- 5 minute install. Seriously.
- Install a new theme for your blog from inside WP. No need to mess with FTP clients and uploading files and stuff. Easy peasy.
- Tons of free and open source themes to choose from.
- Plugins allow endless possibilities. Whatever you are looking for probably exists already. Facebook/twitter/whatever integration, fancy widgets, syntax highlighting for code, caching, Google site map generators, you name it.
- Install plugins without leaving your WP admin page. No geek skills required.
- Comes with an automated backup plugin. Backup your database and email it to yourself daily. Do this!
- Upgrade your WP installation with 2 clicks. Maybe 3 (didn’t actually count, but it’s just clicking).
- The layout is super-flexible. 1, 2, 3 columns? None? Make your site look like less like a blog and very CMS-like? No problem. There are themes for all that.
- PHP & MySQL hosts are everywhere. You’ll have no trouble finding a host at all. If you don’t want to do your own hosting, you can always create your blog at wordpress.com.
- It’s Open Source and has a huge community. This means that WordPress will never die! *stabs and Amen break start here*
By chance I stumbled across the Google Docs fees to expand your free 1GB space to whatever you feel like. It turns out you can get 20 frigging Gigs of online storage at Google Docs for 5 US dollar per year. That’s right. Per year! Some of those online web space/file hosting services have you pay that same amount a month, for less.
Since you can now upload any type of file to Google Docs this seems to be the cheapest way to serve your files to the world for now. At least it’s the cheapest I’ve come across so far. I even checked the Amazone C3 (you know, the whole cloud service thing) prices and even those can’t tip this kind of cheapness. I’ve never uses the Amazone services before, but I doubt it’s as easy to upload and maintain files as it’s on Google Docs since that’s just a matter of dragging and dropping.
Host away I’d say! Host away!
I found out not everybody knows about Dropbox yet and isn’t using it yet. So to sort that out, I’m going to blab about it right here cause I think it’s pretty damn neat. In short Dropbox allows you to sync files from your local PC’s by installing a small client app on your machines. You get a “My Dropbox” folder in your “My Documents” folder and everything you dump in there gets uploaded to the dropbox servers, and automatically downloaded on all other PCs where the client is also running. Viola! You’re machines are now perfectly in sync!
You get 2 gigabytes of free space so you can share some pretty big files that way too, or you can use it as a small off-site backup system. There’s no size limitations so you can waste the full 2 GB on a single file if you like.
Here’s some more cool stuff you can do with your Dropbox account:
- Share uploaded files using direct links. No adds, no fuss, just a direct link to the file to download.
- Share a whole folder with someone else’s Dropbox account. Allows for easy collaboration. Neat.
- Dropbox keeps a 30 day delete/change history of your files. So you can download a previous version of a file, or undelete it. It’s like a mini-source control system.
- Access your files from the website without the need to install the Dropbox client software. Handy in case you want to access a file from a computer where you can’t or don’t want to install the client.
- It’s secure. You files are encrypted with your account password on the server so even the Dropbox folks can’t see what they are and uploads go over an encrypted channel so peeping Toms get no idea either.
- It’s multi-platform. Linux, Mac, Windows and even the bloody iPhone. Go figure.
See the full list of features if you think this sounds pretty sweet and if you join up using this referrer link you’ll be giving me an additional 250MB for my own account, which is also pretty damn sweet. Thanks!
cc-licensed photo by ehoyer
Hosting audio, video or text files publicly is what archive.org is for. But what if you want to share to a more limited audience, like a few friends, or some lad you have to send a bunch of files to so he can do some mastering on it for an awesome project you’re doing?
Well, mediafire.com is pretty damn suited for stuff like that. It’s not just a file hosting site like there are a ton out there. It looks the same at first, and you can use it for the odd anonymous upload like the others, but you can also create a free account there, and unlock some nifty new features. Here’s what you can do with it:
- Host files up to 100 MB. If your files are bigger (and mine where) you can use 7zip to split them up into 100MB parts, and upload those
- Unlimited disk space. Sounds kick ass doesn’t it? Here it goes again: Unlimited disk space!! Rad.
- With an account, you can manage your shared files. Create folders, share folders, delete files/folders etc.
- Link and embed code is generated for you. You only have to copy paste it. There’s even a button to that just that for you. I mean, really, they can’t make it any easier than that.
- Your files do not get deleted after a certain period of inactiviy. They simply don’t get deleted automatically, so you don’ t need to bother with links timing out after a few weeks.
- Embed your files on your own site. If you’re short on webspace and embed some video on your blog, myspace or whatever, this might be just what you are looking for.
- Add descriptions and tags to your files. Tags are still hip right? Well, they support it.
- Unshare files, making them only available to yourself again. Like when you fucked up and hosted some pictures that shouldn’t have been seen by the world, and certainly not the entire internet. Whoops.
- No obnoxious ads for your downloaders, and none for you either. Ads are there, but they are subtle. I like that. The other file hosting services screw up bigtime in that department.
- Photo Gallery view. Now I’d recommend Flickr to host your photo’s of course, but this isn’t bad either. As I said, no limitations here, and pictures get automatically resized into thumbs and smaller views to keep it easy on the low bandwidth downloader. You can see an example here of some silly TV screenshots I took. You’ll have to click the Photo Gallery link on the top right.
So I guess mediafire doesn’t suck. Sometimes you have to upload things twice though, as it goofs up somewhere in the upload process. For small files that ain’t too bad, but for huge ones it really sucks. But hey, it’s free remember, so it’s still pretty darn cool to be able to manage and share files for free like this.