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Old 12th February 2009
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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I could see free hosting as viable for a handful of situations. I remember years ago I had a course on web design, in which we had to create and upload our own website. Luckily the university provided each student with a place to display our site, hosting it on their own servers. But, there are probably several colleges that either haven't progressed that far or are unable to accommodate such a need. In such a case free hosting might be ideal to work with for a class like that. That is just one prime example.
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Old 12th February 2009
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I think with virtualization technologies these days any institution of higher learning that can't provide a 'server' to teach web hosting shouldn't be teaching webhosting. To me that's like a med school that can't get ahold of cadavers for their Gross Anatomy course, but has access to plastic parts that resemble the human body.

And desktop technology has changed over the years since your example- there isn't a single desktop OS available right now that doesn't have it's own webhosting capabilities. I bet if you wanted you could host on an Android phone. It's been very doable on the Zaurus for awhile now.

The only free hosting I've seen so far that is worth more than it costs (and really, that's how I look at free hosting) is a promo that my own employer is putting on right now. But before you get your hopes up, it's just a promotional deal for silverlight developers and their silverlight sites only- after a couple of months, they have to pay for it.

And remember... you get what you pay for. If you pay for nothing, expect nothing.
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Old 12th February 2009
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And remember... you get what you pay for. If you pay for nothing, expect nothing.
Does that apply to operating systems too?
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Old 12th February 2009
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Originally Posted by ai-danno View Post
I think with virtualization technologies these days any institution of higher learning that can't provide a 'server' to teach web hosting shouldn't be teaching webhosting. To me that's like a med school that can't get ahold of cadavers for their Gross Anatomy course, but has access to plastic parts that resemble the human body.

And desktop technology has changed over the years since your example- there isn't a single desktop OS available right now that doesn't have it's own webhosting capabilities. I bet if you wanted you could host on an Android phone. It's been very doable on the Zaurus for awhile now.

The only free hosting I've seen so far that is worth more than it costs (and really, that's how I look at free hosting) is a promo that my own employer is putting on right now. But before you get your hopes up, it's just a promotional deal for silverlight developers and their silverlight sites only- after a couple of months, they have to pay for it.

And remember... you get what you pay for. If you pay for nothing, expect nothing.
Universities - yes. Community colleges, junior colleges, etc. - still questionable. But, more realistically - these days, how about a high school project? I could see a high school class having the students make a website.

But in either case, it was just a 'situation' that I could perceive free hosting being a viable option.


P.S. - I'm not into silverlight, so don't worry.
I think I'm going to go with Westhost (thanks for the referral DrJ). They have a very good deal going on right now and good overall reviews.
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Old 12th February 2009
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Does that apply to operating systems too?
ooooo! Good point. Maybe if the BSD community decided to create a free hosting offer, it would be great, too!
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Old 12th February 2009
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I think I'm going to go with Westhost (thanks for the referral DrJ). They have a very good deal going on right now and good overall reviews.
You're welcome! Where did you find reviews? I admit that a (former) webmaster I used recommended them, so I went there blindly. It has worked out well.
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Old 12th February 2009
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You're welcome! Where did you find reviews? I admit that a (former) webmaster I used recommended them, so I went there blindly. It has worked out well.
I googled around for 'web host reviews' and 'westhost reviews'. I found good reviews on the site recommended by ai-danno, http://webhostingtalk.com. http://www.webhostingstuff.com/uptime/WestHost.html shows that they have had a total downtime of 26 minutes over that past 3-4 years. Netcraft awards them #2 reliability for the month of December 2008 (second month in a row at top ten). According to them, they fell to #37 in January, as they suffered a 10 minute outage.


Of course, there were bad reviews. You can't find many companies that at least someone isn't upset with (and if you can, the company is probably still new). And keep in mind that people will generally post to complain more often than post to praise. So the majority of reviews being positive says something (about any company).

Also, I was quite impressed with what they offered in their hosting package. Among them is ssh access, shared SSL which allows among other things anonymous FTP, VPS which allows root-like administrative abilities, most major scripting languages, C/C++, etc. And their current winter special is phenomenal (I can't readily beat the feature set for the price offered).


So Saturday (after I get paid), I'm planning on switching to Westhost.
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Old 12th February 2009
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And remember... you get what you pay for. If you pay for nothing, expect nothing.
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Does that apply to operating systems too?
Good question! I would have to say "Absolutely".

Imagine how much more awesome OpenBSD would be than it already is right now, if only every user donated money to the project. It's development is hindered by lack of funds, bemoaned in the mailing lists on a regular basis (and rightly so.) In fact, OpenBSD devs will warn you not to expect anything- because if you have a problem with OpenBSD expectation fulfillment, your choices are to code, donate, or shut up.


And in terms of my company's relationship with Redmond (because I can only speak from my perspective on this), they have earned every penny we've paid them by now (we've yanked on their support heavily.) Of course, YMMV, but at home I'm posting this on a 7 year old XP installation.
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Old 13th February 2009
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Actually, one of my old wings chipped in with some of his class mates in order to put together a website for projects. He had used free hosting on various things of his own before that, and decided to throw them out for good by highschool lol.


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I think with virtualization technologies these days any institution of higher learning that can't provide a 'server' to teach web hosting shouldn't be teaching webhosting. To me that's like a med school that can't get ahold of cadavers for their Gross Anatomy course, but has access to plastic parts that resemble the human body.
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