Free web hosting of Soundslides slideshows using Dropbox

A simple and free solution for Soundslide users who don’t want to pay for web hosting services but may have occasional needs to share a sound slideshow online – use Dropbox.

What is Dropbox?

If you haven’t used Dropbox – it is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. I use Dropbox almost on a daily basis: I have Dropbox installed on my home computer, office computer and on my iPhone.

To start using Dropbox, all you need to do is to go to dropbox.com, download and install the program on your computer, create an account, and put some files into the Dropbox folder on your computer. The video below explains the concept behind Dropbox:

How to host slideshows using Dropbox

Once you finish creating the slideshow and hit that “export” button, Soundslides will automatically generate a “publish_to_web” folder for you. Move (or copy-n-paste) this folder to the “Public” folder in the Dropbox folder. NOTE that “publish_to_web” must be placed in the Public folder otherwise it is not viewable to the public.

On your computer, it should look similar to the image below, which is a screenshot of my computer showing the proper path of the “publish_to_web” folder:

Next, right-click on “index.html” in the publish_to_web folder, choose Dropbox/Copy Public Link. See the following image for a visual reference:

With that “public link” copied, you can now share it with anyone by pasting it to an email, a tweet, or posting it to Facebook. When people click to follow the link, they will see a regular web page with that slideshow, looking similar to the one below:

Remember – that “publish_to_web” folder needs to stay on your computer the whole time you want it viewable on the web. If this sounds confusing to you – anything you put into the Dropbox folder will be automatically uploaded to the free Dropbox web account and from there you can share any file with other people; if you delete anything from the Dropbox folder on your computer, then the corresponding file on the web account will be automatically deleted as well.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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4 Responses to Free web hosting of Soundslides slideshows using Dropbox

  1. Dropbox has been phasing out their public folders and enforcing bandwidth limits. If you’re looking for an alternative way to host a website using Dropbox, Site44.com provides simple web hosting by turning Dropbox folders into websites. Site44 supports custom domains, redirects and custom MIME types at no additional charge. Site44 has a free Starter plan, and inexpensive Personal and Professional plans are available for sites needing additional resources.

    Full Disclosure: I’m a founder of Site44. I hope you will give it a try.

  2. mulinblog says:

    Thanks for the info. I think Site44 will work especially well for sharing Soundslides slideshows. Will try and share my experience.

  3. Justin says:

    This would definitely work for the “one off” situation where you need to share your audio slideshow with a few people.

    Another option is to use the Soundslides hosting service here

    http://support.soundslides.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=154

    You also get the added benefit of being able to easily embed your project in a blog or on your website this way.

  4. so many cool things you can do with dropbox, really wish they didnt start limiting bandwidth

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