15

I'm making a website on a free hosting that doesn't have much space or bandwidth.
So I considered using Dropbox Public folder for static files, such as:

  • Javascript, CSS
  • Images
  • Downloads (each a few hundred kilobytes)

Does Dropbox allow such extensive usage, and what is the limit?

  • 1
    Dropbox has since discontinued the public folder, meaning the circumstances around this question are much different. As such, many of the below answers may be out of date. – Steven M. Vascellaro May 19 '17 at 1:35
4
+50

As of May 2017, the Public folder has been converted to a standard, private folder (this conversion happened for Dropbox Basic users on March 15, 2017).

The in-browser rendering of HTML files has also been/is being discontinued (see quoted paragraphs below for the exact dates). According to the pinned answer on this question, shared HTML files will be available for download only, as opposed to being rendered in-browser.

As of October 3, 2016 Dropbox Basic (free) users can no longer use public links to render HTML content in a web browser. If you're a Basic user, and you created a website that directly displays HTML content from your Dropbox account, it will no longer render in the browser. The HTML content itself remains safe in Dropbox, and you can share it using any of our other sharing methods.

Effective September 1, 2017 Dropbox Pro, Plus, and Business users will no longer be able to render HTML content, and the Public folder and its sharing functionality will be disabled. Until that date, Dropbox Pro, Plus, and Business users can continue to use public links to render HTML content.

From: https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/public-folder


As for hosting other static files, I manually tested including a shared CSS file from Dropbox in an HTML file. The share link I was given for the file was like this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/anxsno1zw25jo34/test.css?dl=0

Trying to include this link in the CSS file did not work (that page returns the HTML for the Dropbox "web viewer" for the file), but it worked when I used the dl=1 query parameter instead, like so:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/anxsno1zw25jo34/test.css?dl=1">

However, including the CSS in this way did add an additional redirect as the request to this share URL responded with a HTTP 302 status code and redirected to another URL:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/Q5jNr3kDXOtSyrXFw7qM4LYMMZynVb0YrnUdPLXtiVbBXG1bor57HxlVQ2T3V3tu/file?dl=1

Including the CSS using this link bypassed the redirect, but I'm not sure if this is a permanent URL or if it may change in the future (while the URL that redirects should work permanently).

Hot-linking (directly embedding) images from Dropbox seems to behave in the same way (the share link with the dl=1 query parameter works, but incurs a redirect).

12

They haven't outright banned it so I think it's safe to say that you are allowed to host websites on Dropbox. There is a wiki page, "Hosting Websites with Dropbox", (that includes information that was hosted on the official Dropbox wiki section) about how you could set it up via CNAME pointing.

If you are worried about bandwidth, see Arash F. post on the Dropbox forums:

free users who hit a bandwidth limit are using multiples of 10's of GB's of bandwidth in a given day so I wouldn't be so sympathetic to them on the forums as we are very, very generous with bandwidth limits ;-).

5

You can now host static Web applications using the static web app console that was released with dropbox.js.

The dropbox.js release announcement has a bit more detail, and points to a sample application.

  • The question was "may I", not "can I", though. – phresnel Sep 7 '15 at 13:06
-1

Yes you can do it but only until you exceed traffic limits.

  • 2
    This answer could use a bit more detail. What happens when you exceed the traffic limits? What are the traffic limits? – Steven M. Vascellaro May 19 '17 at 1:33

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