DropBox: Your own Website (3/5)

February 8th, 2012 •

This little program is simply awesome! If you have not heard of it yet, here is the introduction post of this series, I will now tell you what it is all about. This time: Your own website create and publish via DropBox.

Nowadays it is easy to get a space online where you can publish your content. Probably the most useful for just your little personal status updates are Facebook, Twitter and the alike social-networks. But if you would like to be king of your site, the design and all other aspects you might find Tumblr, WordPress.com or anything like that useful. Still there are people out there (like my self) who would like to host their site them self. Now I heard about a cheap alternative. Your DropBox.

The Public Folder Method

You already know that your DropBox has a folder called Public and you already know you can share files through that folder (if not, here I describe what I mean). But you can also use it for Websites. This works like the following:

  1. First you open the Public folder in your DropBox directory.
  2. Than you create a new folder inside the Public folder.
  3. Inside that folder you create a text file called index.html.
  4. Open this file with your text editor and add the following:
    <!doctype html>
    <html lang="en">
    <head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>The HTML5 Herald</title>
    <meta name="description" content="The HTML5 Herald">
    <meta name="author" content="SitePoint">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/styles.css?v=1.0">
    <!--[if lt IE 9]>
    <script src="//html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js"></script>
    <![endif]-->
    </head>
    <body>
    
    Your Text Here
    
    </body>
    </html>

    It would be awesome to be able to write some HTML but there are plenty of programs out there which can help you with that. If you are running on Mac OS X you already have one called iWeb. You can use iWeb to produce the HTML code!Sidenote: if you are interested in learning HTML (5), here are two resources: camendesign.com and net.tutsplus.com.

  5. Now save the file and right-click the file and chose ‘DropBox->Copy Public Link’.
  6. Paste the link into a browser and you are done. You can now see the website in your browser.

The Scriptogr.am Method

An alternative to publishing your stuff via the Public folder is Scriptogr.am. They help you set up a special folder into which you only need to save txt (text-file) documents. They provide a specific format which enables you to set your Post Title, Date, Post Type (Post / Page) and other structural stuff. And then provide a link for you where your blog now can be reached. The site than checks once in a while if something changed in your text file folder and that way updates your site. They do the design stuff and even support Markdown!

“Scriptogr.am is the first blog publishing tool I’ve tried which is truly dead-simple to use.”

~ Rasmus Andersson | Product designer at Facebook

This is a nice alternative to WordPress.com. With ease of use and simply administered. Still this method lacks some functionality like plugins and comments.

Downsides

The problem with DropBox as a web server is that it does not provide the ability to run PHP scripts nor does it support a database like MySql. That would need DropBox Server to run some additional software which they currently do not support. So The websites are online. You can publish stuff but you are not able to really get something interactive out there.

Conclusion

I might not really use it for my own site. But I used it for presentational purpose of HTML Templates of a website and I already saw some people publish their holiday diary using this free DropBox Public Folder Website Method.

All in all one more simple method to get your word out there in a simple way. Hands up to Freedom of Speech!

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