Uploading Files via FTP

A quick guide to uploading files to your new server

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Introduction

The premise is simple, you've spent all weekend tinkering with layouts and typing in content and now your hard drive is full to the brim with files waiting to be placed on your server.

That's where this article comes in: a quick and easy guide to placing files on your hosting account or server - using only the tools already at your disposal - no additional downloads required.

This tutorial will also outline a few basics about how web servers and basic websites work. To begin, make sure you have your FTP account details handy. Conspire hosting account customers will have one FTP account automatically assigned to their plan. Customers of other hosting plans can still follow this tutorial - just grab the login details from your hosting provider.

You will need:
  • Your FTP Login Location
    Usually your domain name, but some hosting providers may use a different location. Conspire Web Services customers can use their domain, or in some cases the IP Address of their dedicated or virtual server. Your final address should look something like ftp://yourdomainhere.com
  • Your FTP Username
  • Your FTP Password

Microsoft™ Windows

Using Windows Explorer

Linux

Using Gnome Nautilus

Cross-Platform

FileZilla (Free FTP Client)
This section assumes you're running Windows XP, Vista or 7. Older versions may work in a similar fashion - particularly Windows 2000, since it shares many similarities with XP - but, for the most part, an additional FTP client such as FileZilla would be a safer bet in such cases.

We're going to be accessing the FTP server using Windows explorer, open it up by clicking the start orb (or button in Windows XP) and then click on 'Computer' ('My Computer' on Windows XP)

If you don't have a 'computer' option in your start menu, you may have classic mode enabled.

Try double clicking the 'Computer' icon on your desktop, or launch the run dialog and type 'explorer' and then click 'OK' (or press enter). The run dialog can be started by clicking start->run, pressing [winkey+r] on your keyboard, or typing 'Run' in the Vista/7 Start Search.


Once explorer is open, click the location bar and type: ftp:// followed by your FTP server location and press the enter key.


Once explorer has contacted your server and has confirmed the server is valid and accessible, you should see a login prompt like the one above.
Enter your login details and click 'Log On' (or press enter on your keyboard)

After the login step, explorer will contact the server and request a list of files that you can work with. If this is your first time logging into your account via FTP, chances are the folder will be empty. You'll need to copy your files before they can be accessed from anywhere.

As mentioned before, this article assumes you already have some files ready to be uploaded. Open another instance of explorer and locate the files you would like to upload - probably from your documents directory, or where ever the output from your editor has been saved.


Select the files you would like to upload and then drag them onto the FTP window (you could also copy + paste the files).
This will start the upload process (which should only take a few seconds - depending on the size of the files and the speed of your internet connection)

Troubleshooting

If for any reason you see a page that looks similar to this:


It means the server doesn't know how to display your content to your browser - or it doesn't know which page you would like to show to your visitors.

Web servers need a special type of file to send to browsers - typically a HTML file (or another type of file that web scripts use - such as PHP)

Most websites will have an Index page that is used as the first page a visitor sees - if your website doesn't have an index page, you should create one (or choose one of the existing files you have and rename it)

HTML Index files should be named: index.html or index.htm

Images are another tricky little area. Sometimes website editing software will create links to your images that are specific to your computer and thus, may need to be changed to work properly on a web server that everyone can access.

Firstly, make sure you image has been uploaded. Then modify your HTML files and change any image source links that begin with "file:///" to http://yourdomainhere.com/yourimagename.jpg (substituting your domain and image names - note, your file extension may be .png, .gif or another image type)

Conclusion

You are now ready to view your page on the internet! Open up your web browser and navigate to http://yourdomainhere.com (remember to substitute your real domain) At this point you should see the page you have created.

Ours looks like this: FTP Upload Test: The upload was successful!

That's as far as this article goes.
If you are having trouble getting your website to display properly - please let us know