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Elohim
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Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 1:10 pm

Hi Guys,

I have a young friend who wants to get into web programming and was looking for a site that had basic free hosting plans. He probably will want a domain as well, but I am not sure you can get domains for free, but I know many places offer free hosting of pages, albeit with less services than paid ones.

Can anyone offer some suggestions? One that doesn't plaster ads all over the pages would be best!

Thanks!
 
morphine
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 1:11 pm

If it's just for training purposes, he/she can install a local server, accessible only to him.
There is a fixed amount of intelligence on the planet, and the population keeps growing :(
 
Elohim
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 1:40 pm

morphine wrote:
If it's just for training purposes, he/she can install a local server, accessible only to him.


True, any specific suggestions on a windows based server he could try out? Preferably some sort of free open source one?
 
Flatland_Spider
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 1:42 pm

Neocities is free. (https://neocities.org/)

Public domains are going to be money, there isn't away around that, and most free web hosting is going to be extremely limited.

Dreamhost will throw in a free domain name if you buy hosting from them, and Openshift has a free tier.

To start off, I would just get a machine setup with a DNS server, web server, Db server, and whatever programming language you friend wants to use.
 
meerkt
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 2:17 pm

The standard combination is Apache, MySQL, PHP. Downloading each separately is one option, the other is these combined things:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Apache–MySQL–PHP_packages#Windows

Other common webservers are Lighttpd and nginx. For databases there are also SQLite (possibly comes with PHP), PostgreSQL, and MariaDB which is supposed to be MySQL compatible.
Last edited by meerkt on Thu May 14, 2015 2:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
morphine
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Elohim wrote:
morphine wrote:
If it's just for training purposes, he/she can install a local server, accessible only to him.


True, any specific suggestions on a windows based server he could try out? Preferably some sort of free open source one?

I'd recommend XAMPP, assuming your friend is interested either in PHP, Perl, or both. It's a package that includes Apache, PHP, Mysql, and Perl.

However, if it's ASP.NET and its friends that are needed, then you can install Microsoft's IIS, and probably SQL Server express.

It's also important to distinguish between web design and web development. If it's the former, then you don't even need a server, since you'll be working only with HTML, CSS, images, and Javascript. Web servers and related software packages are necessary when you're doing server-side stuff.
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 2:48 pm

Echoing what others have said, free hosting plans will be very limited in what you're able to do. Can you be a little more specific regarding what you mean by "web programming"? Starting with something hosted on a local PC is probably the best first step.

If the person in question is really serious about this and willing to dig in, there's also the option of a locally hosted VM (using a free virtualization solution like VirtualBox or VMware Player) running a full LAMP stack. This has the advantage of allowing you to try out pretty much anything, with no risk of borking the host PC; it will also migrate easily to a cloud-based VPS down the road if/when the time comes for that. If setting up a LAMP VM from scratch is too daunting, there are also pre-packaged virtual appliances which can be imported into VMware Player or VirtualBox.
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Flatland_Spider
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 4:38 pm

There is also Bitnami's WAMP stack (https://bitnami.com/stack/wamp). Bitnami has lots of still preconfigured software stacks to choose from. There is a Django stack, and all sorts of little things to play with.

The language will play a part in how things are setup too.

Flask (Python) and Ruby on Rails (RoR) have built in webservers for development. It's as easy as starting the app and opening localhost:port to see the work.

Javascript can run under node.js, and node just fires up and runs on a port.

PHP does need a webserver. mod_php or CGI/fastCGI are the ways PHP gets run.

If your friend wants to get a little crazy, they could build some CGI applications. These do require a webserver, but they are pretty easy to write once the webserver is setup. Pretty much any programming language can be used to write CGI programs. I've personally used C and Python.

Or they could go the static page route. There are quite a few frameworks for creating static websites these days. These are interesting in pointing out sometimes a Db backed site is overkill.
 
