How to host a static site with ArDrive

Whether it's a custom developed site, an easy to use template, or from an existing portal like WordPress, these files can easily be uploaded to ArDrive and then be addressed with a common base path on the permaweb, thanks to the power of Arweave manifests.

Let's walk through the steps to make this happen!

Step 1: Get folder structures from website

The first step is to package up all of assets - like pages, images, CSS etc - for your website and put them into a folder.

There are a different ways to accomplish this for each site, and may require some investigation on your part.

However, for WordPress sites an easy to use plugin that will package everything is Simply Static: The Static Site Generator for WordPress.

Simply Static will put all of your files into folder structures that can then be uploaded to ArDrive, which is what you will need from any static website you want to host on ArDrive.

 

Step 2: Preparing to upload

The first thing you want to do is make sure your ArConnect wallet is ready. If you haven't done this already here is a short video to help you get ArConnect setup.

Once you have ArConnect setup we can head over to app.ardrive.io, log in and then:

  • (1) Create new Drive and give it a name such as “May 2022 ArDrive Public Site”

  • (2) Set it to public - Arweave Manifests must be public, non-encrypted data for the Arweave Gateways to interpret them.

  • (3) Click “New” and upload the folders that make up the site.

    • You’ll want to make sure that your files are confirmed on the blockweave BEFORE creating your the manifest. This will make sure everything goes smoothly without any surprises.

Step 3: Create Manifest

Now that the assets that make up the ArDrive site are uploaded & confirmed by the blockweave we can create the manifest that will tie all of these separate elements together into a decentralized website.

  • (1) Click the NEW button and click CREATE MANIFEST - and name it 
  • (2) Manifests can reference entire Drives or folders. ArDrive will ask you what folder you want the manifest to reference, we’re going to use the Root Folder, which is the entire Drive. So we’ll just click ‘Create Here.’

  • (3) The manifest file will now be in the Drive, go see for yourself!

Congratulations! Your site is now hosted permanently on Arweave.

If you preview the manifest file, it will launch a full decentralized version of your website, hosted entirely on the permaweb.

For more information take a look at our Knowledgebase: How to Create a Manifest

Step 4: Updating your website

It’s also worth noting that it’s easy to update parts of your site. You can repeat the process on a case-by-case basis by using ArFS to add file updates to your drive as normal, and then generating a new manifest to capture those changes, and we are good to go!

Static site archiving is just one of the use cases that manifests have on Arweave. Manifests also make it possible to host react web applications & aggregate permanent NFT data.

 

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