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Can I upload a file to a 'root folder'?

Most modern website content management systems are database driven where pages are rendered dynamically ‘on the fly’ when people visit a website, instead of being static HTML. Modern websites do not typically reside in an old-school directory structure with a ‘root folder’. Dynamic website systems like Wordpress, Wix and the Sporty platform have become popular because they:

  • make it easy for non-technical people to update website content without cost
  • let site owners easily obtain and extend functionality by using plugins and widgets
  • are more efficient in keeping up with the latest technology, since developers are continuously extending these platforms

An accepted downside of websites not having a ‘root folder’ is that you may occasionally encounter a third party service that is expecting it. For example, Google introduced a requirement to upload an ads.txt file to your website root folder to verify your Adsense publisher ID. This impacted websites on dynamic platforms, with Wix posting this message in June 2019:

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Normally the third party service (Google in this example) would support an alternative method, such as adding a TXT record to your DNS settings. However, if no other option is provided, the only workaround is for the website platform to develop some other place to store the ads.txt file, and then programmatically handle requests for it in a way that creates the illusion of a root folder. This sort of development can be expensive and platform providers are unlikely to absorb the cost unless there is demand from a sufficient number of people to justify the expense. In the example above, Wix clearly decided not to bankroll the development themselves, probably preferring to wait until mounting pressure on Google forces them to offer an alternative method.

If you discover a requirement that requires custom development, the Sporty team are able to size and estimate cost for you. If you have no budget, then we must apply a similar criteria to other website platform providers, by determining if there is sufficient demand and benefit from and to our community to justify us absorbing the cost. If not, we ask for your understanding and that you are not offended if we must decline your request.

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