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CMS Fundamentals
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What are WebDAV and FTP?


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CMS Fundamentals

with James Williamson

Video: What are WebDAV and FTP?

If you start comparing content management systems, eventually you're going to come across the phrase 'support for WebDAV and FTP'. While you're more likely to be familiar with FTP, both of these terms can be confusing to new users, so let's take a closer look at them, how they're related, and why they matter. WebDAV and FTP are both used to upload files to your sites, and usually at least one of these methods, if not both, are integrated directly into your CMS. FTP stands for file transfer protocol and is the most widely used protocol for sending and receiving files over the web.
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. What CMS means for this course
      1m 44s
  2. 22m 52s
    1. What is a CMS?
      2m 47s
    2. The evolution of CMSs
      4m 4s
    3. CMS types
      6m 7s
    4. Basic CMS capabilities
      5m 4s
    5. When is a CMS right for you?
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Comparing CMSs
      4m 28s
    2. Core features to research
      4m 41s
    3. Commonly overlooked issues
      4m 12s
    4. Properly assessing needs
      4m 39s
    5. Knowing when to seek assistance
      4m 15s
    6. Choosing a CMS for designers
      4m 45s
    7. Choosing a CMS for organizations
      4m 12s
    8. The pros and cons of hosted solutions
      2m 58s
    9. Hosted solution examples
      5m 51s
    10. The pros and cons of open source solutions
      4m 36s
    11. Open source CMS examples
      7m 6s
    12. Proprietary CMSs
      7m 48s
    13. A closer look at Drupal
      5m 7s
    14. A closer look at Joomla!
      4m 0s
    15. A closer look at WordPress
      5m 33s
    16. Resources for comparing CMSs
      9m 2s
  4. 43m 58s
    1. What is an open source CMS?
      3m 4s
    2. What is a LAMP stack?
      2m 53s
    3. What are WebDAV and FTP?
      2m 39s
    4. What is MySQL?
      2m 24s
    5. WYSIWYG editors
      3m 56s
    6. Understanding users, groups, and permissions
      4m 12s
    7. What is metadata?
      5m 19s
    8. Understanding taxonomy
      3m 35s
    9. What is version control?
      4m 23s
    10. What are themes and templates?
      3m 30s
    11. What is SEO?
      4m 42s
    12. What are web analytics?
      3m 21s
  5. 36m 31s
    1. Content management as a process
      4m 38s
    2. Properly defining roles
      5m 3s
    3. Planning a content strategy
      4m 1s
    4. The importance of taxonomy
      5m 7s
    5. Controlling content lifecycle
      6m 22s
    6. Challenges for CMS migrations
      3m 45s
    7. Steps for migrating content
      4m 16s
    8. Avoiding distractions
      3m 19s
  6. 2m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 24s

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CMS Fundamentals
3h 11m Beginner Apr 06, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In CMS Fundamentals, James Williamson defines content management systems (CMSs) and explains their role in web site development. The course demonstrates the different CMS solutions available today, including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla; reviews CMS terminology and best practices; and shows how to develop a content management strategy. Guidelines are also included for evaluating a potential CMS, whether hosted or self-hosted, open source or proprietary, and choosing a CMS based on a specific need or focus.

Topics include:
  • Defining and understanding a CMS
  • Understanding taxonomy
  • Assessing an organization or company's needs
  • Comparing content management systems
  • Planning a content strategy
  • Controlling content lifecycle
  • Migrating between CMSs
  • Understanding users, groups, and permissions
  • Using web analytics
Subjects:
Web CMS Web Foundations
Author:
James Williamson

What are WebDAV and FTP?

If you start comparing content management systems, eventually you're going to come across the phrase 'support for WebDAV and FTP'. While you're more likely to be familiar with FTP, both of these terms can be confusing to new users, so let's take a closer look at them, how they're related, and why they matter. WebDAV and FTP are both used to upload files to your sites, and usually at least one of these methods, if not both, are integrated directly into your CMS. FTP stands for file transfer protocol and is the most widely used protocol for sending and receiving files over the web.

It's incredibly common, and it's very easy to find FTP clients to transfer your files if your CMS doesn't come with one built in. WebDAV stands for web-based distributed authoring and versioning. It's a bit of a different animal then FTP. First, it's an extension of the HTTP protocol that allows both the reading and writing of documents on a web server. In practical terms, WebDAV provides you with a way to manage files on your web server that's very similar to using a local network drive. Most operating systems have WebDAV built into them, and even allow you to mount web servers just like any other disk.

Depending upon the client you're using, using WebDAV is as simple as dragging files from one folder to another. Of course, it's not always as simple as that, and not all CMSs handle file management the same. Most of the time, you'll simply set up your server information and username and password combination, and the CMS will use whichever protocol it supports or that you've set as a preference. In other instances, WebDAV is integrated directly into the CMS interface to handle versioning and file management. It's also not uncommon for a CMS to have a WebDAV extension or plug-in that will allow you to add this functionality to the system.

If no FTP or WebDAV integration is present, or if the CMS places a limit on the number or size of files that you need to upload, you may have to find and configure an FTP or WebDAV client yourself. Even though if you already have a means of transferring files, you might want to consider this option if available, as you can greatly simply managing files in your CMS. If you're looking at stand-alone transfer clients, some, like FileZilla, are pure FTP clients, while others, like Cyberduck, allow you to use either protocol. You could also use the clients built into most web authoring tools, like Dreamweaver or Aptana Studio.

There are literally hundreds of file management clients available, and most are free or low cost, so you're bound to find something that works for you. Either way, it's best to spend some time checking out the file management and transfer options for any CMS before making a decision as it's such an important part of the content management process.

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