Hosting Web Sites on Dropbox

Been busy this week – hence the lack of blogging. I sometimes think that social media, although important in many ways, is a real indication of how busy someone is. If you are constantly tweeting and blogging, you can’t have that much on (except for those who do SM for a job, of course). Have shelved the photography site I started working on whilst my friend, the “client”, gathers together his main images (- and thoughts). Instead I have immediately picked up another project – a small, basic site for a lovely chap Charles who runs a musical instrument repair workshop in Yorkshire. You can grimace at his current site here = Priory Woodwind. Very iWeb (did I read somewhere Apple will no longer be continuing this disaster software?). Anyway Charles asked whether it was possible to host his new site on Dropbox. Whilst I do love Dropbox, I’d never heard of such a thing. After investigation one has discovered it is certainly possible, but with limitations:

  • It does not support server side coding like php. So even for the simplest of websites you cannot expect to use a working contact form.
  • You seem to have to put all your files in one big folder rather than use subfolders for images, css etc (which confuses it).
  • It has a size limit depending on your account.
  • The urls are disgusting. Yes you can forward to your own domain but I can’t imagine Google enjoying this very much…
  • … hence very bad for SEO.
  • Dropbox doesn’t officially support it, and probably never will, so it could quite easily change in the future, affecting your site in a negative way (or abolishing it all together).

So it is unlikely I would be recommending to anyone in the near future. But then again, on the other hand, if you have a very simple, small website of a few pages with no need for any fancy php or reliance on SEO… it is free. The owner has no faffing about with FTP either. Small mercies.

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