How Important Is FTP Access to You?
I have discussed the lack of no FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access with several Ning Team Members, since this platform feature was removed. I think it would be interesting to hear from fellow Network Creators and find out how important is this feature to you and your Network?
If you're not familiar with FTP access, this discussion topic probably doesn't affect you. If you want to hear a little more, I'll try to explain. This is a method used to upload files to a hosted location - - a place to store your files like for scripts, or 3rd party sliders, etc...
Currently, the Ning platform does not enable FTP access. Instead, Ning built what is called the File Manager. The problem with the File Manager method, the uploaded files are uploaded to the Ning API, and the file path names are very long. But that's not the entire problem. The limitations with this type of file uploading method are severe.
If you need to upload several files (scripts, images, css, etc...) or a folder containing all the files needed to add something like a slider to your Ning Network, you cannot. You either have to upload to an external host and call your application into your Ning Network via an iFrame, or attempt to upload many files via the File Manager, and edit your code throughout using the long Ning API file paths.
With FTP access, the paths would be relative and never change. For example, you would upload your new image, keeping the same file name, something like: slide1.jpg.
Your code would already contain the calling path for slide1.jpg. Therefore, that's all you would need to do to update your slider. The calling path would stay the same http://yourning.com/slider/images/slide1.jpg.
Why Did Ning Remove FTP Access?
I think most experienced NCs understand why Ning removed FTP access. I'm sure it was a nightmare with access to backend files, and newbies wiping out files, probably NCs uploading files that had nothing to do with their Ning site, Security issues, file serving load times, cost for Support Team to stay on top of the problems, etc...
However, we desperately need a way to upload files, without having to change filename paths, therefore having to edit all code for one simple app.
I suggest that Ning build the following File Upload Interface:
Fellow Network Creators, what are your thoughts?
Thanks in advance to everyone!
I know you didn't address me, but seriously? I was thinking since Ning's custom code box loads last and seems to be unusually slow, that adding this type code to the head would improve performance. This is sure interesting, and something to think about even more. You know how much I admire your technical expertise.
Hey Phil, cheers for this, guess what I meant was things like injecting code, for example my page here loads and then a few seconds later the script that injects the advert kicks in. I didn't explain particularly well but if you load your homepage with things like this, as many NCs do, then it causes a very strange looking page before things kick in. On 'pages' the problem doesn't exist because we have access to the <head>
Hi Jen and SP,
Gotcha; yes, there's slow loading time and then there's the appearance of janky stuff happening after the load, and neither of them are going to impress visitors.
Stepping back to the original post, we can't offer file system access like we used to for the simple reason that the file system itself won't exist as such at some point in the future. This is part of our efforts to simplify our environment. However, I completely understand the convenience and other benefits of being able to shuttle files from your desktop to your site and back, and we'll ponder how we can improve on what we offer at the moment.
Thanks Phil! That's very positive and great news!
Thanks Phil. Understood re: FTP. How about the "janky stuff happening after the load"?
As a slight aside, much of the complaints about relative paths are focussed on the space the api img paths take up in the CSS section, which in the DS is much less than the Classic version appearance section. I had a slightly hacky idea that we could use the Ning url shortener (status updates) and use those instead. What's your opinion on how that would affect load times of background images etc. I know it's hacky but wanted your opinion.
I understand the issues. Ning is designed so that somebody with little or no website skills can use it to construct a website. However, I too would love to have FTP access as I have had with every other website that I have ever built. It would make life easier for me for many of the reasons already stated by others. I'm already thinking of moving to a different web hosting provider just because of the lack of FTP only.
We need ftp.
It's not terribly important, however for larger files one would think it would make it easier. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication Jen, Ning owes you a whole bunch :-)
yes i agree jen we need it!
Oh drat, unfortunately this thread answered my question. NO FTP.
I guess I'll just add my two cents that it's really very helpful to have this and I HOPE that it is a roadmap item.
I think it's been mentioned before, but in my example, I'm doing some html5 stuff for the homepage that require uploading several files to one directory (and probably changing them often). This would literally take me about 2 minutes with ftp. Without it... I'm actually seeking alternatives for hosting just those files and perhaps linking them back to my Ning site. Who knows, cloudy thoughts, long day.