A few months ago I made a post about how GitHub can be used to host flat websites. It’s a concept I’ve been mulling over since then, looking at ways I can use this to my advantage and, in doing so, I’ve also discovered that you can similarly host on my new favourite version control platform, BitBucket. Why is BitBucket my new favourite platform, you ask? Well, its free options are way more feature rich than GitHub, providing free private and collaborative repositories, making it a lot easier to set up group projects, something I’ve done in my work at the University of Lincoln.

At the end of last year, a colleague approached me with a problem. The Librarians at the university develop a number of tutorials using Articulate, which output in a HTML5 format for hosting. Once hosted, a link to the tutorial can then be shared among relevant students. The issue was finding a place to host these tutorials that would make them available not only to students on site, but also off site and overseas. At the time, Amazon S3 was being used to host but wasn’t really ideal; it was a bit heavy and had the potential to incur charges for hosting. My thoughts landed on BitBucket.

So, I set up a general purpose BitBucket account to instigate the .io site and put up an Articulate tutorial as a test. Of course it worked and immediately proved that this was a viable solution. I’m now working to get the people involved with publishing these tutorials used to using SourceTree to manage the repository and we’ll be looking at publishing a whole suite of tutorials over the next month or so.

I know this is probably not rocket science but I’m genuinely chuffed that this has worked and been taken on with enthusiasm – it’s a lovely little lifehack that’s solved a problem which had been ongoing for several months; the kind of thing that takes me back to my days at Lincoln City Council when I was using Google tools to fill the gaps and provide services that our web content management system couldn’t, such as mashing up calendars for bin collections and extracting mapping data for publishing.