How To Host a Website On Dropbox

What Is Dropbox?

How to host a website on Dropbox article image

Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by the American Dropbox Inc. company, with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. The service allows you to store and share your files online, share them with others, and have regular backups. Files are hosted on their own servers.

We at believe that Dropbox is an excellent way to host your website and make it easy for you to do so regardless of free or paid plans. You can create a free account if you plan to host files or a website with up to 2 GB of encrypted storage space or pay a small monthly fee and have the resources you need to successfully run a more significant business.

Use Dropbox as a Web Server

You can use the service as a Web Server, although the way to do it has changed. It used to be done with having a Public folder that you could share. You had to do these easy steps:

  • Copy your website into the Public folder within the Directory.
  • Right-click and choose Copy Public Link (files with dependencies such as images, CSS files, JavaScript files and others were easier to be linked directly)
  • Paste the link in your browser to test, or paste into an email to send.

Following these three easy steps successfully created a link to your website, which was an excellent way to host and share your website and files. However, in 2016 the Public folder function has been discontinued, and these steps are no longer viable. Also, in 2017 the HTML in-browser rendering function has been disabled, so such files can only be downloaded and not loaded inside a browser page. You have to get a little more creative to host your website using the platform nowadays.

Now, there are a few ways to host your website, but the most common and widely-used method is to use the service called DropPages. DropPages connects to a Drop-box account and creates a particular application folder that you can use for your website’s pages. DropPages serves your web pages via its web server while ignoring everything else inside your account. You should check their FAQ to see how to set up DropPages if you wish to use that function for hosting.

Another way is to use it for hosting a free FTP server or, in other words, to use it as your web hosting server without paying. Initially, you have to download and install the service on your computer machine. Then, save the file you wish to be hosting for your website in the Dropbox folder. Right-click and hit Share. Hit Create Link and then Link Settings. Change Team Members to Anyone with Link under the field labeled as Who has access.

Save your settings, Copy Link, and now you are ready to provide the images or any resource URL to your website. All given links end with dl=0. Change them to raw=1, and they will now be live as your Dropbox will be working as a free FTP server. This method is working and has been tested in November, 2020. If you wish to check out other Cheap Cloud Hosting in USA, visit the link provided in this sentence.

Services and Features

Dropbox offers free services and features as well as paid ones that offer bigger functionality, and more resources will be made available to you that way. The following features are available:

  • Share. Send large files. Folder Sharing. Link sharing.
  • Sync. Work remotely and offline. Save space. Incremental backup.
  • Storage. File backup. File recovery and history. Remote wipe.
  • Security. Passwords. Vault.
  • Collaborate. Annotations. Task management. Emojis.
  • Productivity. Doc Scanner. OCR. Scan to PDF.

In addition to the above-listed features, more were recently added that are helpful for single users and teams alike. In November 2020, three security features are being rolled out, offering improved customization and insights.

  • Alerts and notifications will happen in real-time in the event of suspicious activity or potential data breaches.
  • External sharing reports can show how your data is shared outside your company.
  • Data classification will allow you to label personal and sensitive data for easy identification and preventing sensitive information from being leaked.

Business teams that use the Data Governance Add-on can better-set data retention policies to better address compliance and regulation requirements. Said Add-on is available to Business teams as an additional package.

Business Advanced and Enterprise teams will have access to traffic and insights for shared links. Users can easily track interactions using the shared links they provided to others. All created links will show who has visited, what device, when, and if it was seen or downloaded.

Conclusive Thoughts (Pros and Cons)

Dropbox uses its servers for hosting users’ files. That is a good thing as people wouldn’t worry about setting up a server, but it has security concerns. While the company has an excellent reputation, such databases have been breached in the past, so you should be careful what you share online, especially if it is related to credentials.

With that said, both individuals and developer teams use and trust the platform as it is a useful resource that can help with small to medium websites and businesses for hosting purposes to this day. Having changed its core infrastructure to Google’s GO, which people believe was the right move. Everything seems reliable and runs smooth as speeds go.

What We Like

  • It is a cloud platform that is fast.
  • It can still be used as a free FTP server and hosting services.
  • DropPages is a good feature to use for hosting.
  • What Is Missing

  • The old Public folder is discontinued, which is sorely missed as it could be run from desktop without FTP.
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