Tag: websites

Some web-hosting advice, please…

Last month when I opened up our credit card statement, I looked with horror at the amount I was being charged for webhosting. It said that MediaTemple, my current web hosts for this blog, learning.mrbelshaw.co.uk, edte.ch and historyshareforum.com were charging me almost £20 per month for the privilege. This, apparently, is due to the ‘amount of MySQL activity’ on my account. 😮

Last summer, I transferred from Bluehost – with whom I’d been very happy – due to MediaTemple’s well-publicised ‘Grid Hosting’ and their ability to host domain names such as .ch (needed for edte.ch). Now, however, I find that my websites take longer to load, their customer service is below average, and they’re over-charging me.

I’d love to simply go back to Bluehost. That’s not really an option, however, due to their inability to host .ch domains. I had a look at going with HP-backed and much-advertised One.com, but they don’t allow ‘download-related’ sites – historyshareforum.com is for the sharing and downloading of resources.

So I’d like your recommendations please. My criteria are:

  • Good value (i.e. reasonably cheap!)
  • Good customer support (quick response time)
  • Support for a wide range of domain extensions

Ideally, I’d also like the servers to be based in the UK. It makes fast loading times of the websites for the majority of my visitors more likely, you see… 😀

Image credit: The Web that is Us by ecstaticist @ Flickr

Timelines.tv points the way to the future of learning History

Timelines.tvIn an average week I probably receive 2-3 emails asking me to review websites, products or software. One random person this week even asked if they could guest blog solely so they could advance their career! Most of these go straight in GMail’s trash folder, but one I received earlier this week was different.

I received an email from Andrew Chater, Bafta award-winning producer of seminal documentaries and History-related programmes. He’s recently launched timelines.tv, which, he believes:

…is a new and exciting on-line history resource provided free for the user…. It offers a wealth of quality TV documentary, arranged on interactive historical timelines that put you in control of your journey through the past. The content covers all aspects of British history from 1066 to the present day, arranged on three parallel timelines: social, political and national/imperial.

I have to say that I’m rather impressed by it. Not only does it help visitors gain a handle on chronology, but introduces themes to enable them to get a grip on how concepts such as ‘leadership’ have changed through time.

Perhaps the best way to use this resource is in a 1:1 laptop situation. In fact, it would be ideal with each learner having an Asus eee each! (are you getting sick of me talking about these little marvels yet?) 😉

The size of the digital video is probably (just) big enough for viewing on an Interactive Whiteboard/projector, but I think the bitesize nature of them means that setting the watching of them for homework along with an activity is a real possibility.

I’m really looking forward to more sites like this springing up. Very well done, Andrew – and kudos for making it free to all! 😀

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