Watkins Web 2: Blog


Here’s a quick overview of FTP. Dreamweaver has FTP built in:see the Files palette. For freestanding FTP clients on the Mac, I recommend Panic’s Transmit ($34). The best free option appears to be Cyberduck, though its interface is a little clunky.

In general with FTP you have to fill out a bunch of fields correctly to connect to the server successfully. Almost all are case-sensitive, and it’s common to just make everything lower case for simplicity.

Lets review the settings assuming your name is Joe Schmoe:

Name: My Watkins web space
This is just a nickname for your own reference. Be descriptive.

Protocol: FTP
Stands for File Transfer Protocol. The most common alternative is sFTP: it’s much more secure and you should use it when you can. But our provider (Dreamhost) uses FTP.

Server: ftp.watkinswebdev.com

Username: wat_jschmoe

Password: [you got this in class]

Port: 21
Rule of thumb: FTP requires Port 21. sFTP requires Port 22. For what it’s worth, all internet traffic is sent through a port: the world wide web itself usually uses Port 80. See the Wikipedia article on port numbers for more.

Remote Path: watkinswebdev.com/jschmoe
This simply tells the FTP client to jump directly to a particular sub-folder on your server as soon as it connects (so as to save you clicking). On watkinswebdev.com we need to jump two levels down until we get to the folder that contains your “root” folder. If you sign up for hosting yourself, you might well need to use a Remote Path that looks like jschmoe/web/public/. The point is that the particular folder structure on the server usually looks a little different from the web URL structure. But once you figure out what the “root” folder is, it makes sense: Putting a file called page.html in watkinswebdev.com/jschmoe means it will be available at http://www.watkinswebdev.com/jschmoe/page.html.

Update: for your reference, here’s about what your FTP settings should look like you’re using Cyberduck:

FTP Settings