MyEtherWallet, a well-known Ethereum wallet, is launching a feature called „Host Your Own Site“ that provides an easy interface for its users to upload a website to the Interplanetary File System or IPFS.
IPFS-based websites are linked to Ethereum-based domain name services, such as ENS and domains with „.eth“ or „.crypto“ suffixes.
Websites are hosted on a decentralized network of peer-to-peer (P2P) computers, making them resistant to most of the censorship tools available for the traditional web.
Integration into MyEtherWallet automates the process of uploading a website to the IPFS. Kosala Hemachandra, CEO of MyEtherWallet, explained to Cointelegraph that users provide a .zip file containing the website files, while the application takes care of uploading it to the IPFS and associating it with a blockchain domain.
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It should be noted that the technology is still in a relatively raw state. As Hemachandra explained, websites can only have static pages. When asked if a content management system such as WordPress could be installed on IPFS, she replied
„For something like WordPress to work, you have to have a background server. Because of that, there are no servers in the distributed world, so there is no way to run the full instance of WordPress.
Websites created in WordPress can still be uploaded to IPFS, but they must be exported as completely static snapshots via third-party plug-ins.
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This, he added, is due to the „fundamental limitations of creating something like a distributed server. The problem is unlikely to be solved soon, but he emphasized that „nothing is impossible.
However, this does not mean that IPFS websites are completely static. Many decentralized financial interfaces are also hosted on the network, as they are purely client-side applications that interact directly with the block chain.
Another current problem with IPFS-based websites is the difficulty in accessing them. Natively, only the Opera browser supports blockchain domains. In all others, special extensions like MetaMask are needed to view them. Hemachandra also pointed out that some of these websites are available through proxy servers with a „.link“ domain on the normal web.
The decentralized web protocol IPFS has already had its biggest upgrade so far
Familiarize users with .crypto domains
Hemachandra noted that many people who bought .crypto domains „didn’t know what to do with it. The initial use case was to associate Ethereum’s long hexadecimal address with a human-readable domain, but „that’s not the end of it,“ Hemachandra said. So hosting a website is a way for the Bitcoin Era company to expose people to some of the more advanced uses of blockchain domains.
„And at the same time, we want to enable freedom of expression,“ Hemachandra added. He noted that in the world of crypto-currency many platforms still rely on the traditional web, which is inconsistent with the overall vision of the ecosystem.
In Hemachandra’s opinion, gradually familiarizing users with the experience of using a decentralized website is key to adoption, rather than immediately creating a complex and confusing system. He concluded:
„[We are] slowly taking the first step towards a fully decentralized future, and that is our goal“