Hi there, I am in the process of setting up a server for some friends and I to play, and it's coming along nicely, nice enough that we are thinking of taking it off my computer and hosting it somewhere. We're not sure whether we'd eventually open it to the public or not, but I have a few questions about the process and I'd love to get your insights if you have experience with this.
My current setup is a 1.8x spigot build of bukkit. My current knowledge level in bukkit is probably just above beginner, and just around moderate-to-just-under-advanced for the web in general (I have a couple wordpress websites and understand basics of servers and hosting).
1 - is moving my local-built server to a web-hosted much more difficult than simply ftp-ing my current folder structure up to a minecraft host? I see a lot of Mention of SQL support, and I was wondering what, if anything, I would need stored in that type of database. Currently my configs and whitelist seem to all be stored in "text" files (yml). Does moving from local to a host require data to be stored in an SQL database and how hard is it to link things if so?
2 - How do you link your Minecraft server to a name vs an ip? for instance, in the ADD SERVER in the Minecraft client, if I want them to type "FuzzbieCraft" or something instead of 172.xxx.xxx do I just register a FuzzbieCraft.com and then point my host's ip address of the server in the GoDaddy control panel? Would people then be able to type in a name vs a number? Or do you just need to type your server's name in a config file...?
3 - If I ever DID take the server public, what are the major hacks I would need to protect myself from people doing? For instance, I have my Lobby/spawn protected with world guard, and my hunger games arenas and shops, but how do people get around things and ruin servers? Like placing lava or TNT canons and such? Hacking their inventory? X-Ray? What plug-ins are best at stoping these things? I saw one person mention they hosted on a faster server to prevent x-ray cheats, so wondering if certain plug-ins slow things down noticeably?
1) With most hosts it is only a matter of using your FTP client to transfer the servers from your local host to their servers. Some hosts offer MySQL databases in case you download a plugin that requires one. If you currently do not have a plugin running a database then you will not need to worry, though I recommend you choose a host that offers this option in case you ever need it down the road.
2) If you would like to join from a domain (FuzzbieCraft.com) instead of an IP you would need either to buy a domain from a place such as GoDaddy, or you can see if the provider you choose offers a sub-domian (fuxxbiecraft.mpgs.us) those normally are free. If you were to choose a domain from GoDaddy you can either create an A record if you have a dedicated IP from your hosting provider, or if you do not order a dedicated IP you can create an SRV record allowing you to join without a port.
3) As for security on the providers side, any popular provider will have security from anyone "hacking" into your console (of course not if they get your password). As for in game security, I would make sure to deny as much as you can in places where you do not want broken such as TNT deny, mob-spawning deny etc.... Also installing CoreProtect is a good idea as it can rollback data if someone were to grief (though sometimes it does not work).
If you are confused about anything said above feel free to add us on Skype: MPGServers and our staff can help you out more.
1: Seems like nothing you have requires any messing with the SQL Support, it should be as simple as copying everything out of your folder and uploading it to the FTP that your host provides.
2: Right, purchase the domain from GoDaddy, Domain.com, or if your hosting provider offers it, they may have some good deals through them. Check around. Also - some options also for free domains are the "dot.tk" thing and other sub-domain providers are out there, do a little bit of searching for free sub-domains. When I first ran my server several years ago in the beta days, I got one of those free sub-domains. You do get a lot more control if you buy your own though
3: Your hosting provider should provide as much security as they can, but everything in game is up to you. Using PEX (Permissions Ex) is a good idea, or an alternative being Essentials Group Manager. Having areas protected by world guard is nice, and using the world guard plugin you can even restrict what blocks people can place (So, for instance, no one is allowed to place TNT)
If you have further questions or even want some specific help setting up your domain or plugins or the whatnot, feel free to shoot me a PM or whatnot. I would be glad to help out.