From Registering A Domain To Getting It Online - Part Three

Ok, you're nearly finished registering your domain name, so hang in there just a little while longer...

After you have opened an account with a web host and set the DNS you can start uploading your web pages.

The most common way to do this is to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software but there are also some other options.

FTP is an Internet Protocol (like HTTP) that allows data files to be transferred from one computer to another. Your web host will provide information about how to connect to your site using FTP.

Usually you use FTP software such as WS_FTP or FileZilla to connect to the FTP server on your website.

The address of the FTP server is usually ftp.hobbyandlifestyle.com (where www.hobbyandlifestyle.com is the domain name).

Your host will also tell you the location where files should be uploaded. Your account will probably have two main folders in the root directory – public_html and www. Your web pages should be uploaded to the public_html folder.

The www folder is a mirror folder which allows people to find your site by using either www.hobbyandlifestyle.com or hobbyandlifestyle.com.

You may have to adjust a few settings in your FTP software to upload files correctly. For example, if you are using a firewall on your computer you should set the transfer method to passive. If you are using a proxy you will have to adjust the proxy settings.

Files can be sent or received in either binary or ASCII mode

If they are transferred using the incorrect mode they may end up with errors on completion of the transfer. 

Your FTP software may try to determine which mode to use by examining the contents of the files, or you may have to manually specify the transfer mode.

Files that should be sent in ASCII mode include HTML (and variants like HTM, SHTML, DHTML, etc.) TXT, CGI, C, ASP, JS etc. Basically, any file that can be viewed in a text editor should be transferred in ASCII mode.

Binary mode, on the other hand, is used to transfer everything else – graphics, compiled programs, and media files.

Using the FTP software, make a connection to your web server. Browse to the folder where you want to upload files (usually by clicking on the folder icons) and then find the local files you wish to upload. Whole directories or individual files may be uploaded.

You can name most of the pages of your website anything you like, but there is one essential file in each directory – index.html or a variant (index.htm, index.shtml etc). This means that your home page has to use this name.

The home page can be viewed by typing https://www.hobbyandlifestyle.com or www.hobbyandlifestyle.com/index.htm .

In the first case, if there is no file named index.htm the contents of your root directory will be shown.

Without an index file in each directory, anybody who browses to that directory can see all the files there. This presents an enormous security risk as well as exposing private information to public view.

Understanding FTP or File Transfer Protocol

FTP is the most common way to upload files to your website but is by no means the only way. Some web authoring packages have built in transfer methods to automatically upload your entire site or individual pages.

Microsoft FrontPage is an example of this type of transfer method. In order to take advantage of it you need to have FrontPage extensions installed on your website.

You can request this feature from your web host.

Other authoring packages have built-in FTP software so that you can build your site and upload with one familiar interface.

You can also build sites online. Some web hosts give you access to browser controlled software that allows you to lay out web pages.

Once you are finished the page is automatically saved to the proper location on your server.

This type of web builder is usually available through the control panel of your hosting account.

To learn more about web hosting and building your own website, click here to return to the Web Hosting home page

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