Home Startup Pancake.io Hosts Websites Using Dropbox

Startup Pancake.io Hosts Websites Using Dropbox

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to host basic Web sites, a new service launched today that you might want to check out. Pancake.io is a free service whipped together by Stanford student Tian Ping Wong.

Wong says that he started the service “out of frustration over trying to share a simple text file with a friend.” So now, if you’re a Dropbox user, you can enjoy the fruits of Wong’s labor and share files or create a Web site in just a few minutes.

Sign up over at Pancake.io, and you can share (and view) plain text, Markdown, HTML, PDFs and Microsoft Office files. Just plop them into your Pancake.io folder (under Dropbox’s Apps folder) and you’re good to go. Pancake.io provides a JavaScript snippet you can embed in another Web site, or you can just provide a link directly to your Pancake.io site. Want to update your “site”? Just edit the file and save.

When visitors head there, they can preview any of the supported file types in the embedded viewer. Note that Dropbox users have long been able to share files via the Public folder, but Pancake actually provides a viewer so that anybody can just view a supported file in their browser with little hassle.

Wong says that the service makes use of Dropbox’s API, and does not have access to any other files in your Dropbox folder.

You might notice that the URLs are a bit clunky, and that there’s no charge for setting up an account. For users who want a nicer URL, Wong says he’ll be adding a custom domain feature as a premium. He pointed to Hawk.io as an example of what’s to come.

So why “pancake” out of all the possible names for the service? Wong says “because I’m a terrible cook, but even I can make pancakes. Also, it’s hard to buy good domains.” Fair enough. What do you think, is Pancake.io an interesting service? If nothing else, it does show that people are testing out Dropbox’s API.

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