How To Host a Simple Website Using Dropbox

dropbox logo   How To Host a Simple Website Using DropboxIf you’re looking to create a simple website, but don’t want to spring for hosting, you probably already know how challenging it can be to find free and decent hosting. One possible option to look into is to use the online backup service Dropbox to host your website.

We’ve already taken a brief look at how you can use Dropbox to host a website, but if you’re looking for an in-depth guide, you’ve come to the right place. Before getting into the details on how to set up your own website using Dropbox, there are a few caveats worth mentioning.

When we say ‘create a simple website‘, the emphasis should be on simple. There isn’t much in the way of design, templates or features that you’re going to get hosting a Dropbox website. At best, you can use it to publish a blog or a basic website to promote your business. If you plan to use Dropbox to host your website, you should also be aware of Dropbox traffic limits – 10GB for a free account and 250GB for a paid account.

DropPages

One of the easiest services to use to host your own Dropbox website is DropPages. Logging in to the site with your Dropbox credentials, you’ll be prompted to grant it access to your account.

DropPages Permission 590x422   How To Host a Simple Website Using Dropbox

Doing this will automatically create a sub-folder in your Dropbox account. To find it, navigate to Dropbox > Apps > DropPages. The folder will remain empty until you create your first website. You can choose your subdomain on the DropPages domain name.

new page   How To Host a Simple Website Using Dropbox

If you’d prefer to use your own domain (and need more than the 50MB limit), you can upgrade to a pro account for £5 a month. DropPages also allows you to choose between three different themes for your site.

DropPages sites are contained within three folders in your DropBox account. The ‘Content’ folder will contain all of your text files that the service automatically converts to HTML. The public folder contains static content – CSS, images and downloadable content, while your Template folder is where you can change your template (the template is where all of your menu/navigation information has to go).

Choosing your preferred template, you can then simply download all the files and replace the existing files in your DropBox DropPages folder. This is the easiest way to create your site, as you can simply replace the dummy content with the content of your choice. This way you don’t have to worry about creating menus, sidebars, or anything else. (Be sure to give it a few minutes before your website shows up – the transformation isn’t instantaneous).

Pancake.io

Another easy option worth looking into is Pancake.io. The first thing you’ll need to do is sign up for a free account, and grant it access to your Dropbox account.

PancakePermissions   How To Host a Simple Website Using Dropbox

Doing this will automatically create a sub-folder in your Dropbox account. To view the folder, go to Dropbox > Apps > Pancake.io. Inside that folder, you’ll find two documents – a getting started guide and an example post – both in the form of .txt files.

Pancake folder   How To Host a Simple Website Using Dropbox

The easiest way to create additional posts is to simply to copy and paste the existing example and replace the content with your own.

The rules for creating content are very basic. Simply create a text file including the following at the top of the document:


title: Welcome to Pancake.io!
header: Testing Pancake.io for MakeUseOf

This is an example post

Once you have all of your content in place, your blog post will look like this:

Example post   How To Host a Simple Website Using Dropbox

As it will say at the top of your post – only you can see the page – but you can easily share the direct link provided. If you’re looking to create a one-page website, you’re pretty much set. You can get a little bit more elaborate with how your page will appear by looking at the example provided, although a little bit of HTML knowledge will go a long way. With basic HTML knowledge you’ll be able to format text, embed images and links and more.

If you’re just getting started with HTML, you can take a look at our easy-to-follow guide on how to do all that and more. Also be sure to check out these eleven HTML tags that will come in handy when creating your blog.

Pancake.io supports several types of files including PDFs, image files, Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint files. When it comes to creating more elaborate websites it also supports Markdown (.md) files. You can also easily embed a list of all of your Pancake.io pages anywhere you want by generating the HMTL code here.

If you want to create a website with more than just one page, it’s going to take a little bit more effort on your part and will involve Markdown – which converts text to HTML and makes it possible to create more elaborate websites using Dropbox.

SourceKit is a tool that will come in really handy if you want to keep all of the editing in your browser. The Chrome extension allows you to edit files directly within your browser, but you will have to grant it access to your Dropbox account as well. Don’t forget, if you aren’t interested in this solution, there are lots of great web hosting services out there.

Do you have any tips on how to use DropBox to create a simple website? Let us know about it in the comments.

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24 Comments -

0 votes

Junil Maharjan

This will definitely allow easier upload of contents but will it be easier to manage without a CMS?

0 votes

Alexander

Nice guide :)

1 votes

Kashif

Site44 is also a good option. I have been using it for mockups

http://www.site44.com

0 votes

Vaska Chobanova

nice one, i use it too

0 votes

Harshit Jain

But why would someone want to do that? I am using zymic and it is more than enough for ‘basic webhosting’ for free.

0 votes

Asif Mistry

Can I host Asp.net websites?

0 votes

Ashutosh

Nice…I will give them a try!!

0 votes

PR Letterman

Great information for me as a rookie.

0 votes

dannytawamo

i like aptech computer educatoin center

0 votes

dannytawamo

i like this

0 votes

Alexandru Ionut

I don’t understand something. If i made 1 site and i will use dropbox like host for my site, the site will be indexed by google?

0 votes

Jerzy Wach

There are a lot of free hostings offering you possibility to install cms with more space then just 50MB. I don’t really see any reason to choice dropbox service for host websites. I.e.:
http://polspeed.0lx.net
http://byethost.com/free-hosting

0 votes

FRANKLINE KIBUACHA™

Is it possible to host a site from another provider,such as wordpress or blogger or joomla on dropbox?How good is the up-time?

Would love to host my clients there,if its as seamless as you say!

0 votes

Nickolas Afg

Thanks. Nice guide. Must try.

0 votes

Ashfaq Habeeb

Nice guide! Much needed :)

0 votes

Brahma Das

I it a kind of URL forwarding ?

0 votes

Tech Nech

Nice and clean post. I was thinking of hosting my personal website using dropbox, didn’t knew about those apps. Thanks!

0 votes

Kshitij Verma

Great article! But can this be used for dynamic websites (eg. websites with php scripts and mysql database) as well or just normal html websites?

0 votes

James Smith

First time here on Dropbox. Soon going to host a Dropbox website.

0 votes

Aamir Saifi

these sites are helpful for beginners specially to those who blog for personel niche

0 votes

Chile Faux

Nice article. It helped

0 votes

Tihomir Piha

If you need Dropbox web hosting with PHP and/or MySQL support, there is a service for that, it’s called Synkee.

https://www.synkee.com/

0 votes

stathis

Hi, guys, here is a site I made, using droppages:

http://kandri.droppages.com/

It’s about a speech-therapist from Greece!

Hope you’ll check it! Thank you!

0 votes

mRINAL

If you can live with subdomain than http://www.wix.com/ is the much better option , here you can choose your template and drag and drop things very easily,,