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 don't foresee a change to allow FTP access anytime soon, but I think a more full-featured File Manager could help solve some of these requests.
What's the problem with having FTP access? I completely agree with Jen. Right now part of my site is hosted externally and it displays noticeably slower because of it. Besides, not having a file manager is the reason I can't have a Ning site alone. I have to maintain a WP site, too.
Thanks for your input. I think it's probably a very serious platform change that couldn't just "go back", and a lot of considerations on how, and what to offer. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Security, for one. Performance, for another. Jen covered a few additional reasons in her post.
I think if we could have the ability to upload multiple files at one time, and have relative paths, that would fix everything.
Thanks to Team Ning for any brainstorming and/or future development they offer on this.
I'm not an expert by any means, but I think Jen's idea (above) makes sense.
I would say not just UPLOADING multiple files, but editing, moving, and deleting them too.
Although the technical process Jen describes above is complicated, I completely understand the problem. I had to get an outside server to store my slider files. A very complicated endeavor for a newbie! I'm not sure if it's slowing down my page load or not since I don't have much in the way of competing scripts, but just having to go outside of NING is a bummer.
How NING solves the problem is not for me to say, but it is a problem when I have to leave the environment to achieve something as basic as a slider. NING Creators need ftp capability or at least an updated File Manager, and it appears that Jen has offered a logical path of accomplishing this.
Thanks Jen...for taking the time to clearly explain the issue.
Thanks NING for listening.
additional huge issues with the lack of ftp and using the file manager
everytime u edit a file say a css or js you upload it it njow has a new url! you then have tio edit tyhe file calling that url..and upload it..with a new url! so say you have a splash page
with 3 photos a css and a js
you upload a new picture and a new css that affects that pic then you have to edit the HTML as well abd upload that each url is now difernt instead of editing 1 file upload and done
sitemaps should list every page in your site not just tge features so a ning sitemap has 5 entries a proper sitemap might have a million entries (urls) these sitemaps should be uploaded into the root of your site
almost every web hosting or web presence service offers some form of ftp access so you can upload files or edit your site
now i do understand why ftp was discontinued people with zero skill edit i[or delete files from the root that destroyed their sites
making the site no longer work
there is a way around this
a way to prevent crucial site files from being accessible through ftp
but allowing ftp files to be placed in the root without overwriting the nmain sites files
webdav was used in the past and i was 1 of the last few to have webdav..on my main site and it is crucial to me
if i didn't have it i would have to find a similar service to ning and leave ning
now i have a new site without it and its a real handicap
another great use for ftp creating link exchange directories where u might have hundreds og =html files listing links the file manager u are capped at 100 i have to delete file every time i edit my splash page! and for seo purposes you really should make some change on the splash page daily..impossible as is
other conciderations the way its set up now u cant use any other file types but basic html no shtml php etc so you cant do server side includes that could be used to change content on the fly
lack of ftp access is really one of my biggest complaint about ning
i do understand why they took it away with engineers having to fix sites users scrwed up accidentally by deleting files they had no clue what they did..but
why not just protect those files from being deleted in the 1st place or altered? hide them from us! dont let i=us screw them up..but give us back our root accesss!!1
This would be a much desired feature. With a decent FTP client such as FileZilla it could make uploading to specific locations using standard file naming conventions much easier. No more hugely long file names.
Thanks everyone for weighing in. I think this will greatly improve our chances of an easier interface in uploading files, and relative paths.
And most of all, thank you for being constructive, yet not critical. ;-)
You all rock!
Meh spend the 10 extra max bucks a month and get your own 3rd party server. Not worth the hassle waiting for ning to make a FTP system work.