Running a public website on an Arduino


I just got a public website running on a NodeMCU microcontroller. There were a few obsticles that I had to tackle before finishing, and let’s get started!


Oh my gosh, do I hate the drivers. I went on a wild goose chase all over the internet, looking for the right driver to use. Because this is not an Arduino, it is a NodeMCU microcontroller. This is the first time that I used a NodeMCU, so naturally I didn’t know how to use it. I googled how, and found the board manager URL for the ESP8266 family of boards, the NodeMCU and man other generics included. The reason that I couldn’t upload it is because the drivers didn’t work. It did not show up as a Serial communication device (i.e. COM5 or COM6), and I spent like an hour and a half trying to find the right driver, and then I found the stack overflow post that gave me the right driver.

I find it funny, how ONLY after I spent so long trying to find the drivers online, it specifically said it under the board–It was right under my nose the whole time!

The web server

OK, Now that we finished ranting about drivers, we can start talking about the web server. It uses the ESP8266WiFi.h, WiFiClient.h, ESP8266WebServer.h, and ESP8266mDNS.h libraries. At first, I was worried about how I will get the HTML code on the board, and I decided to use the C++ header files (*.h) to get the HTML on there. I named it html.h, and put this code in it:


#define HTML_CODE "(removed because it was so long)"

It may seem simple, because it was almost all copy and pasting from tutorials about people who actually know C++, like… not me. You can still see it with the first line being #ifndef HEADER_FILE and #define HEADER_FILE, that was me just copy and pasting, and not changing it because, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. (Actually, I just forgot… ._.). The site was meant to be simple, but I got carried away. Hey! It’s finals week at school, and I already finished so I worked on the HTML code. Also, I was bored, SO SUE ME! (for legal reasons that was a joke so please dont sue me ok thanks)

Now, I had to connect the board to my Wi-Fi network. I can already hear some of you yelling, “USE ETHERNET YOU MONSTER WI-FI IS CRINGE!!”, and to that I say, I agree. Everything except for the part where you said “use ethernet”. The NodeMCU does not have a ethernet port, and I don’t want to bother adding one, so it is using Wi-Fi with a Static IP.

Connecting to the site

Like almost every site I host, I put it behind my reverse proxy, so I don’t have to do port fowarding. It’s a great solution and it feels like you are just visiting a normal site, with no noticible added delay. If you want to check it out, the URL is Sorry for the long domain–I’m putting all projects under now.

Cheers, Damien Boisvert.

Contact me if you have questions. :)

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