How to Set Up Dreamweaver’s FTP Features - dummies

How to Set Up Dreamweaver’s FTP Features

By Janine Warner

After you gather all your FTP information, you’re ready to set up Dreamweaver’s FTP publishing features. This process can seem daunting and often takes a few tries to get right, but the good news is that you have to do it only once.

Follow these steps to set up Dreamweaver’s FTP features and publish files to a web server:

  1. Choose Site→Manage Sites.

    The Manage Sites dialog box opens.

  2. In the list of defined sites, double-click the name of the site you want to publish.

    If your site is not listed in this dialog box, you haven’t set up your site.

  3. Select Servers from the categories listed in the left panel of the Site Setup dialog box.

    The server list appears. If you haven’t yet set up any web servers in Dreamweaver, this list is blank

  4. Click the small plus sign at the bottom left of the server list area.

    The Basic category opens in the servers dialog box and FTP is automatically selected. (If you need to use an option other than FTP, see the list explaining all the Dreamweaver options by the Technical Stuff icon at the end of these steps.)


  5. Enter a name in the Server Name field.

    You can name your server anything you like. Choose a name that will enable you to easily choose among the servers you’ve set up. (If you use only one web server to host your site, the choice doesn’t matter as much as it does if you host your site on multiple servers — something generally done only by very large or international sites.)

  6. Enter the FTP address for your web server account.

    Again this information depends on how your web server is set up, but most use one of the following:,, or simply without anything at the beginning of the domain.

  7. In the Username and Password fields, type your username (sometimes called a login name) and password.

    Again, this information is unique to your account on your web server.

  8. Select the Save box to the right of the Password field if you want Dreamweaver to store your access information.

    This step is handy because you can then automatically connect to the server anytime you want to upload or download pages. However, selecting Save could enable anyone with access to your computer to gain access to your web server.

  9. Click the Test button to make sure you’ve entered everything correctly.

    Making a mistake is easy, so the capability to test the connection and make any needed adjustments before you close this dialog box is helpful. If you connect with no problems, you see a message stating that Dreamweaver connected to your web server successfully.

    If you do have trouble connecting to your site, skip ahead to Step 11 for a few advanced options that may help.

  10. In the Root Directory field, type the directory on the remote site in which documents visible to the public are stored (also known as the local site folder).

    The root directory usually looks something like this: public_html/ or www/htdocs/. Again, how your server directory is set up may vary depending on your service provider.

    If you upload your files to the wrong directory on your server, they won’t be visible when you view your site through a browser.

  11. Click the small arrow to the left of More Options.

    You may not need to change any of these settings, but if you’re having trouble connecting to your server, and you’re sure you’ve entered your user name, password, and FTP address correctly, adjusting these settings may enable you to connect.

    Try selecting and deselecting each option in this area in turn, and then clicking the Test button after each change, to see if any of these adjustments makes the difference and enables you to connect to your server.

    A little experimentation with settings before waiting on hold with tech support is usually worth the effort. But if you’re really having trouble establishing a connection with your server, call or e-mail the tech support staff at your web server.


  12. After clicking Test successfully connects to your server, click Save to save your settings.

Dreamweaver saves all your FTP settings (assuming you opted to save the password). After you enter these settings properly and know that the connection works, you never have to enter them again. You can then access your web server from the Files panel in Dreamweaver, as you discover in the exercise that follows.

Dreamweaver provides seven Access options. If you work at a large company or university, you are likely to use one of these options rather than FTP. The options available from the Connect Using drop-down list in the Server Setup dialog box are as follows:

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol): Select this option to use Dreamweaver’s built-in File Transfer Protocol features. You’re most likely to need these settings if you’re using a commercial web-hosting service.

  • SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol): Select this option if your web server requires a more secure connection.

  • FTP over SSL/TLS (implicit encryption): This option provides a more secure FTP connection, but the server can allow the client to work in an unsecure mode.

  • FTP over SSL/TLS (explicit encryption): This option provides a more secure FTP connection and the server drops the connection if it is not deemed secure.

  • Local/Network: Select this option if you’re using a web server on a local network, such as your company or university server. For specific settings and requirements, check with your system administrator.

  • webDAV (web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning): Select this option if you’re using a server with the webDAV protocol, such as Microsoft IIS.

  • RDS (Rapid Development Services): Select this option if you’re using ColdFusion on a remote server.