I’ve been a reader of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter for many years now and Dick Eastman’s recent article, Publish Your Genealogy Database on the Web with Dropbox intrigued me as I had just created a free Dropbox account.
The article basically discusses how to use the public folder of your Dropbox account to publish a genealogy website without having advertisements inserted into your pages as they are with RootsWeb hosted accounts and other free hosting services. Yes you can do this by obtaining your own hosting account but that will cost you a monthly or yearly fee.
If you are already using the free Dropbox program, you already have a free solution that does not insert any unwanted ads into your pages.
It seems that Dropbox has a PUBLIC folder. Anything placed in that folder will appear on the World Wide Web. The files you place in the Dropbox PUBLIC folder will be copied to Dropbox’s public web server. The files you place there will be exactly as you created them without any extra advertising or other unwanted additions. You should only place files in the PUBLIC folder that you wish to share. The files you place under PUBLIC will become visible to everyone on the web within seconds at no charge.
I already have my own server space on Bluehost so this is not an option I will probably use BUT it may be something you would like to try. First you will need to create your website pages. You can use your genealogy program to create a website or use your regular HTML editor.
Once you have created your pages and make sure they actually work, then you will need to move them to your public folder. This is a two step process.
Step 1: Drop a file into the Public folder.
Step 2: Right-click/control-click this file, then choose Dropbox > Copy Public Link. This copies the Internet link to your file so that you can paste it somewhere else. You are not going to “see” any kind of notice that this worked. Just paste the link which was just copied to an empty document or email. Click on the link below to see the one page site I created as a demonstration.
You can read Dick Eastman’s entire article Publish Your Genealogy Database on the Web with Dropbox with all of the details. You can also sign up for his Newsletter which contains many useful articles.