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!
Unfortunately, despite a few of us having strong technical reasons why we'd like to use FTP, Gavin's answer probably reflects mass opinion from most NCs. Don't get me wrong, I know it would be useful, I know that you can use FTP on Wordpress (the self hosted version anyway, not sure about hosted) etc, but i think that's like comparing apples with pears to be honest.
What Ning could work on is a file manager for all networks regardless of the plan. Wordpress have a media gallery that allows you to upload most file types and then gives you a nice short url - i think i would be happy with that. This could be part of the new blog overhaul.
mass opinion/ thats the only 1 i see all the rest say its criticle
ontop of that the file manager no matter how o[its overhauled wont help with sitemap updates
my point is that only those of us who give a damn about ftp are replying. my guess is that many NCs don't even know what it is or don't care about it. I could be wrong
I hear you. But, I would say that there is not a power user out there that didn't cringe when we lost this access. I have new Clients on a weekly basis who all but freak out when they realize this is not available. Some stay, some say "Forget it." I have lost several Clients and new Customers for Ning, for this reason alone.
There are many power users, and newbies who want and need this feature. I tried to reach out to a lot to comment, but folks are busy, haven't checked emails, etc...I'm sure we'll hear from more.
Truth is, I'm more concerned about this limitation for Clients, than myself. There's no doubt about it; it takes more time, therefore costing them more, with the lack of FTP access.
Thanks for your input,
if this question is added to the ning notice or weekly best i guarantee it will cause a massive uproar of responses
But, Jen, Ning is a hosted platform, I really don't think we should expect it. Wordpress hosted do not allow it either: http://en.support.wordpress.com/ftp-access/
Don't get me wrong, I'd like it, but we're in the wrong ball park if we expect it.
and i wouldnt use hosted wordprss..on wordpress in fact its recomended you avoid it i host my own wordpress and use ftp
ive used other hosted platforms that have ftp
ninf is actualy the 1st and only thing i ever used that didnt provide ftp
but millions do use hosted wordpress and they use it because it's easier. Like Ning is easier than Social Engine, for example. 'Easy' comes with technical limitations, but that's why you go for easy.
You go for self-hosted because you know what you're doing. So do I. So does Jen, etc etc. But many, many people use Ning because they don't have to trouble themselves with ftp.
Still maintain I'd like FTP but I completely understand why we don't get it.
When I first started creating Ning Networks, we not only had access to our files via FTP, we had access to the source code. I have a saved email from an Executive of the Ning Team that we would ALWAYS have access to source code. That was part of the reason I went with Ning. That I've never even complained about. But if not for FTP in the beginning, we wouldn't be having this conversation. ;-)
Hey! I remember that! Don't know what I used it for (all that history and information was lost on the old Developers and Creators networks), but I remember having source code access. Not to mention Ning's promise (among a few that have been broken) that we would always have it.
source code at least gives you a understanding of how things work and interact with eachother even if you dont have the skillsto directoy edit or update tyhe source code with your own modifications you can figure out what went wrong easier by knowing what in the source code might have screwed something up
now njing is a complicated beast thats why it takes so many teams of enghineers working on projects and having thingfs not turn outjust right most of the time so m sure most ncs woukld be lost in the source code
one thing that having sourse access would help is in knowing what "extras" to turn off to speed up the site
id love to reduce the scripts used on kmy site by 50-80%
but not w]knowing what scripts are in use what they do how to shut them off its harder