Apr 27 2009
Free Hosting Reloaded
We’ve got new offers and updated server software to feature this week as we revisit free hosting and the tools to get the most out of it.
First up, we’ll get set up with hosting. And even though it’s for a limited time, I have a great deal for you.
1and1 6 month Business Package Free Preview (available through the end of February 2005)
This free-for-six-months hosting package comes with generous web space and bandwidth as well as PHP, MySQL, site stats and full FTP and shell access.
I have tested the 1and1 preview package and found it as-promised. The only downside seems to be occasional downtime.
Now, what are you going to do with all that free space and bandwidth? First, I’d suggest you get your MySQL in order. This is best done using an open source application called phpMyAdmin.
Once you get it unpacked and enter the server, username and password into the config file, you’ll be able to manage your MySQL database in your browser. Trust me, this is much easier than using the command line.
Now, for the fun part. With MySQL set up you can build your own blog. The free solution of choice is WordPress. This open source blog server has all the modern features you’ll need. It’s built with PHP and is fast and flexible.
WordPress supports theming and has its own plug-in api. For a great example of a WordPress blog in action, stop by my fellow ‘Merc’s blog at MacManX.com.
Now, if a full-fledged website is more your style, you can use the PHP/MySQL content management system Drupal. This very flexible system supports powerful category structure and traffic control features.
Drupal is an excellent pick for a community-based site, and is supported by a great community and a slew of module add-ons.
I’ll warn you that you may experience moments of frustration with config files and server errors. If you’re looking for more help or additional tricks, there’s a forum for tinkering with your 1and1 account here.
Another great bunch of free stuff. Meet me back here next week for more.