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Disappointed with site44

Wed 14th August 2013

I saw site44 slide through my twitter feed months ago, and on a brief read thought “this is a brilliant idea”, and moved on having cached that in my mind for a time I might need to use it. You see site44 is a web hosting service which uses a folder in your Dropbox as the source of your pages. Of course this means you can’t have dynamic scripts like PHP, but it does add some value by caching your files so it’s not reliant on Dropbox being up.

This weekend I was writing a tiny bookmarklet as an experiment, and to distribute it I decided to try out site44. The setup process is pretty quick: you login with Dropbox, it creates a new folder in Dropbox/Apps/site44/<nameofyoursite> and gives you a subdomain of Then you drop some files in that folder and your site is live!

It all seemed pretty good, and once it was there, it was easier to keep developing in Dropbox, as I’d get some versioning and backup and it was immediately live. Unfortunately, despite site44 using the /delta API to detect changes in your files, the update turnaround is a little sluggish at times. So not ideal for development.

This morning, I received an e-mail saying I’ve used 60MB of my 100MB bandwidth in 24 hours, forecasting that at this rate I’ll use it all up within 48 hours! But I don’t understand how. The JavaScript bookmarklet is 4kb, the CSS is 1kb and the HTML is 1kb. I would have had to make 10,000 requests to have used up 60MB already! At most I would have refreshed 50 times in the hour or so I was developing on site44.

Conclusions on site44? Not quick enough for developing live on, probably decent for micro-hosting (but why not just use Dropbox/Public folder?) and seem to be rubbish at measuring bandwidth (that or they’re constantly crawled by lots of bots).

From → Rant, The Web

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