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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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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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