Uploading (easier than you think)

Right now, I’m going to talk about something that you will probably
have to do at least once, if you want to  make your own site. 

This particular post, is for the “newbies”.  Those of you who are
familiar with the whole uploading thing…go have a coffee.  I’ll cover
something for you another day.

When you upload files to your web host, you will use a program called an “FTP program”.  FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of programs you can choose from.  I’m going to suggest a free program called FileZilla.

Using FileZilla, I’m going to take you through the process of
connecting to your host, finding your files on your computer and
uploading to your site.

First, and overview of the Filezilla interface. 

If you click on the image to the right, it will open in a new window.

Don’t get scared. 

At the very top, you’ll see a series of icons, and to the right of
that, four entry fields for address, username, password and port.  This
is where you will enter the login information for your web hosting
account. 

On the left hand side of the program, is the “local site” section. 
This represents your computer and the files on it.  There are two
sections.  Let’s take a closer look:

 

The top section. is a series of folders, with plus signs beside
them.  This is what is known as the “folder tree” for your computer. 
This is for navigation through your computer.   You won’t use this
section for uploading.  This is a great way to get through several
folders to where you have your files stored.  Assuming that your hard
drive is called C: (and you are using a Windows Computer).  You’ll want to go to C:\Documents and Settings\your name
You might have your files stored in a folder on the Desktop, in which
case you’ll go to C:\Documents and Settings\your name\Desktop.  If you
put it in a folder in the My Documents folder you’ll go to C:\Documents
and Settings\your name\My Documents.  When you click on a folder in the
top section, you will see the contents of that folder in the bottom
section (both sections are pictured above).

Take a look to the right side of the screen (directly beside the
left side that we’ve just looked at.  This is where your files at your
host will be located.  Right now, since we aren’t connected, you
shouldn’t see anything here.  When you are connected, it will simply be
a matter of dragging your files from the left-hand side over to the
right hand side.  What could be easier than that?

These are the two most important sections.  You don’t really need to know much else.  However, for completeness, I’ll go over the other sections that matter.

Now, take a look below the two sections we’ve already talked about.  You’ll see the section I will refer to as the queue.

 This section should be blank right now.  But when you have
connected and dragged files to the right-hand side, the names of the
files will appear here, as well as an indication of the uploading
status. 

Directly above the “local site” (left-hand) and the “remote site”
(right-hand) sections, you’ll see a blank section. This will contain
the server responses.  For the most part, you will be able to ignore
these sections.  But watching this section will show you any problems
that might occur, and will help you know if you have been disconnected.

This will be easiser to under stand if we see it all in action,
so let’s login. You will need to know your address, username and
password.  Most hosts will provide this for you almost immediately
after you sign up.  In the address field, you will enter your FTP
address.   In the username field, you’ll enter your user name.  And in
the password field, you’ll enter your password.  Makes sense, right?  
If you don’t know any of these, you’ll really need to contact your host
to get it.  Once you’ve entered this information, click the “Quickconnect” button. 

Wait.  What about the port field?  You shouldn’t have to
enter anything here.  Unless your host is somewhat unusual, they will
use port number 21, which is standard for FTP.  In which case, the port
number will automatically fill itself in when you click the
Quickconnect button.

As you are connecting, you will see some text in the
Response are scroll by.  This may happen very quickly.  Don’t worry. 
Just pay attention to the colours.  If you see any red text, take a
look at what this says, because that is an error message.  If you don’t
see any red, that’s good!  Its working.  Once you are connected, you’ll
see quite a change in the Remote site section.

Here’s where you need more information from your host.  You need to
know where you will put your files.  With some hosts, you’ll see a
folder as soon as you login that has your domain name (yourname.com). 
With others you’ll see a folder called www or public_html.  Chances
are, this information is found in the email that your host sent to you
when you signed up.  Open whatever folder you are supposed to place
your files in, and then pay attention to the local site section (left
side).  Locate the folder with your files and open it on the left
side.  You want to see the files for your site in the lower portion of
the local site section.  
It should looks something like the image to the right.  I’d like to
draw your attention to the folder that doesn’t have a name.  Beside it,
you should see two periods (..).  This is not an actual folder.  If you
are inside a folder, you can click this to go up one level.  For
example, if you opened the images folder seen in the image above, and
then wanted to go back to the main folder (where you index file is),
you would just double-click the nameless folder.

Click once on one file to highlight it.  Then, on your keyboard,
hold down the CTRL + A keys.  This will highlight all of the files and
folders you see. 

Turn your attention to the remote site section, and make sure you
are in the location where your files are supposed to go (inside the
yourname.com folder, or the www folder or the public_html folder – once
again, if you aren’t sure contact your host).

With your mouse, drag the files from the local side to the remote
side and let them go.  You will see some action in the queue, showing
the upload progress.  Once a file is uploaded, it will remove itself
from the queue.  Once all the files are uploaded, the queue will be
empty and you are finished uploading. 

You’re done!  Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

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