Got everything organized? Then all that's left is to move everything to the server. Once your files have been uploaded to a directory that the server exposes on the Web, you're officially published on the Web. That's all there is to putting your pages online.
Where's the appropriate spot on the server, however? You should ask your webmaster for this information. Also, you should find out how to access that directory on the server, whether it's simply copying files, using FTP to put them on the server, or using some other method.
Moving Files Between Systems
If you're using a web server that has been set up by someone else, usually you'll have to upload your web files from your system to theirs using FTP, SCP (secure copy), or some other method. Although the HTML markup within your files is completely crossplatform, moving the actual files from one type of system to another sometimes has its drawbacks. In particular, be careful to do the following:
Using FTP to Upload Files
In the preceding list of tips about moving files, I talked a little bit about FTP. If you already know how to transfer files using FTP, you can just skip this section.
Most web surfers have used FTP whether they know it or not. When you download a file from a remote site to save on your computer, sometimes it's transferred via FTP rather than HTTP. When you're publishing files to a website, the way you use FTP is a bit different.
When you download files from a public site, generally you log in anonymouslythe browser takes care of that for you. When you publish files using FTP, you log in with a specific username and password.
You'll have to get the username and password you'll use to publish files using FTP from your Internet service provider or system administrator.
Another difference between file downloads using FTP and publishing files using FTP is that when you publish files, you'll probably use an interactive FTP session. In other words, rather than just connecting, uploading a file, and disconnecting in one step, you'll create an FTP session, upload or download files as needed, and then disconnect. You'll manually open and close the connection and perform the required tasks while that session is open.
One nice thing about FTP is that there are many clients available. First of all, all popular browsers can be used as FTP clients. That's why you can download files from FTP sites transparently using your browser. However, I recommend that you skip right past them and use something else to publish files. The FTP capabilities in web browsers were designed to make it easy to download one file, not upload an entire website.
One option that's often available is publishing files through your HTML editing tool. Many popular HTML and text editors have built-in support for FTP. You should definitely check your tool of choice to see whether it enables you to transfer files using FTP from directly within the application. Some popular tools that provide FTP support include Adobe Dreamweaver and HomeSite, Barebones BBEdit, and Microsoft FrontPage. Text editors like UltraEdit and jEdit support saving files to a server via FTP as well. There are many others.
If your HTML editor doesn't support FTP, or if you're transferring images, multimedia files, or even bunches of HTML files at once, you'll probably want a dedicated FTP client. FTP is common enough that there are many, many excellent FTP clients available. A list of some popular choices follows:
How the FTP client is used varies depending on which client you choose, but there are some commonalities among all of them that you can count on (more or less). You'll start out by configuring a site consisting of the hostname of the server where you'll publish the files, your username and password, and perhaps some other settings that you can leave alone if you're just getting started.
If you're sharing a computer with other people, you probably won't want to store the password for your account on the server in the FTP client. Make sure that the site is configured so that you have to enter your password every time you connect to the remote site.
Once you've set up your FTP client to connect to your server, you can connect to the site. Depending on your FTP client, you should be able to simply drag files onto the window that shows the list of files on your site to upload them, or drag them from the listing on the server to your local computer to download them.
Remote Management Tools
Most HTML editing tools enable you to manage and update the contents of your pages on a remote web server.
Microsoft's FrontPage is a web development tool aimed at small to medium websites. FrontPage provides a WYSIWYG page editor and a site manager for managing document trees and links, as well as a variety of server extensions that can be used with a variety of servers, ranging from Windows-based to UNIX servers.
These extensions enable Frontpage users to add a variety of features, including interactive discussion groups and other interactive features. These extensions also enable you to use FrontPage to upload files on the server as you make changes to your site. FrontPage enables you to publish your website to a remote server, regardless of whether it has the FrontPage Server Extensions installed.
Other site development and management tools, such as Adobe HomeSite, GoLive, and Dreamweaver (www.adobe.com), enable you to develop offline and then update the content on a remote server.