You have your site built and tested on your computer. It is a thing of beauty and your site navigation is all working. It is now time to publish your pages to the web. How do you transfer your files to your host server?
Publishing Your Website
When you have completed building at least your home page you will want to publish your site. Your files only become a website when they are available on the web. You can open the files on your computer with your browser and you can show your friends or family, but the world can not see your pages until they are uploaded to the proper directory on your hosting companies server.
There are a few options for publishing your site. Your web editor may have a publishing function that you can use. Depending on the editor and the server this may work well for you. The publishing function in some editors may have problems with some file types that you wish to use. If your editors publishing function does everything that you need for it to do it may be the easiest way to publish your site.
Most hosting packages include some sort of file manager that can be used to transfer your files to the server as well as copy or move files on the server. If your editor publishing function works most of the time but has problems with a certain file type you may be able to transfer those files with the site file manager.
If you want to move a larger number of files quickly and easily the best choice is to use an FTP client. An FTP client is a file transfer protocol program that you install on your computer. There are freeware FTP clients that work very well. There are also FTP clients available for purchase that may give you some features lacking in the freeware clients.
Which ever path you choose you will be transferring your files by FTP. If you are using your editor's site manager or an FTP client you will need to fill in the FTP address, user name, and password. Your hosting company will provide these to you with the information about your hosting package when you set up your hosting account. Your site manager or FTP client will be able to save this information for you so that you do not have to fill it out each time that you upload files.
If you are using the hosting service file manager you will need to be signed in to your hosting account to access the service. Select the file manager option and look for an upload button or link.
An FTP client is generally set up with a left and a right pane. In the left pane is an explorer type view on the files on your hard drive. In the right pane is a similar view of the files on the server. You can drag files from the left pane to the right pane. You can also select multiple files or folders and place them in queue for upload with an option in the context menu.
FTP clients allow you to rename files and folders on the server. You can also set file permissions through the FTP client. Files on the server can be moved by dragging and dropping in the server view. If you plan a large site and FTP client is a valuable tool.