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Host a website on Heroku

Hello everybody!

I'm a newcomer on Treehouse, and I want to host my first own website! I've seen the Treehouse video, and I have to buy a server and domain. As a beginner and a student, I don't have the money to actually do this. I've heard from a few of my friends that I can host it for free on Heroku, but as a complete novice, I have no idea where to start! Could anybody tell me how I could post a website on Heroku in a detailed fashion? Assume I'm a complete idiot and I have no experience. (Which I do not.)

Thank you! And thank you Treehouse for this wonderful place to learn all we could ever want to!

4 Answers

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

There's no need to mess with ruby or Heroku if you are just creating your first website.

Instead, just use http://www.paperplane.io/ it's free for 3 sites.

Wow! This is exactly what I needed! Thank you!

I assume you are talking about this: https://www.heroku.com ? How complex is your website? Is it a simple html and css site? If so I don't think Heroku would be appropriate for your needs. As you said, its your first website I would recommend trying a free package from a hosting company. There are many hosting companies out there that offer free hosting and domain names for websites, for example: http://www.freehostia.com/index2.html http://www.atspace.co.uk/

This will give you a small amount of disk space on a server and a (usually) limited traffic allowance per month. The good thing is the servers normally come with cPanel and other software pre-installed that makes uploading and maintaining your website a lot easier. You can login to cpanel and use the file manager to upload your website easily. If you were to use Heroku you'd need to use a 'shell' and type in commands which can get pretty complicated!

Hope this helps!

I've looked into free domain and hosting, and they simply have too many restrictions and troubles I do not want to get into.

Yes, it's a simple HTML and CSS Website. But I plan to expand to JS and Ruby, and then I'll need Heroku anyway. I'm looking for a guide on how to start using Heroku to host something like a simple website. Could you please help me with that?

I don't mind learning shell/console commands.

Thank you!

As I've never used Heroku before I can't really give you a step by step guide but they do have a quick start guide here also see: Creating static sites in Ruby with Rack

Are you familiar with GitHub? See this tutorial: Using Github pages to host your website to learn how to host a site on GitHub, you'll need a GitHub account and some knowledge of the git version control system.

Once you have your site on GitHub you can push the files over to Heroku and they will provide a url for you (as Mugdha mentioned).

In my opinion, the best thing to do is start small and keep it simple. It's easy to get overwhelmed and what you are wanting to do is quite advanced for a beginner. For now I would host your static site using a freehost so you can play around with it and get to grips with HTML and CSS. Then, as Sergio said, complete the Ruby track which teaches you (in a well structured manner) about the Ruby on Rails framework, GitHub and Heroku. The track will take you through developing an application, step-by-step and will give you a good basis for creating your own apps in the future.

In summary, work your way though the Ruby Track and in stage 9 you will learn how to set-up Heroku. Hope this helps.

The ruby track it is then! Thank you!

No problem :). It can take years to learn this stuff and be incredibly frustrating at times, but stick with it and you'll be developing killer apps in no time. Good luck!


For hosting your website on heroku, after creating your rails app, make a repository on Git Hub and create an account on heroku. After moving your code to Git Repository, using your account details of Heroku, you can push your code to heroku.

Heroku will provide a url for your website, which you can rename afterwards. But this url will have herokuapp.com after your website domain name, like test.herokuapp.com.

Sergio Barrera
Sergio Barrera
4,198 Points

Hi Oindrill, The best way to learn is: 1)First, get a $5 host with a free domain and upload a simple hello world page. 2) Once you got down a couple of basic tracks in here, hands-on a html, css with basic javascript and ftp it to your web folder / server. 3) Continue your ladder up with the Ruby track which you will practice using heroku and github.

In my opinion, hands-on at the beginning, even if it's just a few lines, will get you comfortable and feel you accomplished something in short time.

Good luck!