General Discussion

A tip for working around the limitations of Weebly (..and bypassing it's CMS)

Probably most of you will choose WordPress over Weebly for a client who needs the support of a CMS (Content Management System).

However, every one and a while I get a client who loves Weebly's simple CMS.

They usually come to me because they have one special page they want made up that is a little more complex than Weebly is designed to support.

For those who find themselves in similar circumstances, this forum post is about how to both bypass the Weebly CMS and have a page that bypasses the current theme the Weebly site might be using.


To start off you'll need a an html file (possibly with accompanying .css file(s) and/or javascript file(s)

that you have designed in the IDE editor or you choice.

(I know everyone that has taken Treehouse's Web Dev track can do this already).


Ordinarily once your web page is done, to get it up to the server

you would just start up you favorite ftp uploader software (I like Filezilla),

type in you ftp login info, connect and sign in, then start uploading your files.

Unfortunately Weebly doesn't allow FTP access directly.


The CSS situation is a little more awkward that most web designers might like as well.

All Weebly themes have (by default) only one css file as part of their theme -- "main_style .css".

That is the only css file the theme pays attention to.

If you edit this file you always have to be very careful that none of your changes

(added css code) causes some unwelcome "side effects" with how the rest of the theme'd pages look.


So no officially sanctioned FTP for Weebly (Bummer!)

However, there is a way to upload files via the Weebly content management system.

Go to the "Theme" tab (once you are logged into the Weebly site's Dashboard")

and on the left side panel, down at the bottom, you'll see a button that says:

"Edit HTML / CSS"

If you press this then the left side panel changes to will show a list of all files associated with the site

including a bunch of image files files under "Assets" (scroll the left side panel if need be to get down to this).


If you click on "Assets" in this left panel you just end up toggling the visibility of the asset files.

However, clicking on "+" plus sign (to the right of "Assets") will

drop down a hidden sub-menu that has the following choices:

• Upload File

• New File

• New Folder

Here's a screenshot:

http://weeblytricks.weebly.com/uploads/9/4/9/4/9494510/9790630_orig.png?793


This is the "secret" way to "bypass" Weebly's lack of inbuilt FTP upload capability.

The images uploaded this way have a funny url.

This stackoverflow page talks about Weebly site image pathing:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11274881/how-to-find-the-path-of-the-uploaded-files-on-weebly


The funny "/upload/" path is for pictures, but what about linking to uploaded html web page files?

It uses the pathing like:

http://yoursubdomain.weebly.com/files/theme/some_file_name.html

Or you can create a special folder under Assets (which I recommend).


So if you create a folder named "x" then the pathing for html files will be something like:

http://yoursubdomain.weebly.com/files/theme/x/some_file_name.html

Just make sure you click on the "x" folder's "+" plus sign to select "upload file",

instead of the "upload file" from directly underneath the Assets submenu.


You can then use this link to the html file web page from within the Weebly CMS

(either a Weebly CMS menu or a text hyperlink on a Weebly CMS page).


Hopefully this helps someone who is forced to deal with working on a Weebly site .

Maybe someday Treehouse will have some Weebly tutorials at some point, but until then..

1 Answer

Just a followup - I finally convinced the client who insisted on using Weebly to switch to using AlterVista for free hosting:

http://en.altervista.org/create-free-site.php

It's based out of Italy and was started in 200 as a student project.

I was acquired in 2006 by Banzai (a holding company of the Italian Internet industry):

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=it&u=https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banzai_%28azienda%29&usg=ALkJrhj8DryU2WPqsUY2nvOfha1i0AaUMw

The idea behind AlterVista:

"..to offer space on the web where you can publish your own content: at no cost and with the potential to earn, thanks to advertising, with your web traffic. Unlike other web platforms for creating free websites and blogs AlterVista not require the display of banner ads on the pages of the sites that hosts."

--that's from the English translation of AlterVista's Italian Wikipedia page:

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=it&u=https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlterVista&usg=ALkJrhgYLq62v8QU_Id4woBVsM85M-bmfQ#cite_note-14

Note: If you have to do some research on different ways of doing things on AlterVista,

you probably are going to be encountering a lot of Italian --remember

that Google Translate is your friend :wink:


Unlike Weebly (and others) who use a mandatory robots.txt at the free tier

(that prohibits Google and other search crawlers from indexing hosted sites),

AlterVista sites can have at least some SEO/SEM visibility (if you are thinking "portfolio").


It also support all the 3 common CMS software like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal, and

thus you can use php scripting on your site.

This ability to do REST-ful php/MySQL queries is what sold the client,

but what's most important to me is that it allows direct ftp uploads (via Filezilla)

when so many free hosting sites do not.


I think Treehouse should allow hosting of student projects in a way

that's "public facing" (not internally oriented like the student Workspaces),

but until they do I think this is the second best option.