Hosting Files

Yes, the world’s best cloud-based file server also knows how to be a high performance web server, and using this capability is so simple to do, a growing population of our customers is discovering that their Files.com site can take the place of a web server providing fast load times of static and embedded files.

Use web hosting mode to turbocharge your existing websites, or use it as a limitless array of stand-alone web servers for your static sites, wire frames, embedded data, and other web content.

Serving a folder publicly

There is no practical limit to the number of folders you can create in your Files.com site, and each of those folders can be activated to be its own static web server. That means you have an unlimited number of web servers at your disposal.

To configure a folder as a web server, you must be logged in as an administrator.

Here are the steps to activate web hosting mode in a folder:

  1. Navigate to a folder you would like to activate as a web server and click on the folder settings icon.

  2. Click on the Publicly serve (web hosting) setting.

  3. Check the box for Serve files and sub-folders publicly at the following URL and enter a value in the field that completes the URL.

    The value you enter can be anything you like that does not contain reserved, unsafe, or excluded characters as defined by RFC 1738. The value must also be unique among your publicly served folders. If you attempt to enter a URL value that duplicates one you already have, you will see an error message and must edit the value before you can save.

    Space characters are permissible and will be handled appropriately by most web browsers but will be encoded.

    Strategies for choosing a URL value for your folder vary with the mission your new web server will fulfill.

    For example: if your folder’s content is intended to be freely available to the public anywhere or is serving content embedded in one of your websites, you might choose a descriptive URL such as /montana-parks-images or /user-manual-humidifier-2854 or /wireframes-newapp-project or /videos-soccermatches-full.

    Another example: if your folder’s content is intended to be publicly available but very difficult to find without specific communication from your team, you can take a “security by obscurity” approach with a URL that resembles a token, such as /sh4g7f3gf9xz39h-3hgtr4d or any link that no one could reasonably guess without being provided the link directly.

  4. When you have entered the value to complete the URL, don’t forget to click Save!

Option: if you would like folders inside your web server to list indexes of their contents, then check the box for Display index when viewing folders and then save. This option is very useful if your web site visitors don’t always know the full path to files they need, or if you do not include an html document with a table of links to other files.

How access works

Public Access

Activating a folder with web hosting mode means that anyone with the URL you configured now has access to that folder via their web browser. As is the case with any web server, if you choose to display indexes, anyone accessing the folder can follow links to all of the enclosed files and subfolders.

Likewise, if you link or embed the URL (including extended versions of it to files and subfolders) in another web site, the URL is discoverable by visitors to that site.

If you do not display indexes, then visitors to your URL will not see the files and subfolders contained in your web-hosted folder unless visible files (such as those listed on a table of contents or an index.html file) link to them, or their names are easily guessed.

Logged-in Access

Your logged-in access to the folder, and any access that you have allowed that is not via the web hosting mode URL, does not change when you activate web hosting mode. Your credentialed users remain subject to the permissions and access restrictions that your administrators have established.

This fact becomes most useful when you utilize workflows that include content creation, intake, editing, collaboration, approval, and deployment, or any combination of such steps with the final stage being the approved content deployed in your web-hosted folder. This allows you to design and manage secure, fail-safe workflows that leverage all of our connection options, foster creativity and collaboration while ensuring that the final output is always the approved content.

What you can serve

Your folder in web hosting mode can serve any type of file and MIME type a standard web server serves. These include html, xml, css, javascript, images, videos, music/sound files, pdfs, text files, and many more.

Note that your web-hosted folder does not support middleware scripting such as PHP, .NET, .JSP, and so will serve such files as text without attempting to interpret any script or code. If you would like to serve dynamic content, that is best accomplished using javascript.

Stopping the web server

Now you have an effectively unlimited supply of web servers. Should you ever need to stop one of them, the process is simple:

  1. Return to that folder’s folder settings and click on the web hosting mode setting.

  2. Un-check the box that says Serve files and sub-folders publicly at the following URL.

  3. Click Save.

That folder is no longer serving files to the public as a web server.