How to develop a site for the web
Fri 25 March 2016
Fri 25 March 2016
Web Development, especially the front-endy stuff, is a great way to understand how computers think and can be a wonderful foray into computer programming. Anybody that's made a website probably remembers their first time:
<h1>Hello world!</h1> <p>This is so cool!</h1>
And there you go! You've got a website made and ready to roll. It's not on a server, and you can't tell your friends to go to it from their computer -- but those are just technicalities. You can still celebrate doing a thing like a boss.
Unfortunately, when you test your website by viewing local files you're missing out on a lot of advantages and quirks that you get when you host a website on a real server using something like Apache or Nginx.
For instance, when you run check your website by clicking through file///home/username/project/files.html all of your hyperlinks that should point to http://mywebsite.ext/somepage/ will take you to file:////somepage when they should take you to file:///home/username/projects/myawesomesite/somepage/index.html.
$ python2 -m SimpleHTTPServer Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000 ...
You can run your own local webserver to serve files locally. This gets you all of the developmental advantages of running a webserver without having to rent or run a server in the cloud. The best part is that it's very easy to run a development web server.
These instructions assume you are doing things in a Unix environment (OSX or Linux) thought the commandline. If you are using Windows you should check out this stack overflow post for Windows-specific help.
Then in your web browser go to the address http://localhost:8000 and bam! Your Website.