In order to begin managing a new or existing website’s files on a remote hosting server, you must know how to setup FTP credentials into a file management software, such as Adobe Dreamweaver or File Zilla.
For newbies, FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and is a method of transferring files from one host server to another over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. A common example of this process in action, is a web designer drafting new code for a website and uploading it via FTP to store on an online hosting server like GoDaddy or HostMonster.
For more information about understanding the basics of FTP, read the University of Indiana’s brief introduction.
This FTP setup tutorial will simply be confined to using Adobe’s Dreamweaver (Creative Cloud Version), however, these simple concepts can be applied to any previous versions of Dreamweaver, or an alternate file management software.
Let’s begin, shall we?
- Within Dreamweaver, access the Manage Sites window by clicking Site > Manage Sites… from the top toolbar menu.
This window allows us to view a list of saved site credentials we may have already entered, as well as allow us to input new site access information. You may double-click on any item within the list to edit an existing site’s details.
- To input FTP information for a new site, click the “New Site” button found at the bottom-right of the Site Management window. This will prompt the Site Setup window to appear, where we’ll enter the basic details for our new site.
- Under “Site Name:” enter the domain name of your new site.
Be sure to include its extension, but exclude the “http://” or “www.” prefix (ie. “yourdomainname.com”)
I recommend using all lowercase characters, to minimize errors, as web servers handle capitalization differently.
- Create a folder for your site cache
From just beneath Site Name, locate and select (or create) a new folder for your site’s backup files (web cache) to reside. I recommend titling the folder with your domain name and its extension (ie. “yourdomainname.com” )
- Before saving the details, select the “Servers” tab
The Servers tab is found on the left side of the Site Setup window. This section allows us to setup or edit the remote server connection.
- Click the plus sign (+) in the lower left corner to set up a new remote connection.
- Title your Server Name exactly as you named your domain in the initial setup (ie: “yourdomainname.com”)
- Opt to connect using FTP in the dropdown menu below
- The FTP address will typically be “ftp.yourdomainname.com” but may also be “yourdomainname.com” if errors occur.
- The Username and Password will be the same as you created with your web hosting account (I prefer HostMonster).
If you have trouble remembering your login credentials, you can always obtain them from your web host, but they typically send them in an email upon creation of your account.
- The save button next to the Password allows you to save the password for future connections.
If you are on a trusted computer, always check this box.
- The Root Directory is typically “public_html/” however, you may also try just a slash “/”.
- Your Web URL is the complete domain name of your site (ie: “http://yourdomainname.com”)
- Click the “Test” button to attempt to create a connection with your remote server.
- If you receive a “Successful Connection” message, save your details and exit the Server Setup menu.
- Click “Done” to close out of the Manage Sites window.
The Files panel will now display the content of the local folder setup
- You have now successfully created a connection to your web host!
If you have received any errors within this process, your host may require specific settings in order to connect. In this case, I’d recommend Adobe’s detailed help, or searching your host’s website to obtain proper configuration details.
And nevertheless, if you’re still struggling with this process, or any of the concepts involved, send Bytesize Media a message. We’re always happy to provide individuals or small businesses with web design and development services.
Until next time!