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How to publicly share Laravel Homestead domains
Laravel Tutorials / updated: July 19, 2016

How to publicly share Laravel Homestead domains

Have you ever been developing an application locally and needed to share it with someone? Maybe you’ve gotten stuck on a usability question or a design issue. Wouldn’t it be nice to give someone a URL that points to your local domain?

Sharing your local environment can be done, but it has never been super simple. I always end up spending way to much time searching for ways of doing it when it would be faster just to set up a small cloud server and push it up.

All that has changed with several new services on the market. The first one I tried was Finch a service currently in beta, and I was blown with how easy it was to use.

Here is how simple it is to setup and create a publicly sharable URL:

npm install --global finch

After that run the finch register command to create a new account:

finch register

This command will ask for an email and password and after it finishes you’ll get an email to validate your account. Then you can run:

finch forward http://site.dev:8000

Replace our “site.dev:8000” with your local domain. This command will then output a public URL that you can share with the world.

The following sites are now being forwarded. Press CTRL+C at any
time to end your session:

-----------------------------------------------------------
| Public URL                    | Private URL             |
-----------------------------------------------------------
| https://fog-vast.usefinch.com | http://site.dev:8000    |
-----------------------------------------------------------

Here is an example of it loaded in the browser:

homestead-share-public

I had all this setup in under 10 minutes.

Right now, the service is still in beta, and only a free plan is available, but paid packages will be coming out. The free plan offers 10 hours a month of use and for my use case that would be sufficient.

If you ever need to share from Homestead or anything local check it out. I was impressed.

Other Services

Here are a few other services that might be suitable for you:

From all the ones I tried Finch was the simplest and worked straight away.

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