I teach web development using video tutorials and suggest my students to host their website online rather than on localhost. I have four reasons why I want my students (learning web development) to use a hosting service during the learning phase.
Reason 1: Easy to get my help
Students watch my videos and make websites. They often ask questions when facing difficulty or have any query. Most of the time their questions are related to the website they are developing. Sometimes it is hard to answer their question without seeing what they have done. A hosted website helps me to check students work on the go, even if they do not ask any question. It also helps me in creating a list of misconceptions and wrong practices being followed by students. Hence, I recommend them to host their website somewhere on the internet.
Reason 2: Develop required set of skills
I want all my student to become a professional web developer. Being a professional web developer means knowing all aspects of web development that include hosting, use of SSH and FTP clients, know vi editor and most importantly troubleshoot the problems that arise because of wrong server configuration. Although, I create video tutorials to teach all these things, but students cannot practice it without using a hosting service themselves.
Reason 3: Easy to get a job
The third reason behind this suggestion is that hosting a website online makes it easy to crack the interview to get a job. Most of the candidates walk-in for a job with a resume and well-planned interview questions. However, I want my students to tell and show at least one website that showcases their skill set. It increases the chance of being hired for the job.
Reason 4: Get the freelance work
After learning web development, a student can take freelance work or start website development business. It is possible only when a student is aware of the cost and time involved in domain and hosting services. Hosting their website on the internet helps them in getting the idea of these things.
I hope you get an idea about why I want all my students to host their website on internet. There are many hosting providers out there but the problem is that some students can’t afford the rent of hosting. Domain name is not an issue as you can always get a free domain name for one year. I am setting a VPS now a days to offer low-cost hosting to my students and simultaneously writing a guide on how to start a low cost hosting service for web developers. Please let me know your opinion and suggestions in the comment.