How to Upload Storyline Content to the Web

Do you have an awesome Storyline course that you'd like to share with the world, but you don't have a place to host it? This tutorial walks you through the process of hosting your Storyline output on Amazon S3, a cloud-based hosting platform that lets you share links to your output. This is an easy way to share your Storyline work with clients, employers, and peers, and it's completely free! Let's get started.


Getting Started with Amazon S3

First thing's first, you're going to need an Amazon Web Services account to use with Amazon S3. Head over to the S3 website and choose the "Get Started with Amazon S3" option. After that, choose the "Create a new AWS account" option. Now you can provide your name, address, billing information, and phone number to create your account. Just follow the prompts and choose the "Free" plan, as this includes 5 GB of storage at no cost. It will be very hard to go over this amount of storage with Storyline files. For comparison, the Storyline output for most of my projects ranges from 5-10 MB. This means that I would be able to host 1000-2000 Storyline projects free of charge.

Once you've created your account, it's time to create the "Bucket" where all of your Storyline projects will go. Sign in to your new account on the Amazon S3 home page. From there, choose the blue "Create Bucket" option. A pop-up will come up where you can give the bucket a name. Make this generic, as it will be the home folder for everything that you upload. For example, my bucket's name is "pecktrainingmodules". Don't worry about the other options on that page, just press Next. You also don't need to change anything on the "Set properties" page, just press Next again. On the "Set permissions" page, change the "Manage public permissions" option to "Grant public read access to this bucket." Press Next again, then press Create bucket. Voila! The bucket has been created and your Amazon S3 account is ready to host some content. Leave this webpage open, as we will return to it later.


Setting up CloudBerry Explorer

CloudBerry Explorer lets you easily move files from your computer to your Amazon S3 storage. Go to their website and choose the "Download" option (you will have to provide an email address). The free version of this program will be sufficient for our needs. Open the file that you download and follow the prompts to complete installation. To finish this process, you will need to provide an "activation code" that displays when you initiate the download (you will also receive an email with the code). Once you have the program, open it up. In the "Select Cloud Storage" dialogue box, choose Amazon S3. This is where you will enter your display name, which can be anything you want it to be, and your Amazon S3 access keys. To locate your Amazon S3 access keys, we need to go back to the Amazon S3 webpage (sign in again if you need to). Once signed in, click on your name in the top right, then click on "Security Credentials." Click on "Continue to Security Credentials", then click "Access keys" to expand the menu. After that, click on "Create New Access Key," then "Show Access Key." There you go! Now you should see the Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. Copy each of the codes from this window and paste them into the CloudBerry dialogue box. Once the codes have been entered, click on "Ok" in CloudBerry. Now CloudBerry is configued with your Amazon S3 bucket! Make sure that the left side of CloudBerry shows your computer and the right side shows your S3 bucket. You can change this by pressing the dropdown box near the top. Finally, double click your bucket on the right hand side to open it up.


Uploading to Amazon S3

With CloudBerry configured, it's time to upload your Storyline project to your Amazon S3 bucket. If you haven't already published your Storyline course as an HTML file, open up your project in Storyline. Go to the "Home" tab, click on "Publish." Choose the "Web" tab, select where you'd like your output to publish to, then press "Publish" again.

Now that the project's HTML output folder is on your computer, open up CloudBerry. Find your project's folder on the left-hand side, right click it, then click "Copy." This will copy the folder from your computer into your Amazon S3 bucket. Good job, we're almost there! Now we have to make the project public so that you can share the link with the world. Return to the Amazon S3 webpage and sign in. Click on your bucket to open it up, then click on the check box next to the Storyline project you just uploaded. With the folder selected, click on "More" then click on "Make public." In the dialogue box that comes up, click on "Make public" again (you will have to do this every time you upload a new project). Now, click on the project folder to open it. Click the "story.html" file, and, alas, the link is at the bottom. You can open this link to view your project in a browser, and you can share it with anyone you please. You did it!


Conclusion

The first time I had to go through this process, it took me several hours to figure it out. I hope that this guide cut that time down by a lot! Just remember, whenever you upload a new project, you need to make it public again from the Amazon S3 webpage. If you make changes to a Storyline project and want to upload it again, make sure you delete the initial folder completely. With that, have a nice day and happy uploading!