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Web Design All-in-One for Dummies® by Sue Jenkins

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Chapter 2: Publishing Your Site
In This Chapter
Finding out about FTP programs
Establishing a remote connection
Testing files in a test directory
Transferring files with FTP
Publishing your site
I
t’s finally time to publish your site! At this stage, you have done quite a
bit of work. You’ve planned, organized, and gathered information for your
site; designed a mock-up; optimized all the graphics; built out all the pages;
tested and validated an entire Web site; and registered a domain and
secured a hosting plan. Now you are truly ready, at long last, to share your
site with the world. To officially publish your site and get it online for all to
see, you need to transfer all the files that make up the site — that is, all the
HTML files, images, CSS, external JavaScript files, SSIs, media files, and any
other documents for files that are accessible through the site — to the
remote server that is hosting the site.
If you have registered a domain but have not secured a hosting
plan, now is the time to do that and put in for the DNS trans-
fer because you’ll need the hosting plan to be up and run-
ning before you can transfer files to the server.
Otherwise, if the hosting plan is ready, go dig up the
information the host provider sent to you that shows
the plan’s username and password and includes any
special instructions about FTP (File Transfer
Protocol) and transferring files to the host’s remote
server. FTP is the most common way to transfer
files to a remote server, so that’s what I discuss in
this chapter.
In addition to finding out how to set up a remote con-
nection to a host server with FTP, this chapter instructs
you on how to transfer your local files both to and from the
server, create a test directory on the server, upload your site
to the test directory for a final round of testing, and finally, upload
the site to the root level of the remote server to officially publish the site on
the Web.
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Uploading Files with File Transfer Protocol
572
Uploading Files with File Transfer Protocol
File Transfer Protocol, which you can call FTP for short, refers to a standard
TCP/IP Internet protocol that allows the exchange of files between remote
computers over the Internet. To initiate an FTP session, a client (you) must
use special software or some kind of Internet interface to log on and gain
access to the remote server. Logging on typically requires the input of a spe-
cial username or ID and a password that the host provider furnished when
you (or your client) purchased the hosting plan. For example, if your name
is Mary Miller and your site is called MillerCheeseSticks.com, your host
provider might automatically generate a username/ID and password for
you, such as mmillmiller and zc79ole7. Not all host providers generate the
username and password combo for you. Some provide you with temporary
account information and the opportunity of resetting your username/ID and
password to something else after you log on to your site.
After access to the remote server has been established for the FTP session,
you may begin getting (downloading) and putting (uploading) files between
your local computer and the remote server. Remember, the remote server is
the live host, which means that as soon as files are copied onto the remote
server, they’re publicly accessible on the Internet! When you are finished
transferring your files, to end the FTP session, log off or otherwise discon-
nect from the remote server. The whole process is surprisingly simple.
Choosing the right FTP program
You can use many different FTP applications to transfer your files. Although
their interfaces may be somewhat different, most FTP applications allow
you to do the same things with your files, such as viewing a listing of files
by name, date, and size and allowing you to transfer, copy, rename, and
delete files and directories on the remote server.
FTP programs come in four different flavors; a stand-alone software applica-
tion, an integrated feature of another software program, a tool on a host
provider’s Web site control panel, or a component of a browser interface:
Software programs: Stand-alone software programs, such as WS-FTP or
Fetch, must be installed on your local computer and launched like any
other program each time you need to access the remote server. You
may use the same program to access as many sites as you like, as long
as you have the correct username and password combination for each
domain. Each site can have its own “server profile.” Saved profiles
archive the FTP URL, username, and password information to make
future logons run faster.
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