Have you ever needed to build just a simple Web page as opposed to a full website? Are you looking for a quick and easy way to create and publish simple Web pages in a matter of minutes, and without having to go through your Web host or FTP?
If so, you’ll love Pancake. It’s a free online tool that lets you cook up basic Web Pages with just a few ingredients: Dropbox, text files, and Markdown. Best of all, you won’t need a Web hosting service to publish your pages.
Sometimes you just need a simple informational web page or two, and you don’t want to deal with all the technical stuff like FTP or even HTML. So I’m going to show you just how easy it is with Pancake.
Related: Let Blog readers to Upload Files to Your Dropbox.
Getting Started to Publish Web Pages from Dropbox
1. Sign up for a free Pancake account; enter your email address and create a password.
2. Connect your Dropbox account. Pancake will need permission to create a folder in your Dropbox; this folder will house all of your files.
3. You’ll then be directed back to the Pancake dashboard. You’ll see an example Web page and a getting started page that you can use to help you create your first page on Pancake.
4. You should also see the Pancake.io folder in the Apps folder in your Dropbox. If you don’t see it there yet that means that it’s probably still syncing to your computer, so you’ll need to wait a few minutes.
Creating Web Pages with Pancake
5. To create a Web page, all you have to do is create a text file and save it in the Pancake.io folder; Pancake also supports images, PDF files, Microsoft Office files, and more. Once the file syncs to your Dropbox, you should be able to see it on the Pancake dashboard.
6. As you can see, Pancake can be used for more than just building websites; it can be used to store all types of files. From the Pancake dashboard you can edit, view, and share any of your files and pages.
7. You can add formatting to your files using Markdown, basic HTML, and your own custom CSS stylesheet. Here are a few examples of some common Markdown syntax you may want to use:
- You can use double asterisks before an after some text to make it bold (**this is bold**)
- You can use single asterisks before an after some text to italicize it (**this is italicized**)
- You can use equal signs and dashes for headers (This is H2 ———-)
- You can use asterisks, plus signs, or hyphens for lists. (* Item One, * Item Two, etc)
You can learn more about the types of things that you can do in your text documents with the Getting Started page that’s included with your Pancake account.
8. To upload a CSS stylesheet, you’ll need to go to Settings and upload it under the “Theme” section.
9. Currently your text files use a Pancake.io URL (i.e. pancake.io/123456/home), but in the future you’ll be able to use your own custom domain if you’d like. Note: Only text files will display with a Pancake.io URL; other types of files will still use their Dropbox URL.
Pancake is great tool for building simple Web pages – for novices as well as advanced users. It’s quick, easy, user-friendly, and convenient. Since most people are already using Dropbox, there’s really not much else needed to get started with Pancake, besides creating a few text files.
What are your thoughts on Pancake? Will you use it for your own personal or business use?