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I'm building a new website for a small history center, and I have a product selection dilemma. I was looking at either Wix or Squarespace; however neither website builder handles FTP uploads. (I need this to use the Virtual Exhibit feature of our museum software PastPerfect.) It has been suggested that I create a subdomain to host the Virtual Exhibit, but I can't get Wix or Squarespace to tell me whether this will work. I don't want to select a product that will not meet our needs. Can anyone provide any advice?
I am surprised that there are hosting companies that do not support FTP. How exactly are you supposed to put your own things on the site?
Ok, you can create a subdomain that will support FTP to do what you want, but that subdomain will not be hosted with the provider who is stupid about FTP. You will have to have another host for that.
This is pretty simple and doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Here is the outline of how it would work:
- Open a new hosting account and find out what the IP address will be.
- Set up your new site and try to duplicate the look and feel of your main site, but that's optional how much work you want to put into that.
- Once your new site is ready you will create a subdomain in your DNS (make sure WIX or another provider allows that or you may have to host the DNS with your domain registrar). If your subdomain us using "shared hosting" and does not have an IP address all to yourself, then it make take a bit more work to get it set up. Your subdomain host should be able to set up a DNS entry to accommodate this.
That's the general idea of how it works. When your visitors click the link for you VE they will either leave your site or open a new window to reach that content.
Does it have to be Wix or Squarespace? HostGator is about $5 a month and you can have word press site on it and use FTP (I do).
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
I consider it silly that neither Wix nor Squarespace allow you to have FTP access to your files. Weebly, another popular website builder, doesn't give you FTP access either. You'd think such a basic functionality would be automatically included. But surprisingly, it's not.
Here's another option in addition to Chris's suggestions: Why not consider hosting your site at a web hosting company that offers either free or a low-cost hosting plan. Then you can use a free website building tool like Mobirise that can be installed on your computer and used immediately to start building your site. Mobirize allows you to upload all your files and images via the FTP functionality that you can set up within the tool.
You should have no issues using this 3-step approach to achieve what you want:
For example, you can host your website at a provider such as a Dreamhost, which offers a free hosting plan to nonprofits if your history center qualifies as one. In case you're interested, here's a list of companies that offer free web hosting to nonprofit organizations. Of course you can also choose a hosting provider not on this list. A basic web hosting plan is all you really need and they are really inexpensive these days.
Hope this helps. Please keep us posted!
Yann ToledanoForum Moderator, TechSoup.orgDigital Marketing ConsultantYTConsulting.com@MarketingYann
Thanks for your suggestion! This sounds like a good compromise that would enable me to take advantage of the ease of using a website builder and still use the virtual exhibit module. I'll check it out.
Thanks for your suggestion! I did look at WordPress, but since I need to tackle all of the marketing activities I need a simpler solution to get our site up and running quickly. I hope to "graduate" to WordPress in the future.
Thanks for your suggestion! This sounds like another good compromise solution. I haven't heard of Mobirise, so I will check it out.
Wix and Squarespace are both good option for organizations that have people with limited technical ability. Can I ask why FTP access is MUST have? Most of the time you can upload everything you need to through there editors? It also sounds like you have pretty good technical understanding. Have you considered using Wordpress on flywheel to give you the flexibility that you need? With said, there are some cautions you should probably consider with both. A lot of times, solutions like wix and sqaurespace have bandwidth limitations that can be disrupting to your visitors experience. With wordpress it's going to be vital to keep all of your plugins and theme are up to date on all of the updates that come out. I would suggest a third option... Digigiv offers the best of all worlds - A powerful drag and drop interface (similar to those of wix and sqaurespace) but also gives you the FTP server access you are requiring.
How are things going so far? Just wondering if you had a chance to try out any of the website-building tools suggested to you in this thread. Please do keep us posted and let us know if we can help you with any other issues.
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