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There’s a Secret Way to Host Your Website for Free

There’s a Secret Way to Host Your Website for Free

Ever wanted to make a website?

Well now you have no excuse. In fact, you can host your website for free using this little known trick. I’m not sure why, but nobody seems to know about this trick. I accidentally ran across this help post from Google, and suddenly realized that this is a feature that could be incredibly useful.

Let’s go through the steps

  1. Download Google Drive and create a Google Drive account
  2. Create an HTML website, or simply download a starter project
  3. Now you have your website, but you need to host it! Upload the website files to Google Drive and put them in a new folder
  4. Go to drive.google.com, sign in, right click on the folder with your website files and click “Get Link”
  5. The link will look something like this:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-2V84KLSI7AflhSLXJ6enAtTG1xSmNvUU5DMGFiSVpLVER6QWtiR0dKdkhpLWV5TV9LZkE
    See that part after the “id=”? Copy that long ID down in a separate notepad or word document. That’s your document ID. You’ll need it later.
  6. Right click on the website folder again in Google Drive.
  7. Click Share, then Advanced
  8. Click Change, and set the permission to “Public – On the Web”. Your website is now accessible by anyone if they know how to access it.
  9. Remember that document ID I had you write down? Well, now you can go to
    http://googledrive.com/host/YOUR DOCUMENT ID GOES HERE
    This will take you to your website! Cool, huh?

So, how is this useful?

Well, now every change you make to your website files in your local google drive folder on your computer, not just on drive.google.com will be propagated to that website address. This allows you to make incremental changes to your website and see the results instantly by going back to that web address.

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Now, there are other ways to do this on your computer such as visiting the file with your browser on a local host, but there are some features of websites that are blocked due to cross-domain security issues, which cannot be resolved unless you actually host the website.

What are the limitations?

To start, I’m not entirely sure how long this functionality will remain in Google Drive. It’s not a well-publicized feature, and so it probably also isn’t very highly utilized. Google tends to get rid of things that aren’t highly utilized, so we’ll see how long this lasts.

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In addition, this hosting solution should only be used for rapid prototyping. DO NOT host your website on Google Drive permanently and tell all your friends to go visit that link, because it probably isn’t as secure as actually hosting your website on a dedicated or shared hosting site. This should only be used for personal or internal development purposes.

Finally, certain server languages cannot be run on Google Drive. Unfortunately this is trial and error so if you are not sure, you will have to experience at your own risk.

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Is this really free, or are there some strings attached?

Other than the limitations I mentioned, there are no strings attached at all! It will not cost you a single penny! Now, you do have to keep in mind that once your website is complete and ready to launch to the public and attract millions of views to make you rich, you’re probably going to want to buy a dedicated or shared hosting solution. But then all you need to do is copy the website files over to your host, and BAM — Instant production-level website. Cool, huh?

Featured photo credit: Silhouette of cropped shot of a young man working from home using smart phone and notebook computer, man’s hands using smart phone in interior, man at his workplace using technology, flare light via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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