Aug 3, 2021

Live, Laugh, Localhost

Xfinity. Netlify. GodAddy. All of these companies (possibly millions of other Big Web conglomerates) are conspiring to suppress the most important web technology of our lifetime: localhost.

As a Sagittarius and a web developer, Localhost has well and truly defied my expectations of how the web even works. Typically, websites are served through HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Portal) or HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Portal Syberspace). Not Localhost, though.

Localhost is a web hosting service operated by (presumably) the people behind the internet, W3Schools. In short, they know the web. They’ve been working with it for years, if not decades. They’ve put that experience to use with localhost, which loads any site I throw at it instantly, regardless of my connection.

In fact, the only limitations I’ve run into have been:

  1. my computer’s ability to compile and run Java’s Script (JS), Java’s Script Xtreme (JSX), or Tava's Script (TS) code, and
  2. getting localhost sites that load perfectly fine on my computer to load on other devices. I'm chalking that up to browser support, though.

Other than those two hiccups, I swear, it’s like magic.

Why does this matter? Thank you for asking. Contrary to popular belief, there are many areas of the world, some of which lack access to broadband. In the industry, we call those places “Rural.” By using localhost, the lowly web developer is able to circumvent those broadband constraints by delivering your Web Xperience directly to the client.

To simulate a poor internet connection in one of these rural broadband deserts, I brought my laptop outside to my estate’s dust field and loaded a test page hosted on my Netlify site. It was sluggish, I couldn’t see my screen, and my laptop even suggested I had “network connectivity issues!” The audacity. Loading the same website through localhost, however, was immediate.

Frankly, I get why these legacy companies are scared of localhost and are lobbying to hide it from the public. Name a single website you’ve visited that uses localhost! Up until last month, I paid $19/month for Netlify Pro like the doo-doo-ass idiot I was. Now, I’m not so sure there will even be a Netlify once the web dev community finally adopts localhost in production.