Join Sue Jenkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Publishing using Dreamweaver's integrated FTP, part of Productivity Tips for Web Designers.
- Hello, everyone, this is Sue Jenkins with Productivity Tips for Web Designers. Today, I'll be showing you exactly how to use Dreamweaver's built-in FTP tools so you can publish your site directly from inside Dreamweaver. One of the most common ways to access a web server and transfer files is using the file transfer protocol, or FTP for short. FTP refers to a standard TCP/IP Internet protocol that enables the exchange of files between computers over the Internet.
FTP file transfers are normally bi-directional, which means that you may send and receive files, both to and from a remote server location. To begin an FTP session, a client -- that's you -- needs to use specific software or some kind of Internet interface to log in and gain access to the remote server. FTP logins typically require a username and/or ID, and a password. Your host provider usually gives you the username and password when you sign up for a hosting plan.
When you're transmitting files to the remote server, we call that uploading or putting files. When you're receiving files from the remote server, we call that downloading or getting files. For testing and publishing a website, the transfers will involve putting copies of your local files onto the remove server. Occasionally, however, you may need to get a copy of one or more files from the remote server to your local computer. For instance, you may need to restore a broken version of a file, or get a copy of an entire website onto a new computer.
In any case, file transfers via FTP are a great way of copying files from one location to another. Lucky for us, Dreamweaver includes it own FTP software. This means you can easily transfer files to your host server right from the comfort of the Dreamweaver work space. To use Dreamweaver's FTP tools, you'll first need to create a managed site and input your FTP credentials. Start by launching Dreamweaver and choosing Site, Manage Sites.
If you've already managed this site for your project, double-click the name of your site to open the site setup dialog box. Otherwise, if you haven't managed a site for your web project yet, you'll click the New Site button. In the Site Name field, enter a name for your site. In the Local Site folder field, click the folder icon to select the folder on your computer that you've been using to build your site. Next, within this Site Setup dialog box, you'll click on the Servers category along the left.
This is where you'll set up your FTP credentials. Click the Add New Server button near the bottom of the dialog box. This opens the Remote Server panel. In the Server Name field, you'll enter the name for your project. Leave the Connect using menu set to FTP. In the FTP Address field, enter the host address where you'll be uploading your files. This can either be the domain name, preceded by www or ftp, or the domain's IP address.
Next, enter the username and password that your host provider gave to you. Some hosts require additional input for a root directory. This is the location on the remote server where the files for your domain are kept. Directories are often called something like www or public_html. If your host provider also gave you a root directory, enter it in the corresponding field here. Otherwise, leave that field blank.
Now, to verify the connection with your remote server, click the Test button. If the information you input is accurate, Dreamweaver will display a "Connection Established Success" message. On the other hand, if your computer can't make the connection, you'll see an error message instead. If this happens, carefully re-enter your FTP credentials and test again. Typos and incorrect letter case are often the reason for failed connections.
If you're certain that your credentials are accurate, expand the More Options area, and try successively using Passive FTP or the other options in the dialog box, making sure to click the Test button after each configuration modification to see if you can connect to your remote server. If you still can't connect, contact your host provider for assistance. Resetting the password may be the solution that allows you to establish a connection.
The last step is to save your FTP settings for future sessions by putting a check mark in the Save check box. Your FTP configuration is now complete. Click the Save button to close the Remote Server panel. Then click the Save button to close the site setup, click Okay, then click Done to close the Manage Sites dialog box. All right, now for the fun part, transferring files.
FTP happens from your Files panel. You can use the Files panel in its current collapsed form, but for the most control over your transfers, you want to expand the Files panel by clicking on the Expand/Collapse button located at the right end of the row of buttons along the top of the Files panel. When you expand the Files panel, it goes full screen and displays two halves, a panel for the remote server on the left, and a panel for the local files on the right.
To establish a connection with the host server, click the Connect to Remote Server button at the top of the expanded Files panel. For your website to be functional, you must transfer your local files to the same relative location on the remote server. To upload, or put, your entire site, you'll select all the files, folders, and other assets on the local side and click the Put button with the up arrow icon.
When you're finished transferring your files, disconnect by clicking the Disconnect From Remote Server button, then collapse the Files panel back to normal by clicking the Expand/Collapse button. Remember, the remote server is your live web host, which means that the second your files are copied onto the remote server, everyone can see them on the Internet. Also, it's a really good idea to go check your site online after each FTP session, just in case any files weren't copied over as expected.
Whether you're updating a CSS file, adding an image, editing a page, or transferring an entire website, FTP with Dreamweaver is the fastest way to transfer your Dreamweaver files to your host server.
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