Defining a Remote Site in Dreamweaver

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As with defining a local site, entering remote site information in Dreamweaver can be done either in Basic (Site Wizard) or Advanced mode. The latter is more efficienta little bit scarier for web publishing newbiesthan using the Site Wizard and offers more options.

To define remote information for a Dreamweaver site using Advanced mode, open the Site Definition dialog box (choose Site > Manage Sites, or choose Manage Sites from the Site panel's site-selection drop-down menu). In the Manage Sites dialog box, select your site and click Edit. When the Site Definition dialog box appears, click the Advanced tab to bring it to the front, and go to the Remote Info category (see Figure 18.1). The only option available when you first view the Remote Info section is the Access menu. What you select here dynamically generates the remaining options. The following sections look at your choices here.

Figure 18.1. The Advanced Site Definition window with Remote Info selected.

Specifying No Connection

Choosing None as your access method offers no options and restricts you from uploading your site via Dreamweaver. You also cannot utilize some of the advanced site-management features in Dreamweaver if you don't establish a remote connection.

Although having no remote access method established in the site definition prohibits you from using Dreamweaver to perform remote site functions (such as uploading your site), you can still do this with a third-party FTP client such as CuteFTP on Windows (www. cuteftp .com/) or Transmit ( on the Mac. If you're not familiar with such practices, however, it's recommended that you use the built-in remote site-management features of Dreamweaver.


FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is easily the most widely used method for uploading web pages to a server (see Figure 18.2). You will almost certainly use this method when creating other organizations' web pages. Similar to Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP, the protocol used to transfer web pages over the Internet), FTP requires a client and server application. In this instance, Dreamweaver acts as the FTP client. Software on the remote server acts as the FTP server. If you choose FTP as your access method in Dreamweaver, the Site Definition dialog box asks you for the following information (see Figure 18.2):

Figure 18.2. The Site Definition dialog box ready to set up an FTP connection to the remote site.

  • FTP Host This enables you to specify the address for the remote host of your web server. An example is or . If you don't know this information, contact your network administrator or host provider (ISP).

  • Host Directory This specifies the directory on the server where your uploaded site will be located. A directory on the server is just like a folder on your local computer. A lot of servers have the site root set as www.htdocs , or public_html/ . If you are unsure about the host directory, leave it blank. This will default to the main directory of the FTP host. (Some hosts use the username/password combination to automatically direct you to the proper directory.) If there is an incorrect path in the host directory field, Dreamweaver might fail to connect even though your FTP information is correct, and you can connect with other FTP clients . If you are having trouble connecting, remove any value from the Host Directory field. After you can connect, you can verify the correct folder.

  • Login This is the username of your account.

  • Password This is the password used to authenticate your account and gain access to the FTP server.

  • Use Passive FTP Required by some firewalls, this enables Dreamweaver to set up the FTP session instead of having the FTP server do it. If you're unsure what this should be, leave it unchecked and ask your network administrator.

  • Use Firewall This dictates whether Dreamweaver should use the firewall preferences to connect to the FTP server. Ask your network administrator if you need to set these.

  • Use Secure FTP This enables you to encrypt your login information. It does not encrypt the files that are being transferred. To enable SSH on a Mac, Dreamweaver uses Putty, a free program that does the encrypting. You need to download Putty and install it before you can use the encryption. Go to the Dreamweaver Support Center (

  • Use Check In/Check Out This enables Dreamweaver's versioning software and is discussed in detail in Chapter 19, "Workplace Collaboration."

You can set several more options for all of your sites' FTP connections in the Preferences > Site dialog box.


A local/network connection is used when the web server you will be publishing your pages on is located on the same local area network (LAN) as you are. Often this option is used when developing a company intranet site or if you are providing the design and hosting for a site.

For this connection type, you must provide the path to the remote folder (see Figure 18.3). You can either type the information or use the Browse button to locate your remote site folder.

Figure 18.3. The Site Definition dialog box ready to set up a Local/ Network connection to the remote site.

With this method of connection, you have the option of refreshing the remote file list automatically. If enabled, this causes Dreamweaver to refresh the file list for you (for example, reconnect to the remote folder and regenerate the list of remote files) every time files are added or deleted to the remote file. If you don't enable this option, you can still do this manually by clicking the Refresh button in the Site panel toolbar or choosing View > Refresh from the Site panel menu bar.

SourceSafe Database, RDS, and WebDAV

Visual SourceSafe, RDS, and WebDAV are all versioning systems that is, tools that allow multiple developers to work together and keep track of files so that developers don't overwrite each others work. Visual SourceSafe (VSS) is a Microsoft program. RDS and WebDAV are protocols (like FTP), meaning that they are a set of rules used to communicate and track files. A protocol is a set of rules that computers agree upon to transfer files back and forth. These remote setting options are all just different ways of connecting to other computers and transferring files.

To learn more about Visual SourceSafe and WebDAV, and how they work in Dreamweaver, see Chapter 19.

What about the Site Wizard? In the Site Wizard (from the Basic tab of the Site Definition dialog box), remote site information is added in the Testing Files section. When you get to this screen of the wizard, you're asked "How do you connect to your testing server?" The answer to this wizard question gives Dreamweaver the information it needs to set up your remote site. The same basic choices are available here as in the Advanced tab of the dialog box, beginning with choosing an access method.

Exercise 18.1. Setting Up Remote Information for a Dreamweaver Site

In this exercise, you will set up the remote site information for the e*Books site. This is the site used in the previous chapter, built from files in the chapter_17 folder on the book's website at If you haven't already done so, download the chapter_17 folder and define a site called e*Books , with this as the local root folder.

  1. Set up the remote folder. For this exercise, assume that your workstation will double as your web server, so your remote folder will be another folder on the same computer. For this purpose, create a new folder on your computer. Call it webserver .

    In the real world, if you were going to use your own computer as a web server, would you bother specifying a local and remote folder? Why not just publish the local folder and not have to worry about any remote site? Even in this unlikely circumstance, you're better off defining separate local and remote folders because you can work on the local copies of your files while the general public is busy surfing your remote files.

  2. Back in Dreamweaver, choose Site > Manage Sites. Select the e*Books site and click Edit.

  3. This opens the Site Definition dialog box. Make sure the Advanced tab is in the front, and, from the categories at the left, choose Remote Info.

  4. From the Access method pop-up menu, choose Local/Network. This adds a series of input fields to the dialog box.

  5. The most important task here is to tell Dreamweaver where the remote folder is. Click the Browse button and use the dialog box that appears to navigate to your webserver folder.

    Dreamweaver/Windows users must be inside the webserver folder before clicking Select. Dreamweaver/Mac users must be outside the webserver folder and must have it selected in the dialog box before clicking Choose.

  6. You can also set your Local/Network connection options. Enable Refresh Local File List Automatically. Leave the other two options unselected .

  7. That's it! Figure 18.4 shows what your settings should look like. Click OK to close the Site Definition dialog box. Then Click Done to close the Edit Site dialog box.

    Figure 18.4. The Remote Info category of the Site Definition dialog box for the e*Books site.

That's all there is to it! Now you are ready to rock and roll (and publish your site as well).

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Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 Demystified
Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 Demystified
ISBN: 0735713847
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 188
Authors: Laura Gutman © 2008-2017.
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