Best I can suggest is uplinkearth.com. Their Cold Fusion account starts at $5 a month. But if you want to learn for close to nothing. Why not just install it localy. Cold Fusion personal server can be downloaded and installed for free and will run with any version of IIS, Apache and even Microsoft Personal Web Server. The only thing is that your computer will be the only machine it works on, which is fine for testing.
If you want something more full featured that you can host yourself you can check out BlueDragon which is another CFML interpreter however that product has a free version you can use to host sites up to external viewers not on the local machine.
Kudo's to you for learning Cold Fusion. I program in ASP, PHP and Cold Fusion but ColdFusion is by far the best if you prefer to code in a tag based langauge that looks more like HTML then Visual Basic Script.
comfixit has a good point. Why not just do it locally? Are their elements of a server or hosting that you require? Cold Fusion hosting always seem to be higher priced than others because of the licensing costs.
Cold Fusion is great in my opinion for the following reasons:
1) Cold Fusion code is tag based. This can make code easier to read or a bit clunkier depending on the application. But here is small code example compared to ASP. This is not to illustrate one is better then another, they can all accomplish the same thing, just here to show you how the syntax differs.
variable = 50
My variable is <%=variable%>
<cfset variable = 50>
My variable is #variable#
Cold Fusion does not require you to go in and out of <% %> tags. All your logic can be intermixed with your regular HTML code.
2) Cold Fusion allows more flexability refferencing variable types. For example you can refference a session, cookie, url variable, form field, code generated variable and more just by using the variable name in pound signs. This makes life easier as I can proccess variables without consideration of how they were generated/passed. In ASP I need to request the variable properly to assign it.
3) Much easier to work with certain common database functions in Cold Fusion compared to ASP/PHP. For example I can have a form with an action of "insert.cfm" and as long as my form fields names match the names in the table I want to Insert a new record into, the cold fusion page can contain 1 line of code. One line of code enters all the information from my form into my database. Rather then using ASP/PHP where I have to establish a connection string, set up an object, create a recordset, insert the proper SQL command and then close the object at the end. Cold Fusion allows me to use one very small line of code with a CFInsert statement.
It's all a matter of what you prefer. ASP/PHP is generaly cheaper and has alot more information and scripts floating around. But when I do something and I get to choose what language to develop it in Cold Fusion allows me to develop applications faster hands down.
I suggest downloading the free components and looking at a couple of tutorials and see what you think of the langauge. It's always good to have more options when it comes to development.
Anyone who has questions or wants more information feel free to e-mail me.
I did not know that their was a version for personal use. I will just download that and stick on one of the several computers I have around the house.
I prefer PHP but I just started a job at a place that only supports cold fusion. I do not do web design for them, but I might want to use the webserver for part of my job there. (inventory and other database type uses).
The ColdFusion server for personal use I believe only responds to 127.0.0.1. So you will probably have to be on that machine to get it working properly. You can try installing BlueDragon if you want view your tests from a different machine.