Accessing your Server
Now that FileZilla is installed, plug in your login information, and if you are on a RazorVolt server, you should see a directory with up to 2 folders in the right side window: an ‘html’ folder and optionally a ‘cgi-bin’ folder. The Html folder is all we will be concerned with.
Important: Anything placed inside the ‘html’ directory will be placed online and can be seen by the world. Do not place anything private in the ‘html’ directory! You can NOT hide anything online.
If you are in the internship program or are still deciding on a domain name, you should have been provided a temporary URL to use. If you already have a domain name registered and directed to your webhost, you should now be able to access your site using your domain name.
Either way, for the duration of this tutorial let’s say your access URL is http://yoursite.com
Here is a table of how files uploaded to various directories can be accessed through a browser.
|Upload location through FileZilla||Accessed through a browser|
|/outside_html_folder.jpg||N/A (The file is not online)|
See a pattern? It’s not too hard to figure out right? The ‘html’ folder is your door to the internet. Anything you put in there becomes part of your public website, including directories and files that aren’t html files or images.
A few tips:
- In FileZilla, the left side is your computer, and the right side is your server. So, dragging a file from left to right is uploading, and dragging from right to left is downloading. Make sure you don’t mix these up! You don’t want to spend a lot of time updating a file on your computer, then mistakenly downloading the outdated file from the server OVER the file you were working on.
- Keep a permanent copy of your html folder on your computer. If you need to change something, change it on your copy, then upload that file to your server. Don’t get into the habit of downloading a file, editing it, then uploading it back.
- HTML files are internally simply text files (.txt). To create one, just create a text file, edit it, then change its extension to .html or .htm. (Either will work, just be consistent)
- index.html is a magic filename. The webserver always assumes you are looking for index.html unless you specify otherwise. What that means is, when you type in http://yoursite.com, you are actually looking at http://yoursite.com/index.html.
- The same goes for directories. http://yoursite.com/fruits will automatically look for http://yoursite.com/fruits/index.html . So you should have an index.html in every directory, even a simple one, to avoid getting an error.
- Completely avoid using uppercase, spaces and “weird” characters (eg. #$%) in your directory names and filenames. They’re not all technically illegal, but you’ll have to trust me that they’ll get you into trouble later. Underscores (not dashes) are the exception, they’re benign.
- If you have a series of files that need to be sorted by date, I recommend using the YYYYMMDD naming convention. That is, 4 digits for the year, 2 digits for the month and 2 digits for the day. So a series of files would this would always be correctly sorted. Remember those leading zeroes!
- 20080712_inventory.html (code for July 12, 2008)
- 20081030_inventory.html (code for October 30, 2008)
- 20080805_inventory.html (code for August 5, 2008)
- 20090215_inventory.html (code for February 15, 2009)
Now that you’re a master of FileZilla, it’s time to quiz what we’ve learned!