Elohim
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Thu May 14, 2015 7:30 pm

Wow, lots of good options! I don't have more details on what he plans to do with this long term, but I'll summarize the suggestions here and send them over to him.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in!
 
Arvald
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Fri May 15, 2015 8:03 am

morphine wrote:
It's also important to distinguish between web design and web development. If it's the former, then you don't even need a server, since you'll be working only with HTML, CSS, images, and Javascript. Web servers and related software packages are necessary when you're doing server-side stuff.

Most modern web design includes web development now.

No point in trying to separate the ideas
 
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Fri May 15, 2015 8:34 am

Arvald wrote:
morphine wrote:
It's also important to distinguish between web design and web development. If it's the former, then you don't even need a server, since you'll be working only with HTML, CSS, images, and Javascript. Web servers and related software packages are necessary when you're doing server-side stuff.

Most modern web design includes web development now.

No point in trying to separate the ideas


Beg to differ, there's a wide gulf between the two. It certainly doesn't hurt to know a bit about one if you're specialising in the other but getting a web designer to do your backend will end in tears just as asking the web developer to do the frontend will.

One other suggestion for virtually free hosting is AmazonS3 + Route53. This allows you to host static websites for about $1 a month and not have to put up with some crummy overloaded shared hosting server. You can do without Route53 and just use the public dns of the S3 bucket you store the website in but that would be messy and domains are fairly cheap.
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Fri May 15, 2015 8:34 am

Arvald wrote:
morphine wrote:
It's also important to distinguish between web design and web development. If it's the former, then you don't even need a server, since you'll be working only with HTML, CSS, images, and Javascript. Web servers and related software packages are necessary when you're doing server-side stuff.

Most modern web design includes web development now.

No point in trying to separate the ideas

I agree in part, and disagree in part, with that last sentence.

Depending on where you're coming from (and where you want to go), trying to learn everything at once could be rather daunting.

IMO if you're starting from scratch and want an in-depth understanding of the field, it still makes sense to BEGIN with learning basic HTML and CSS, since everything must eventually reduce to serving up properly formed HTML/CSS to the browser. Of course, unless you want to do more than just serve up static pages you'll need to go further than that; but once you understand the basics you have the foundation to move on to client- and/or server-side scripting, database backends, and high-level web development frameworks.

OTOH if the main goal is to learn how to get a reasonable-looking site up ASAP, maybe you want to pick a high-level framework from the outset and work it from the other direction (top-down instead of bottom-up), learning the "under the hood" details on an as-needed basis.
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:44 pm

Elohim wrote:
Hi Guys,

I have a young friend who wants to get into web programming and was looking for a site that had basic free hosting plans. He probably will want a domain as well, but I am not sure you can get domains for free, but I know many places offer free hosting of pages, albeit with less services than paid ones.

Can anyone offer some suggestions? One that doesn't plaster ads all over the pages would be best!

Thanks!


You should consider getting a free Amazon AWS account. https://aws.amazon.com/free/

In particular if you're just doing static html/css just dump all the files into an S3 bucket and set S3 to treat that bucket like a web site. S3 is so cheap it might as well be free $0.03 per GB of requests(and free w/ the free tier). If you throw Amazon's CDN cloudfront in front of the S3 bucket you essentially get infinite scaling for penny's (the free tier gives you 2 million cloud front requests).

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/lat ... sting.html
http://docs.aws.amazon.com/gettingstart ... intro.html

The free tier has a few other cool options as well. you can run your own server. (free game server!) . some highlights for the free tier include...

Free relational DB
Cloud front cdn (up to 2 million requests)
5GB of S3 blob storage
free micro server which can be used as a web server or game server.
plus a million other services.

also if you're interested in setting up wordpress check out the AWS marketplace
 
TedD
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Re: Need Some Free Domain/Hosting Suggestions

Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:37 pm

Few years ago I was using 000webhost.com
I had sub-domain, cPanel and it was free. I was a good start back then.

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