Planning on setting up a small and simple website? Nowadays, it is easy to get cheap web hosting, but for the more tech-minded and those who don’t mind a bit of tech DIY and coding, there is a super low cost and low memory solution – hosting your website on your Android device by turning it into a server.
There is so much that can be done with our Smartphones and now you can run it as a web server. Small websites do not require bundles of storage space and if your website receives low page views, it makes sense to save your money. Servers can be created on a phone you no longer use or even one you use day today.
In this guide, we will go through the steps you need to take to turn your phone into an active web server. If DIY web hosting doesn’t feel right for you, we recommend checking out Hosting Foundry, where you can find the best web hosting solution for your website.
This guide is compatible with Android devices and you will need to download the Tiny Web Server app from the Google Play Store. There are various server software apps out there that can be used to set up your mobile server, but the Tiny Web is well known and comes highly recommended.
We have broken down this guide into steps so you know what to expect before you get started, some of the steps are optional, as in they are not necessary but can be done to customize your web pages.
Explore the Tiny Web Settings and customize it if needed.
Create your index.html file and upload it to your Android phone.
Run the server on the Tiny Web App
Add your CSS custom code (optional)
Link a URL (optional)
Explore your settings
Once you have downloaded the Tiny Web app, you will be able to change the server path, this tool is where users can create a directory in which they will store their web files. You can also choose a default charset if your site is not in English, and you can choose a server port. Nevertheless, the great thing about Tiny Web is that it allows users to access files remotely, so if both your PC and phone are on the same network, you will be able to access your phone’s storage/file easily from your PC.
Set up your Index File
In its simplicity, Tiny Web’s server app does not offer a configuration option so users cannot set an index.html file as the default, but this is a small issue in comparison to the app’s ease of use. Instead, you will need to create an index.html file and upload it to a specified folder. The index.html file can be created using a text editor like Notepad++ on your desktop or phone.
Using the Android file manager, copy the index.html file into your preferred directory on your phone and move the file to /storage/emulated/0.
When using a USB to copy the file over to your phone, you will need to choose the file manager and access your phone’s storage. Once there you will see that the default location is the emulated sub-directory, this is where you will add your HTML file. Once you’ve done that, safely disconnect your device and head back to the Tiny Web Server app.
In the Tiny Web App, click Start Server. In your browser, go to the default URL and add /index.html to the end. And that’s it! You have now completed your index.html file set up and turned your phone on a web server.
Get Creative with CSS
Your website will start off rather simple, however, by adding custom code you can transform your site into something slick and stylish.
Linking to a URL
To link your website to a URL, you can use a DNS update client like the No-IP.com app in conjunction with the Tiny Web. By linking your devices’ IP address to a dedicated URL, devices outside of your network will be able to view the webpages on your server.
That’s all there is to it. A simple solution to cutting down your hosting costs with just your phone. If your website is basic and you don’t expect a lot of traffic, why not have a go at turning your phone into a server and host your website on it. Save your money, save your storage.