Host a Free Web Site from Dropbox using DropPages

I was really impressed to see an innovative service DropPages.com that allows anyone to host a free web site from one of their Dropbox folders. My very simple sample site is at mrees.droppages.com which essentially contains a copy of this post. Pages are stored in a folder in my free Dropbox account. In a gloriously simple way DropPages link to your Dropbox folder and provide you with a free public URL.

The process works like:

  • You share a Dropbox folder with DropPages.com
  • Changes to files in your shared folder are synced with a web server
  • DropPages render your pages for your website’s visitors

DropPages provide you with a sample web site in a Zip file to populate your Dropbox folder. You can then modify the contents of the page files, templates and styles to create your own content which is what I did here. In my case I have reduced the site to just this page. The template structure is a little tricky to follow at first and the multi-column layouts need some CSS knowledge. However simpler layout are simple to introduce.

To get started according to DropPages:

  • Download the sample site
  • Rename demo.droppages.com to something like myname.droppages.com
  • Share your folder with server1@droppages.com
  • Wait for approval

There definitely are the benefits claimed by DropPages:

  • Simplicity. Edit your files on your computer, save an you’re done.
  • No logins. No passwords to remember. woop!
  • Sharing. Need someone else to edit pages? Share the folder with them.
  • Backup. Everything is synced between your computer, Dropbox and DropPages. It’s safe.
  • Fast. Quick to edit, quick to render.

DropPages suggest you use the dreaded Markdown language of early wikis to format your pages. Ugh! Fortunately if your pages are in HTML (like this page) they will render correctly.

This definitely opens up a very simple way to host and maintain a simple web site. We need to thank Dave McDermid for this creation.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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