About Web Hosts
Websites are setup on web servers that can be accessed via other clients. This is often a third-party like host gator, Go Daddy, or others. Some companies will have a local admin that can host their web site for them on a local server.
Most servers charge based upon four criteria:
- storage space – how many files, and how large you can store
- transfer bandwidth – limits the total amount of files you can transfer
- processing power & RAM – really only important if you are using web apps like Joomla, WordPress, etc.
Advanced hosting techniques can be found with more criteria, but these are typical for people and small businesses.
In a shared hosting environment, you will share your web server computer with potentially 1,000s of other websites, this is how they can charge you only $4 to $7 per month.
I find sites which offer service for less than $8 tend to not be worth the cost if you are serious about your site – as they tend put many thousands of sites on a server. I’ve heard of 40K on one server in one case.
I free host, which isn’t too bad, is 000webhost. Fairly easy to set up, and they don’t require a domain name.
Defining a Remote Site
If you want to upload the site to a server, you will need to set up a remote host connection in your Dreamweaver site definition. This assumes you already have a site definition defined so that your project is more organized.
- Open the Site Definition
- Go to the Remote Info category
- Select access type – most common is FTP
- You will have to enter the FTP information
- FTP Host (computer that you host on most likely – may be a name, or an IP address like 188.8.131.52)
- Host Directory – check with hosting company, most common is none, or public_html
- Login – you were given this when you created your account
- Password – You probably set this up when you created your account
Always test to make sure your site works. There is a test button that will allow you to do this easily.
Additional Remote Site Settings
Cloaking allows you to keep local files which you may not want to upload, if your storage space is limited. If you have a lot of storage space from your host, you may not care. However, sometimes, you may not want to upload these larger source files if a client hasn’t paid you yet.
Large source files would be files like PSD, and FLA files, which are often many times larger than their output file, and can easily be used to modify your site.
Auto Upload on Save
Under the advanced tab, there are some extra Dreamweaver settings. For example, you can tell Dreamweaver to automatically upload a file to the server, when the file is saved locally.
Personally, I do not like to do this for a couple of reasons. One, if I am updating several files, I will want to upload all of those files at one time most likely, not individually.
Secondly, I may not want to upload a file, if it is reserved for a special time. For example, a client may want to have a sale start at 7AM on Friday. Well if I finish a file at 3PM Wednesday, they may not want to have it publicly known at that time.
A file can be checked out if that option is enabled. What the means is, if you check out a file to work on it, no one else can open the file and modify it.
This feature is most helpful when you need to work on teams, and you may work on several files together.
If you use good communication, you can avoid this problem most of the time, however, I’ve seen it occur even in small teams with good communication. So it is something worth considering.
You can upload with the up/down arrows in either the files panel, or the document tool bar .
Additionally you can synchronize your files by selecting either a file, or a folder. If you select the folder, all files, and sub folders will synchronize for you. When you synchronize your files, you can choose to either upload newer files to the server, download newer files from the server, or send and receive the newest files, so that both the server and your machine are up to date.