I am a postdoc in the humanities and I am drafting a funding application for a project envisaging the development of a research database. The project will last no more than 2-3 years and as a postdoc I am not supposed to stay at the host institution for longer.
The question is how to preserve the results of this work for posterity.
Luckily these days there are institutional and independent repositories, which allow me to store my complete dataset as a set of CSV files and in RDF/XML format with a well-documented ontology. This sounds sustainable.
But I also would like to offer a web-interface to the researchers so that the database could be consulted online. (The structure of my data is quite unique, which does not allow me to simply submit all my data to the online database of any large project working in my field.) I see it as a standard MySQL/PHP application, which I am planning to develop.
The question is what is the most sustainable strategy for hosting it. I have seen a number online research databases in my field, some costing a great deal of money to the funding authorities, which went offline after some years and are no-longer available. This includes both commercially hosted database (the worst option in my view, for someone has to pay eternally for hosting and domain name) and university-hosted databases. I understand that after I leave the host university (and I am just a postdoc), no one can guarantee that they will host the project website forever.
Besides the technologies for web development are changing fast and the web interface designed with current tools will become obsolete after some years.
What are the best practices for securing a lasting time-span for a small online research database, which does not have a strong lasting project behind it?

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