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Exporting a Zoomforth site
Exporting a Zoomforth site
Dan Sackett avatar
Written by Dan Sackett
Updated over a week ago

Zoomforth provides a full web experience allowing you to develop sites and host them on Zoomforth servers for visitors to access. In some cases, you may be interested in simply using Zoomforth as the development platform and hosting your content on your own server. If this is the case for your organization, then Zoomforth allows you to export your site as a .zip file which will contain the HTML of the site, all assets, JavaScript, and CSS. This package can be uploaded to your server and served directly from your domain.

Why would you want to export a site?

This feature is for advanced users who have experience working with servers or have someone in their organization who has access to their servers. Zoomforth maintains a secure infrastructure, and hosting with us makes site development incredibly easy.

Some organizations require a different level of control over content hosted on different platforms. By exporting your Zoomforth site, you have full autonomy of where the site is hosted and how it is secured.

Some potential business cases we have seen include:

  • Hosting a Zoomforth page within your main marketing site

  • Hosting a Zoomforth page on your organization's intranet

  • Hosting a Zoomforth page locally so you can use it off of the public internet for in-person client proposals where internet access is more prohibitive.

Whatever the case is, Zoomforth allows you to export the site in its entirety and manage it however you need to.

How do you export a site?

You can find the option to export your site when viewing the site’s “details”. If you navigate to the “More” tab in the details window you will see an option under Downloads that says “Export site”.

Click on this option and a small screen will appear allowing you to select the options you wish to apply to the export. You may:

  • Choose to exclude the header. This is useful if you are hosting it as a subpage within your main marketing site and a header for the page is already present.

  • Choose to exclude the navigation: This is also applicable to a marketing use case.

  • Choose to exclude the footer: This is also applicable to a marketing use case.

Once you have selected your export options, you can click Export Site.

A new window will open that shows the download progress of the export. After a few minutes, a download will be initiated by your browser with the .zip file. You can save this file and use it as needed.

What files are included in an export?

Within your .zip file you will find the following files included:

  • index.html: This file contains the HTML of the site and is meant to be served from your server.

  • index.css: This file contains the necessary CSS lines required to style your site HTML. While theme CSS is available in the index.html file, you will find specific styles here which affect the core of Zoomforth sites.

  • index.js: This file contains the JavaScript lines required to make your Zoomforth site dynamic. Zoomforth sites are served as single-page applications with JavaScript handling interactions and rendering of different content. Under the hood we use ReactJS for this and the source code is included in this file to support the site.

  • Assets folder: The assets folder contains various assets. Inside this folder, you will see subdirectories for each type of asset. Assets have a unique hash attached to their file path to ensure that references to the assets are unique.

  • Build Assets folder: The build assets include font files which are generated by Zoomforth to render icons. Various icons are used for tiles with actions for example and we have packaged those as font files for convenience.

  • Static folder: Static files are typically hosted from Zoomforth. We package these static assets with the export so they will display correctly when you do not have an explicit thumbnail set for a tile for example.

Just like any filesystem, the names of these files are important since they are referenced by the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. Changing an asset name in your export will result in it not being displayed. It is best practice to do all edits to your site in the Zoomforth site editor. You may export a site any number of times to get the most recent version of changes.

How do you host an exported site?

Hosting sites depends on your organization and how they handle their current sites. Servers that serve web traffic expect to have an “entry point” to which users are directed to. The entry point in our case would be the index.html file.

In most traditional websites you will unzip these files at the root of your server's filesystem. You will have a server interface configured such as Apache or NGINX which will tell incoming requests where to go. If all of your files are unzipped together and you point the traffic to the index file then the experience should simply work.

If you do not know how your organization handles its websites it is best to reach out to someone on your IT team to understand their requirements.

Is authentication included?

Authentication is not included in these exports. Exports are completely separated from the Zoomforth environment which means that we do not require any requests to be made to our application. You will need to secure the site based on your organization's needs separately.

Are analytics sent to Zoomforth?

Analytics are not collected for exported sites. Exports are completely separated from the Zoomforth environment and no data is sent to our servers when the site is hosted elsewhere.

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