It’s not its best-known use, but DropBox can be utilised as a way of hosting simple websites for free. DropPages is a new service looking to build on this idea with a number of enhancements that makes the process even easier.

It works like this: you share a Dropbox folder with DropPages.com. From then, any changes you make to files in your shared folder are synced with a web server and DropPages then renders the pages for your visitors. Developer Dave McDermid is keen to emphasise his solution’s simplicity. There’s no FTP server to deal with – you just make changes to files in your Dropbox folder and within seconds your site is updated.

In order to take advantage of DropPages, you’ll need to be comfortable with using a text editor to build web pages, but it uses Markdown rather than standard HTML, making the process easier for beginners.

“I’m aiming the service at owners of small, simple websites,” says McDermid. “Sites that need an easy and convenient way to be updated, and want to avoid the hassle of a full-blown CMS. This could be used by freelancers who want to build and run several small sites without the overhead of looking after hosting. A few people have expressed interest in using it to produce HTML wireframes.”

Based in Southampton, UK, McDermid only recently launched DropPages and plans to develop it further. “I have a few ideas, but really want to keep the offering simple and straightforward. I’m planning to launch a paid version so people can use custom domains.”

DropPages is free to use and you can find full details here.