18 Jul 2012
18 May 2009
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I've never used the installer, so I can't comment on that specifically, but the easiest way I've found to setup a new sitefinity site is to download the blank project and install it locally. Of course, this is under the assumption that you have IIS, and Sql Server installed on your system. (Sql express is free, and IIS is built into windows).
Your machine should already have the full permissions needed to initialize the database, etc... so you just need to create a database and user, navigate to your local site and enter the connection string.
once your site is up and running locally, then you can copy the site files using ftp, then save the database as a backup and import that to your shared db hosting. Most shared hosting providers should have SOME method to allow you to import a database backup.
you can even set medium trust on your local site to make sure it mirrors the permissions on your live server, so you can correct any issues before you upload. For example, my host makes their medium trust web.config file available for download, so I installed that on my machine so I know if it works on my machine, it will work on the server!
regarding your last option, I investigated many options before settling on Sitefinity. umbraco at the time also required full trust with hack workarounds just to RUN let alone install. this may have changed but even then we still didn't like it as much as SF.
If you are a .NET developer, using all of the core best practices like Themes, User Controls, inheritance, and all of that fun stuff, there is NO better option than SF! It's like an extention to asp.net... wrapping a CMS around tools you already know how to use, and use well.
anyway enough of my Sitefinity commercial! I hope this was helpful, and if I can be of any further assistance in getting your site rolling, please let me know and I'll do what I can to help!