Do you want to experiment with any of the following hosted software applications without buying domain names or spending money on web hosting?
1. Google Apps – with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and more.
2. WordPress.org – hosted version of WordPress where you can install plugins, download new themes and more.
3. MediaWiki – powerful wiki software that also powers Wikipedia
4. phpBB – software for running your own web forums.
If the answer is yes, Dreamhost just launched a new service that may interest you. It’s called Dreamhost Apps where you get free hosting for Google Apps, WordPress, Drupal and other popular hosted web software.
You can either use your own web domain or block a sub-domain like labnol.dreamhosters.com that will become the main address of your site. Dreamhost will manage all the databases and DNS entries – you’ll get an email as soon as the services are setup and ready for use.
Dreamhost Apps is absolutely free and you don’t need a PayPal account or credit card to sign-up so there’s no risk of getting charged later. Simply sign-up using an invite code, pick the services that you want to install and done.
Dreamhost Apps is useful even you already have a domain or have signed up with some other web host – in that case you may use Dreamhost Apps as your playground to test stuff like Drupal, phpBB, MediaWiki or to check if your current themes and plugins are compatible with the latest release of WordPress.
Deamhost Apps is free only during the beta period but if you sign-up now, it will remain free for you forever. Also note that Dreamhost Apps doesn’t offer FTP or shell access so you will not be able to install custom PHP scripts or MySQL databases.