Sunday, October 31, 2010

Free web hosting and "new" website

I had a small website up for a while, but Geocities and my ISP have both discontinued their web hosting services. As an experiment I was looking for a new host that was a completely free replacement. The best thing I found so far is:

The basic features in a nutshell are:

Total file space: 250 MB
Maximum file size: 2 MB
Monthly Bandwidth: 5 GB
FTP/PHP/MySql included
No Ads.

I had actually registered an account with them several years ago when it was all still in beta, and the test page I made was still working as I left it. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see they have their act together (so far) and have improved the service since I last saw it.

Here's a couple limitations I ran into and work-around's:

1. Some files types are restricted. Though I can see the point of restricting high bandwidth file types like .mov, as well as files with security issues like .exe. They don't want to become the next Napster and get shut down.
  • mp3 file types are not allowed. I used the open source alternative "ogg." In Linux, I found a free program called "soundconverter" that made it easy to do a batch conversion from mp3 to ogg. (The program did pop up an error when first lauching, but worked perfectly otherwise).
  • zip files are not allowed. I used the .bz2 compression format instead. Or you can drop the .zip extension from the file.
2. The marketing about domains is a bit misleading I think. It says it the free package has "1 domain" included and I initially thought "wow, they throw in a free domain name?!" The answer: no. You either have to pay for a domain name, or piggy back off a handful of generic domains like

3. If using FTP, probably using a FTP client like "filezilla" would probably work better. On a large batch of file transfers I hit a couple times where the FTP stream was cut off. This is not a big deal though if you have an FTP client that will automatically reconnect and retry the file transfers.

Still this host is a big improvement from what I had been using. On both my previous free hosts, I used to be bound by a 10 MB limit, which is hard to do much with. :)

My website is now at:

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