Although there are a lot of cloud storage providers, but Dropbox leads the pack with its innovative APIs and features. Apart from cloud storage, you can use Dropbox for a lot of purposes. One of the features that Dropbox supports is hosting static webpages on the cloud storage and make them available to the world. If you are a newbie or only want to host static HTML pages, you can make use of your Dropbox account.
If you’re building a website with WordPress or a similar CMS, you’ll find it relatively easy to use and update – but what about setting it up in the first place? Webmasters still have to set up their host servers, upload files via FTP and wait for DNS to update before their projects can go live.
Brazilian startup Yoozon believes they’ve solved that hassle with their new service, that lets you upload your site through Dropbox while it sets up your domain, DNS, email and databases instantly – allowing you to launch static HTML and PHP-based CMS sites in a flash.
KISSr is a service that lets you host static websites using Dropbox as a web host. The advantage of KISSr over other competitors discussed in this article is that it lets you register and use a proper custom domain name instead of using sub-domains or long URLs. Just go to KISSr site, enter the name you want for your site (you’ll need to start with a sub-domain) and then click on the big Try it button.
Site44 is another service very similar to DropPages. We already have a tutorial on how to use Site44 to host your webpages using Dropbox as the back-end.
Brace is the new way to host your website. We believe that website hosting shouldn’t be complicated. With Brace, updating your website is as simple as saving files in Dropbox. Brace gives you two versions of your website, a Draft version and a Production version. The Draft is for iteration and collaboration. The Production version is optimized for performance and scale.
Creating the public folder manually
Although you can use the services listed above to create your site on Dropbox but if you don’t want to go through the signup process and don’t want to manage your site through anyone else, you can simply follow this guide to create your own hosting on Dropbox without using any tools.
Create a folder named “Public” (if it is not already there) in your Dropbox account. Next, you will need to visit this page to enable the public folder on your account. Now create another folder called “site” inside the public folder. Put all your HTML pages inside the “site” folder.
The “site” folder will act as the root folder for your static site. You can right click any file and get the public link under Dropbox menu. The link can be shared with other people. The person who has the link will be able to open the webpage.
Dropbox links are pretty long and can’t be remembered. If you have a domain name, you can easily redirect all your pages hosted on Dropbox to your own domain. This depends upon whether your host supports URL directing from the control panel or not. If the host does not support it, you can redirect the pages using the .htaccess file.
Create the .htaccess file on the root folder of your domain and enter the following information:
RedirectMatch 301 /site(.*) https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1234567/site/$1
You will need to change the “/site” if you are using another name for the site folder. You will also need to replace the Dropbox public URL with your own.personal public URL. Get the Dropbox URL by right clicking any file in the Public folder and then select “Get public link” under Dropbox menu.
Let me explain what the above command does. It will redirect all URLs containing “yoursite.com/site/xyz.html” where xyz.html is the page name which is hosted on Dropbox.
For example, I have added a file called index.html in my “site” folder in my Dropbox account. Now whenever I want to open index.html, I will have to enter “http://mysite.com/site/index.html“. You can put any number of files in the site folder. You will be able to access those files using the above method.
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