Absurdly easy way to host your static site using Dropbox

Written by
Date: 2012-07-06 10:45:00 00:00

I'm always looking and experimenting with new technology. Today while reading hacker news, I step on site44, which is an app that lets you publish your static site to the public, right from your Dropbox account.

These are the simple steps to have a site up and running and no time.

  • Authorize site44.com to access your Dropbox account. Do that from site44 admin page.
  • Create a new site (From the same admin page)
  • Put some html files in your newly created folder.

Three simple steps you are running.

What you get

You have the option to run free or paid accounts, the differences are:

Site44 provides free hosting for low-traffic accounts. Accounts that have five or fewer websites, and that use less than 100MB/month of total data transfer (across all sites) are free.

For just $4.95/month, Site44 accounts can have up to 50 websites and 40GB/month of total data transfer.

Where is your site hosted?

As far as I could see your site will be hosted in Amazon EC2, but, do not worry, you do not need to have an Amazon account, site44 takes care of that.

I can guess Nginx will be the power behind your site, but the fronted is Varnish. Here the headers of my test site:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Age: 157
Cache-Control: public, max-age=217
Content-Type: text/html
Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2012 14:13:30 GMT
Last-Modified: Fri, 06 Jul 2012 14:09:53 GMT
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Via: 1.1 varnish
X-Varnish: 102681006 102680936
Connection: keep-alive

Most of the competitors uses your Dropbox to host your site, so if you site becomes popular you can exhaust your daily quota easily. Site44 seems to just sync your content from your Dropbox to their servers and serve the content from there.

Easy of posting

Once again comparing this with other similar apps, you have that others, like pancake.io, or DropPage, let you use Markdown to create your pages, which them later transform into html. In site44 case, you need to create the html pages by yourself.

I think both have their possible users, while DropPages and Pancake.io are good for people who knows little or nothing about creating a site, site44 is for those looking for a good alternative to host their Jekyll-generated site, (could be anything else besides Jekyll).

Advanced features

I like some of the advanced features available. It is great to have the ability to declare the mime/type of your files, so you can serve extension-less files/urls. Also the ability to create 301 redirects is a great think, you never know when you will need to move a page, but all those who have bookmarked your content should still be able to access it.

You can have custom domains both in the free and paid accounts.