Host Your Own Website

Here's a good way to get your feet wet.

There are lots of tools that allow you to create your own website, but creating a site and having it go live so it can be viewed on the web are two separate things. In some cases, uploading your site to a web hosting company is a good option. But, selecting a web hosting company has its own drawbacks. Free hosting companies can be hard to find, may be unreliable, and are often full of unwanted and distracting advertisements. Stepping up to a paid service can come with a higher price tag, especially if the site you want to create isn't destined to be a professional or commercial site.

So, how can you easily and affordably host your own site? In this article from Make Use Of, Joel Lee discusses the pros and cons of using your own cloud storage site to host a simple, static website. Lee explains how to use a service like DropPages or DriveToWeb to host a site on Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive. Lee advises that this is not the right solution if you're trying to build an ecommerce site or one that is very complex. But, if you're creating a site to showcase your creative portfolio, share your ideas in a blog, or promote a hobby or business, these simple and free hosting options may be just the thing to get you started.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Questions/Activities 
  1. Discuss the process of designing a website with the class. Have students created websites? What was their experience like? Did they make their site public? If so, what service did they choose to use?
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should work together to create a simple website. They may choose a subject or you may assign a topic for the site. Groups may want to explore  using templates (see the article in the Supporting Web Links section) or create a site from scratch. Each group should host their completed site on either Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive and share the link with the class. Review the sites and discuss the pros and cons of each of the hosting processes used.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to research two or three web hosting services. At least one of the services should be free. Students should write a brief report to compare and contrast the services available through each site, and locate user reviews. Based on the research, which service would the student select and why?

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