Using dropbox as fast frontend publishing system

I recently had to find a system to show quickly and effective front-end work.

In my case i always separe projects into two phases: front-end and back-end. The first one is an adaptation of design to the static layouts, where i develop the structure of the files (fonts, images, css, js), layout, and functionality, etc. Thus while the client reviews this part I can start focus on next phase.

Normally we are used to working with remote servers (often shared servers), and upload the files via FTP or version control (SVN or git) … But sometimes you have to wait until you get the access to the server (from the client or the agency) which makes the work process more tedious.

Dropbox to the rescue!

Dropbox-Logo

An easy and smart solution to this problem is to work locally your frontend project in the dropbox public folder, something like ~/Dropbox/Public/project/frontend/.
In this way we can solve some things at once:

  • a public server where to upload your project so the client or agency can see it in action
  • you save publishing resources, forget about FTP or version control, dropbox does it automatically and instantly for you. Any changes you make are published immediately without having to do anything.
  • you can use Dropbox history as “control version” and recover any deleted or changed file.

To know your dropbox public url, copy any file (file.txt) to your dropbox public folder, right-click on it and ‘Dropbox > Copy Public Link’. After that change your file with your projects/files path.

screenshot

in this way you will get a public URL to which everyone can access, something like:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9999999/project/frontend/index.html

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