An important part of teaching myself to code has been learning the LAMP stack. LAMP refers to Linux (operating system), Apache (web server), MySQL (database), and a coding language (I used python). By tinkering with the entire stack, I developed a better sense of how the components fit together.
This past year I was fortunate enough to have free access to an awesome server, which was a perfect sandbox. Last week, I was forced to look for a new solution. I found a great option in Amazon Web Servers.
Amazon Web Servers (AWS) has a free usage tier which provides a small Linux box for a year. While there are many AWS products, I was focused on EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) on which you can have you're own cloud based server. Initial sign-up was easy but then I found an intimidating array of options. I decided to use this tutorial to set up the LAMP stack and it was a very easy process. Migrating all of my content from the old server to AWS was simple as well.
There are myriad aspects of AWS which I look forward to exploring. If you're at all curious, you should sign up for the free tier and start tinkering, too.