Need Suggestions For Site Hosting

A few weeks ago I got into podcast recording, having released three episodes so far with a fourth planned for next week. It's just a hobby, but I would still like to get them up on iTunes to share them with whoever might be interested.

I've never done anything like this before, but it seems the first step is to host the episodes on a site with RSS feed capability. I run a free Wordpress site, but it seems that 3GB is the limit for data hosting. Since the episodes average out about 110mb each, and so far has been getting weekly updates, that will only eat up those 3GB fast.

I have no idea what constitutes a good deal for monthly site fees (I was also told that there exists sites with just one-time fees), so I could really use some suggestions. I preferably want something cheap, but as long as it can accommodate my needs (a little under half a GB a month), I'll be satisfied.


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    MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    For hosting big blobs of data, I like Amazon S3. It's dirt cheap storage, and you can even host a simple site directly from their servers.

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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Oh man, it sure sounds great. Free trial for a year, charge by the GB, and there's even a tutorial here for setting up a podcast with it.

    Registered now, waiting for verification. I hope this is as easy as it sounds to set up.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    If you can figure out AWS, more power to you. I've never encountered a more asstardedly byzantine pricing/product model ever.

    They have a free roll for a year though so you can check them out for testing. Microsoft Azure has something similar (some free to play stuff), but they are the 2nd or 3rd bird to the party.

    I use linode.

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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    I was following the guide for setting all this up until I reached this part:
    Under your DNS console, set that endpoint to be the DNS Value.

    I was under the impression that it would walk me from the beginning in setting up a site with hosted content, but it seems I have to go register the domain first.

    In that case, I'm trying to decide between GoDaddy or Amazon's own Route 53 page. The former has come recommended more than once, but the latter was cheaper.

    The language on the Amazon page is confusing as hell, though. Regardless, I registered a domain there for a $12 yearly fee. Hopefully I can proceed to link podcasts following the above guide without any other hassle.

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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    I've spent the last two hours trying to make sense of Amazon's how-to guides, and I'm still coming up short.

    Would I have been better off creating the domain through Go Daddy? I keep getting stuck at this DNS nonsense.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    What is the "DNS nonsense" you're hitting? The registrar will have the DNS server IPs you choose to host your DNS infrastructure at. So when you register ProfessorSnugglesworth.com you need to define some DNS server IPs that DNS resolvers/clients know how to direct their requests to when asking for www.ProfessorSnugglesworth.com or mail.ProfessorSnugglesworth.com or whatever.

    AWS is pretty impressive, but it's impossible to understand. They have very knowledgeable reps, but they are enterprise and large market oriented so they are not going to walk you through setting up a small time podcast site. And the guides and FAQs and whatnot are generally not oriented to a novice.

    As far as Go Daddy is concerned, I've never heard anyone say "yeah, I'm happy I used Go Daddy instead of someone else"; like never. Only heard horror stories about Go Daddy.

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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    I'll try my best to explain where I'm stuck. Again, this is all completely new ground for me, so if I'm overlooking something stupid, then great. If not, then this is much harder than I expected.

    First thing's first, I was following this guide after registering with Amazon S3. I hadn't registered any domains or anything else. The first thing I want to make sure is the following step:
    Enter your address that you will be setting up on your site, such as podcasts.techraptor.net which points to our podcasts category. Select the correct region for you, and hit “Create”.

    For the sake of this post I'll call my site "snuggles.com". So was I supposed to also name the address "podcasts.snuggles.com"? Does it matter what name I'm using for this step?

    After that, I was following all the other steps in that guide until I got to here:
    Under your DNS console, set that endpoint to be the DNS Value. For example, we have podcasts.techraptor.net forwarding to that endpoint. (Which then forwards to techraptor.net/category/podcasts).

    This is where I got confused. I didn't know what they meant by "DNS console", much less how to set the endpoint (which I did find) to be the DNS value. It was here that I realized I needed to register a domain, so I went ahead and did that with Route 53, which is also part of AWS. I picked a .com and ordered a year of registration ($12).

    Even with the Route 53 access, though, I still had no idea how to look up the DNS console to complete the steps from the first guide. That was when someone suggested I use this guide instead.

    In this guide, I made it as far as Step 2.2. I was able to open up my endpoint for snuggles.com with the HTML code they provided, and it opened up successfully. However, I couldn't get www.snuggles.com to open, despite following the steps further down.

    Leaving that aside, I continued down to Step 4:
    Go to your DNS provider site and update the NS record with the delegation set values of the hosted zone as shown in the following Amazon Route 53 console screenshot. For more information, go to Updating Your DNS Service's Name Server Records in Amazon Route 53 Developer Guide.

    Once again, I don't know what they mean by DNS provider. I don't know how to look that up, much less put in the values that they require.

    All I wanted was to set up a simple hosting site to put my mp3s in and have it point to iTunes. If anyone can assist me with this mess, I would greatly appreciate it. If there's a far simpler alternative to site creation, I would like to know as well (and hopefully can ask Amazon for a refund).

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I'll try to help, but I may be hobbled by knowing this from a different context than you.

    When you register a domain (e.g. snuggles.com) you bought "snuggles.com" and associated some information with it (name, address, phone number, email, etc ... and maybe you did private registration so people who "whois" snuggles.com don't end up with your personal email, address or phone number). The most important info you associated was the name server to IP associations. If you take google.com as an example (https://who.is/whois/google.com/) you see ns1.google.com, ns2.google.com, etc. that have URLS (ns1.google.com) mapped to IPs ( These are servers that respond to client DNS requests. When you type maps.google.com or gmail.google.com or www.google.com into a browser it asks the name server (ns1.google.com) "how do I find gmail.google.com?" If you don't make the record (www.google.com goes to then the browser doesn't know how to find the server.

    For some client to find podcasts.snuggles.com, then the name server for snuggles.com (maybe ns1.snuggles.com?) has to have a host record for podcasts.snuggles.com that points to a particular IP (wherever you are hosting the content).

    This bit here (Under your DNS console, set that endpoint to be the DNS Value. For example, we have podcasts.techraptor.net forwarding to that endpoint. (Which then forwards to techraptor.net/category/podcasts).) is problematic. That sounds like a redirect, which means the client browser sends a request to some address, but on the serverside the URL is interpretted and gets pointed/redirected to another directory or address.

    Your "DNS provider" is the site/service that hosts your DNS services: the things that respond when being asked by browsers "where do I find www.snuggles.com?". Typically this is your host or possibly your registrar.

    Sorry if this is needlessly obtuse.

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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    That helps put things in perspective, but the question remains on how to set my endpoint as the DNS value so things work as the guide claims it should.

    Or is there a far simpler method to having my Amazon-purchased domain host my podcast episodes and also link with iTunes?

    Edit: This guide follows the same steps as the previous guide, but seems to be easier to read.
    DNS Setup

    Using the ChurchMag podcast as the example, the CNAME Name would be: podcast.churchm.ag and the Value you’ll want to add can be found in your S3 Console.

    Jump back to your bucket Properties under the “Static Website Hosting” section, the same place you enabled the website hosting.

    Copy the “Endpoint” and paste it as your DNS Value associated with your new CNAME. This the ugly URL we’re hiding.

    So if I'm understanding that correctly, I take the endpoint from the S3 page and add that as the DNS value on Route 53 (where my domain is hosted). Do I replace the existing DNS value or just add the endpoint to the list?

    If I can just figure out how to do that, this whole thing should work.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
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