2003, 05:54 PM
Yes - You will always be helped here by the community and the team!

Ross

eastleigh
04-10-2003, 06:46 PM
I have a feeling that our district exec may not want to stump up the cash for a pathfinder account (especially looking at just how many people visit the site - or even know it exists). Therefore, I am looking at an alternative, I want some webspace so that I can develop some PHP, MySQL skills etc and will probably end up going for one of the pathfinder options.

If I was to purchase a domain for me (e.g. www.myname.me or something) and aim it at a pathfinder account, could I also point the eastleigh-scouts.org.uk address to the same account without problem? This would solve the issue of hosting for the district and also they would not have to balk at the cost. If the district site does take off, then it could be moved to it's own account at some point in the future.

Any advice gratefully received.

David

Bloory
04-10-2003, 07:10 PM
If I was to purchase a domain for me (e.g. www.myname.me or something) and aim it at a pathfinder account, could I also point the eastleigh-scouts.org.uk address to the same account without problem?

David,

You could do that with an add-on domain. Basically, you would create a subdomain withit's own login such as scouts.myname.me and then use the add-on domains feature so that requests for eastleigh-scout.org.uk get directed there.

That's the easiest solution, otherwise I'd create the site in the same sort of way, or perhaps as www.myname.me/scouts and use the domain control panel to forward requests to it.

HTH

stuartr
07-10-2003, 06:22 PM
You could do that with an add-on domain.

In reference to that, is it possible to have different cPanel/phpMyAdmin logins (mainly phpMyAdmin), as if you are sharing the server you (I) may not wish to share all the facilities available.

Stuart

(on an unrelated note, due to having too many passwords [work, uni, email, various webspace acounts and so on] ive forgotten my support desk pass [again i think]. anyway....my pathfinder cpanel is a 404 just now....)

Bloory
07-10-2003, 08:52 PM
Stuart -

The best way for access to phpmyadmin would be to upload your own copy and password protect the folder,

There seems to be a problem with the pathfinder cpanel - I am not a happy bunny!

PJ
08-10-2003, 09:06 AM
I have set up a pathfinder account in the same name as one of my current escouts domains (namely wseg.escouts.org.uk) could i also redirect another escouts domain (birkenheadqsa.escouts.org.uk) to the same account as an addon and if so, should i set it up now or wait for 24th October?