When I hear terms like: “Apache” or “SQL” All I can think of is: “ouch, not again, I haven’t trained in that yet”. I don’t immediately understand developers’ jokes either. For instance, jokes like “there is no place like http://127.0.0.1” (127.0.0.1 stands for localhost–your ‘home’), I have to Google it first.
I think that happens mostly due to laziness, at least in my case. When you really decide to approach the matter with the perspective that it is not scary, you realize that it wasn’t as terrifying as it seemed. The experience is similar to when you were, once upon a time, looking at CSS coding from the other side of the bench while you were still in the tables camp and by the end of the day, you realized it wasn’t that hard, it just took a bit of commitment.
One of those “scary things” is to set up your very own personal web server to test your web projects like your WordPress templates. But I always feel I don´t have the patience to set it up. Fortunately we have solutions like Opera Unite but that is not the only option, you can set your free personal web server using free tools. All the required info is placed in http://fpws.org/ by a colleague and friend of mine Charles-Andre Landermaine. In the lines below is an interview with some questions about his fpws.
mao: Charles could you introduce yourself please? Your background and your geeky interest for the web?
Charles: I am a 30 year-old computer enthusiast, and I have professional and personal background working with computing, especially web design and web hosting.
mao: What motivated you to create that page Charles?
Charles: A few months ago, Opera launched “Unite” to “revolutionize” the web. It’s been years that it’s been easy to host your own web site on your computer, so I wanted to show people how to do so as an alternative to Opera Unite.
mao: Why you felt an altertive was necesary?
Charles: Opera Unite doesn’t allow you to use familiar applications such as PHP. One of the problems with Unite is that you rely on Opera’s proxy server, which goes against Unite’s philosophy. Last, but not least, you don’t need Opera to host your web site on your computer.
You can very well keep a low-energy consumption netbook on 24/7 as a file server and web server, which is handy if you’re a web designer who wishes to keep your customers up-to-date with current projects easily. You can also share download spaces for people to download stuff off your computer in a secure way.
mao: Well I was going to ask for the benefits to use a personal web server but you have already pointed some. Could you mention some others?
Charles: Yes, the main benefit is not having to upload through FTP up-to-date stuff from your computer to a remote web server on and on for some one else to see changes. If you are designing a web site or making changes, do them locally, and your customer or coworker will see them just refreshing his page. It also saves you time because you don’t have to upload anything.
mao: Any last thoughs ? for the s2o readers?
Charles: Yes, I know most s2o readers are graphic designers, and at first they may be reluctant prior to hosting their own web site, because of some obscure and lengthy configurations. Fear not, following the procedure is not difficult at all, just read and follow directions properly, it will work for you, and there’s always some one on the web to give you a hand ;)
mao: Charles, thank you so much, for your time and to share your unite alternative for a personal web server, and to iluminate us designers in the dark arts of web developing!
I believe this interview rounds up the subject for itself. Don’t hesitate on leaving your comments, doubts or pieces of advice. They’re always welcome! :)