The process by which files are transferred to the web server is called “FTP” (File Transfer Protocol). You have unlimited access via FTP 24-hours a day. As such, you can create and maintain your web pages on your own computer and upload files to your web site at your leisure.
If you need an FTP program, you can download software for the PC below.
- WS_FTP for Windows users
Configuring Your FTP Software
The following information is contained within your account activation notice and is needed to connect to your web site via FTP:
- USER ID
- FTP HOSTNAME
The hostname tells your FTP software to connect to the web server upon which your web site resides. In general, the process of configuring the various FTP software programs is the same. We recommend WS_FTP 32 bit for PC computer users and we will be using it in the upcoming examples.
Each time you run WS_FTP, the Session Profile window will be displayed. A profile contains the information needed to connect to your web site. Creating a profile now will eliminate the need for you to configure the software each time you wish to connect to the web server via FTP. To create a new profile, click the New button and enter a generic profile name at the top of the Session Profile window. Next, enter the User ID, password, and hostname for your web site as illustrated below. Do not forget to enter the remote host\’s initial directory of /web.
Be sure to select Auto detect for the Host Type. (see Fig.1) It is best to select Save Password and Auto Save Config to maintain these settings for future use. All other fields can be left blank. Do not forget to enter the remote host\’s initial directory of /web. You are now ready to connect to the web server. Click Ok to continue.
How to Transfer Files
When you connect to the web server, you will connect directly to the home directory of your account. This assumes you entered the remote host\’s initial directory as /web.
WS_FTP will display a split screen where files on the left-hand side are within your own computer. (See Fig.2) You will see several folders on the right-hand side which indicate a successful connection to your web site.
You can transfer files directly to the root level of your web site and/or create subdirectories. The only system directory that you may need to use is cgi-bin which is where you should upload your own custom CGI scripts.
LINUX: Our servers will look for a home page in the following order: index.html and then index.htm. If both of these files exist, the server will display the index.html.
IMPORTANT: LINUX file names are case sensitive which means Index.htm is NOT the same file as index.htm. Therefore, you should always use lower case letters for all your web pages and images. You should also avoid using spaces in file and directory names.
Be sure to upload HTML documents and scripts in ASCII mode and images in BINARY mode. To transfer a file to a subdirectory, double-click the appropriate subdirectory to open it before transferring the desired file(s).
As soon as a file is uploaded to the web server, it is available for all to see as long as it is placed in the root directory of your web site (/web). If you upload the file to the wrong directory on your web server, it will not be visible when someone visits your web site.
If, after uploading a file, you are still unable to see the updated file via your web browser, you need to clear both disk and browser cache. Remember that you must first be connected to the Internet through your local Internet service provider in order to connect to the web server.
Acceptable File Names
Our UNIX operating system (LINUX) is case sensitive. In other words, the file name faq.html is NOT the same as FAQ.html. If your HTML code references a faq.html, but the actual file name is in uppercase, this will result in a File Not Found error. This applies to directory names as well.
To prevent errors, we suggest naming all files in lowercase. Spaces and and special control characters are generally not a good idea. The underscore character (_) is acceptable. You should avoid special characters ( ! @ # $ % ^ & * : \’ ) in file names. We suggest that you keep the length of file names to a minimum. The tilde (~) cannot be used in directory or file names.
Notes to Mac Users
- When using Fetch, select text to transfer HTML pages and Perl scripts, and select raw data to transfer images, sounds, movies, pdf files, and most other formats.
Viewing Web Pages After Uploading
Webmasters often modify an HTML document and re-upload it to the server. After returning to their web browser they click RELOAD only to find the original document unchanged. This is a common occurrence and is easily remedied by clearing the browser\’s memory cache. You might also need to shut down your broswer and restart it.
What should I do if denied access via FTP?
- If you can access your account Control Panel, but cannot access your account via FTP, then your FTP configurations may be incorrect.
- If you are denied access AFTER entering your user ID and password, you may be using the wrong password. Check the activation notice sent to you via email when the account was first set up. If you changed your password and it doesn’t seem to be working, contact support to reset your password.