Create a Remote Server Connection in Dreamweaver - dummies

Create a Remote Server Connection in Dreamweaver

By David Karlins, Doug Sahlin

In addition to defining a local “home” folder for your Dreamweaver site, you will, at some point, define a remote location for your site on the Internet as well. You don’t have to have a remote location for your site picked out to start building the local version of it, but eventually — to upload your site to the web — you will need to define a remote site location.

Both the local and the remote locations become part of a single, defined Dreamweaver site.

Again, to emphasize the point: You don’t have to have a hosting service to begin with as you start to build a website on your local computer. You can certainly create site content, test it in a browser, and share it with clients or collaborators (on your own computer) without a hosting connection.

Before you do define a remote location for your site, you need to have arranged with a web-hosting service to upload your site. This is the service that hosts your site on the Internet.

After you acquire a host, you can define a connection to that host in Dreamweaver CS6. And, with that connection defined, you can upload content from your local computer to your live, online site.

When you sign up for a hosting service, you’ll get three key pieces of information that will allow you to upload files:

  • An FTP address: This is the path to your Internet site location.

    This is different than your URL (website address). Your hosting service must provide you with an FTP address.

  • A user name: Sometimes called a “login,” your user name is required to connect to your server.

  • A password: In addition to a unique user name, your server hosting company will provide you with an initial password. Usually this is accompanied by instructions on how to change that password to one you can remember.

    Make sure to define (and carefully save) your password before defining a remote server connection in Dreamweaver.

You do not need to have a remote hosting service to create websites in Dreamweaver. If you haven’t yet acquired a hosting service, you can simply skip this element of defining a Dreamweaver site and return to it later when you have contracted for site hosting and are ready to upload your site to the Internet.

To define a remote server connection in Dreamweaver, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Site→Manage Sites from the main Dreamweaver menu.

    The Manage Sites dialog box opens.


  2. If multiple sites appear in the list in the Manage Sites dialog box, double-click the site you wish to edit to open the Site Setup dialog box.

  3. Click the Servers category in the left column of the Site Setup dialog box for your site. Then click the plus sign “+” icon at the bottom of the dialog box to create a new server connection.

    A new Site Setup [Your Site Name] dialog box opens with a Basic and an Advanced tab.

    The Advanced tab allows you to change how and when Dreamweaver sends files to your server. One of those options automatically uploads saved pages from your local computer to your remote site, which is, generally speaking, a bad idea. Other options enable tools used in collaborative environments.

  4. Select the Basic tab (if not selected).


  5. Define the server connection by filling in these fields:

    • Server Name: Enter a name that helps you remember what server connection you’re defining. This need not be a regular filename; it can have spaces, uppercase letters, and special characters.

    • Connect Using: Choose FTP.

    • FTP Address: An FTP address is supplied to you when you sign up for a web-hosting service.

    • User Name: Your hosting service supplies you with a user name.

    • Password: In the Password field, you can create your own.

    • Root Directory and Web URL: Leave this field blank, unless you get specific instructions from your hosting service to enter a Root Directory.

    • Web URL: Leave this field blank as well. Entering a wrong URL will corrupt (or mess up) your server connection. The correct URL is calculated and filled in automatically by Dreamweaver when you establish a connection to your remote site.

  6. Click the Test button in the Site Setup dialog box.

    If all goes well, you’ll see the message shown here.


  7. After you successfully test your server connection, click the Save button on the Servers tab of the Site Setup dialog to save the settings.