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!
Yep, Bill. You need to get an external server to host your files. Then you have that 2 min. file replacement you're seeking. You are not alone in this.
Thank you Sylvia, much appreciated to know that I'm not alone. I did end up throwing the files up on an external server which worked just fine :-)
Still need this in a major way...
What if I need a secure server and secure FTP access ?
What if I put my own domain for www.godspeed247.ning.com ? Will I have FTP access?
...then you'll have to use someone other than Ning :-)
The issue here I guess is the identification by NING that the NING networks are getting more and more professional!
I/our organisation have been off NING for nearly 3 years, as you know, and it is interesting to come back and see what changes there are and to a large extent everything seems to work better.
One of the main differences, it appears, is that the people who are using NING seem to be more proffessional. We are buying a service and unless you have money to burn one expects certain things.
In the days of the free NING networks I am sure it was a nightmare for the NING team. So many inexperienced people setting up Networks and it must have been a nightmare.
Now to decide to pay for the NING service - which is what it is - involves a level of commitment. A decision that you want to invest your money here.For whatever reason. For profit or for social reasons
There are alternatives out there - which we looked at and explored before returning to NING.
It is important that us professionals are listened to and our needs met and if the need for FTP access is there then it has to be addressed.
As for paying for it - well is it worth anything to the non-technically minded network administrator?
I am not so sure. I can cope without. We have deliberately set the budget we are happy to pay NING, at a level which has some disadvantages (eg No file-manager access). But which means we can grow our Network without busting the bank.
Possibly at a later stage we coudl do with more facilities. Time will tell
Would it be worth it for you? I am sure it would be because in many ways you are in a different league!