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FileZilla (FTP) for Beginners

November 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Transferring files through FileZilla may seem like a simple process to most students, but those of us who spent the most time in the computer lab needed a little extra help with the basics of the program. Although Flavio does an excellent job of explaining the program in lab, I found that I needed quite a bit of practice to finally understand the program.

So because of this, I have decided to create a short FileZilla post about which problems are the most common and how to avoid them.

  1. First of all, the program can be downloaded on your own computer from the Internet and it is free, so that is helpful when considering you will be working with it most every week.
  2. To begin using the site you need your Address, Username, and password. This is the address you created from justhost.com for example, “www.brucehoppe.com.” And the username and password are the information that justhost.com emailed to you.
  3. Next, it is important to understand the layout of the site. On the left side is the information for the “Local Site” or the site you have saved on your computer in, for example, Dreamweaver. You can see exactly what the file name is by looking at the files listed right next to the “Local Site” heading. The file name of your project is important because that is what you must type in to the URL bar when you wish to view your site online.
  • For example, you may think you labeled your site lab6. In this case the correct URL would be         “www.brucehoppe.com/CS103/lab6.html.” However, you may have accidentally labeled the folder twice as lab 6 (in which case it would appear as www.brucehoppe.com/lab6/lab6.html.) And/ or, you may have “unzipped” a template (for example called: Garden), which became part of the filename, making the “Local Site” location in FileZilla appear “www.brucehoppe.com/CS103/lab6/lab6/Garden.html.
  • The lesson from these complications is that you must ALWAYS remain very systematic and accurate in your file naming and know exactly where you are placing your files. Remember to always use lowercase letters and NEVER use spaces.
  1. Next, take a look at the right side of the screen where the “Remote Site” information exists. This is where you will drag the files you have saved on your “Z drive” in your computer and move them to the “public_html” file. Be careful that you choose exactly where you would like to upload the files. By this I mean, do not simply drag them into the “public_html” file but click on this file first and then choose your “CS103” folder, and then make sure you have the lab(#) folder you wish to deliver your new files into.
  2. Let’s say you have finished your Lab 5 and want to upload it to the web. You can right click after you have clicked on “CS103” and then create a new “lab5” folder inside of the CS103 folder in the “Remote Site” portion of FileZilla. The “Remote Site” bar should now say “brucehoppe/com/CS103/lab5.” After this, you drag your “lab5” from the “Local Site” to the “lab5” in the “Remote Site.” This is how you upload a site to the Internet. You can now view your site online.

Problems you may encounter:

  1. A lack of pictures on your site— Everything is in its place on your site except for the pictures, which are not appearing. The solution for this is to drag the “images” folder from the “Local Site” to the “Remote Site.” You probably did not upload this file the first time.
  2. A lack of format in your site— Another problem you may encounter is that you can see the site perfectly when viewing it on your Z drive, but it does not appear in its proper format when you upload it online. The solution to this problem may be that you have not uploaded the template, which is the format for your site.
  3. Your site does not appear when you type in the URL– If your site does not appear when you are writing in the URL you think it should be found out then you have 1.) either not published the site correctly or at all. In this case, review your steps in Filezilla and make sure you transferred the files correctly. Or 2.) you published the site to a different file location. By this I mean that you may have accidentally put it in a different folder than you meant to or added a capital letter where you did not realize, thereby naming the file incorrectly. An easy way to find out where FTP published your site is to look at the bar above the “Remote Site” section. These file names are the directories that the URL must go through to get to your site. The sequence of file names in the bar will tell you the correct URL of your site.
  • For both problems 1 and 2, the solution is file transferring. Everything must be contained and encompassed by your lab(#) folder if you want to drag that specific folder from your “Local Site” to the “Remote Site” of FileZilla. If part of your site is showing up online, the problem is probably that you forgot to drag all of the files that you used in your site.
  • Another tip: Make sure you regularly refresh your FileZilla page to ensure that your updates to both the “Local Site” and “Remote Site” are accurate.

Here is a helpful FileZilla tutorial for further information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr_u2iKfAt0

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