Website & blog hosting

Looking to host your blog or website? We recommend ...

Network23.org provide free blogs and websites. They use WordPress software (the World's most widley used web site content management software) which is very easy to use, even if you are not very technically experienced.

 

Tachanka offer solid, security and privacy conscious website hosting facilities to radical and grassroots groups internationally. They provide Drupal hosting, which is more complicated to use than WordPress, and they also provide virtual servers for advanced web developers.

 

ox4.org was set up by some activists in the Oxford area who in their words 'like doing activism, supporting activism infrastructure, and techie stuff'. Most of their sites are Oxford based, and their level of security is not as high as Tachanka. They provide Drupal hosting, which is more complicated to use than WordPress.

Why we recommend them

If the server you use for your website is set up securely then you can make sure that the people posting on and viewing your website are not at risk of leaving personal data. This safeguards their privacy. Website software like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal can also be set up in this way.To be counted as secure, at a minimum, a hosting service should not log the IP addresses or other details of anybody uploading content to, or viewing, your website.

All of the recommended services are non-commercial. They might ask for a donation to cover their costs, but they are not making any profit by hosting sites. They do it because they care about making the web available to people. And they do not pass any information on to third parties (such as marketing companies).

These providers are working to try to implement the Providers' Commitment for Privacy. which is a way of formalising some of the secure ways of working and hosting. We would be very happy to work with other collectives to try to implement this.

Alternatives to Network23.org

Other activist collectives who have set up services to give out blogs and websites that can be used anonymously and who have a similar commitment to not logging any personal data to Network23, include:

Like Network23, these services do keep a copy of your email address for password resets, so do bear this in mind when signing up, and perhaps consider not using your main email address that you use at work, or for writing to your friends and relations. 

Network23 are also actively encouraging and aiding others to do likewise and start their own free-blogging services.If you are a tech collective and would like advice

Looking for a Website System for your Project?

CMS's Content Management Systems are web-based software that make it easier to create more complicated websites. We would recommend one of three different CMS's Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla.

If you search for "Wordpress Drupal Joomla compared" or "Wordpress vs Drupal Vs Joomla" you will come up with many articles which compare the different systems. They all have the following in common., they are;

  • mostly maintained by a volunteer community
  • released under a GPL Free Software licence
  • designed to be extended and customised easily with themes, modules and plugins

Here is a link to one of the articles comparing the different elements of the systems. Site builder shootout: Drupal vs. Joomla vs. WordPress

There is a summary of the findings and links to the community sites below.

If I were to make a recommendation, I would tell a beginner to use WordPress, no question. The themes and plug-ins are diverse and numerous, and this is a very good starter CMS that can scale quite well into a more complex site.
I would recommend Joomla for sites that are a bit more complex and are going to be managed by someone with stronger technical skills. For this type of situation, Joomla is perfect: plenty of extensions, easier to learn and enough templates to make site design worries moot.
If I were building a much more complex site, though, I might turn to Drupal first. Though it's harder to learn, it has much more flexibility to scale a site in terms of complexity. It also has the ability to scale up into very complex sites to be used for a variety of needs.

 

Find out more

We have written in depth help on using WordPress, some of which can be found on our page Using Wordpress in the help section.