Dreamweaver How To Publish Files Using FTPDreamweaver How To Publish Files Using FTP

Before you can publish in Dreamweaver, you must set up a "home base" folder where your website will live on the local hard drive of your computer. Once this is in place, you can use Dreamweaver's FTP feature to "get" and "put" the HTML files from your local folder to the remote server. Here's how to set it up for a BASIC website that does not include PHP, .asp or any "dynamic" elements.

Open Dreamweaver.

Go to the top menu and click SITE, then NEW SITE

The prompt will ask you for a name. Name it "Whatever Your Site's Name Is" (you can space this - it's like a title bar, not a domain.)

Next Prompt: Do you want to work with a server technology?

Your Answer: NO

Next Prompt, Question 1: How do you want to work with your files?

Your Answer: Option 1

Question 2: Where on your computer do you want to store your files?

Your Answer: (Here, you will set up a folder hierarchy. Your heirarchy might be, C:/Your Websites/Name of Website

Next Prompt: How do you connect to your remote server?

Your Answer: FTP

Now it will ask you the following questions:

What is the hostname or FT address of your Web server?

Your Answer: This will vary. Typically, it's ftp.whateveryourwebsitenameis.com (starts with ftp, a period, and then a domain name dot-com. The domain name could be your own domain name, or it may also be the domain name of your hosting provider. You may want to search for the term 'FTP' in your host's help instructions so you know exactly what address to enter here.)

What folder on your server do you want to store your files in?

Your Answer: typically the answer to this is htdocs, but you have to figure out where your main HTML files are stored on your server. (I know that in Earthlink the folder is called webdocs).

What is your FTP login:

Your Answer: whatever your website login is

What is your FTP password:

Your Answer: whatever your password is

Now check off "save" and then click TEST CONNECTION to make sure you're hooked up. If you can't connect, recheck the above information and repeat the process.

Next Prompt: Do you want to enable checkin and checkout? Your Answer: NO

(This is up to you. If you have multiple designers on your team, then checkin and checkout could be a good way of preventing file versions accidentally overriding each other. If you work alone, just say NO.)


If you screw this up for some reason or want to change anything, go back up to the top menu, click SITES again and select EDIT. you'll see the name of your website (whatever you named it in Step 1) listed and you can repeat this same process.

To use the FTP in Dreamweaver, just go to the far right hand window where it says DESIGN, CODE, APPLICATION, FILES all stacked vertically. Hit the arrow where FILES is located to open up the little FILES window.

Note: if you don't see any far right window, you may have chosen the alternate view when you first launched the program. In this case, go to the TOP MENU BAR and click SITE and then SITE FILES. A floating window should open up that you can drag anywhere beside your main window.

In the FILES window, you'll see a little pulldown menu where you can opt to view your server files.

Next to that pulldown is another pulldown menu that says REMOTE VIEW. By default, you're looking at the server (as opposed to your local computer folders, which is another choice in this pulldown).

Just beneath the word FILE in that FTP window, you see a little icon that looks like a plug with a black dot next to it (far left). Click that and it'll "connect" you and the dot will turn green, for "GO Dreamweaver!"

To open a file from your desktop, mouse away from the FTP window and go to the *usual* place in any program where you'd open a file. (Top menu bar, far left, FILE.)

Open the file from the folder where it's located on your computer. Edit the file.

When you're done editing the file, go back to the FTP window on the right, that you just set up. Make sure you're connected (that dot next to the plug doohickey should be green. If it's black, click the plug icon again to connect).

To transfer the file from your local desktop to the remote server, do this:

Mouse away from the FTP window again, and back to your open file. Focus your gaze TOP CENTER. Next to the TITLE bar there are two arrows, a green "down arrow" and a blue "up arrow." To PUT the file on the remote FTP server, click the BLUE UP ARROW.

(The blue UP arrow stands for PUT or PUBLISH from your computer to FTP server)

(The green DOWN arrow stands for GET or retrieve your file from the FTP server to your computer)

Later on, you may want to open the file directly from the FTP server and edit it.

So, go to the FTP window and click the icon to connect to your server again. The list of files should appear.

Find the name of the file you want to edit, and while still in that mini File window, click the name of the file once (to highlight). Then click 'FILE' and 'OPEN'. (this is all done in the little FTP window, not the main window).

Now your file will open up in the main (big) window. Edit it, and then click that BLUE ARROW by the center TITLE BAR to PUT or publish it again.

NOTE: if you click the blue arrow located in the little FTP window, it will PUT the ENTIRE SITE from your desktop to your server.

If you've already edited and put some files but not others, this will mess your stuff up royally. Why?

Because it'll take the files from your computer and replace the "most updated files on your remote server" with the old ones from your local folder, thereby deleting your work. I have done this by accident and it is no fun.

If you know that all the files on your server are the *correct* ones but the ones on your desktop are the *old* ones, you can *get* the files from the server by clicking the GREEN DOWN arrow in the little FTP window on the right.

This will replace every file on your hard drive with the same named files from your server.

If you royally mess up something, but as you remember it, the last file that you PUT (or published) is still live on the web, you can type in that file name in your internet browser and then do a VIEW SOURCE, copy the HTML code, and paste that back into the file on your hard drive, Save, and then PUT it again.

Generally, it's a good idea to work from your local folders and then PUT the entire site (in the FTP window) all at once. But I am a jerk and I don't do it that way.

Good luck, and happy FTPing, getting and putting!

Copyright 2006 Dina Giolitto, Wordfeeder.com Copywriting and Marketing Services for the Web

by Dina Giolitto
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