Path // ā†’ My First Site ā†’ UPLOADING YOUR SITE

Uploading your Site

Now that you have a couple of HTML files made, and have created a website by linking them together, you're going to need to get them online so that others can see them. This involves transferring them from your computer onto a web-server. Easy once you know how.

Clock This page was last updated on 2012-08-21

Some Terminology

To allow your webpages to be seen by anyone else connected to the Internet, you first need to place them on a server. This is a computer like any other, which is constantly connected to the Internet, and that has a domain name. When a visitor (technically called a client) requests a file that is on the server, the server serves this file to the visitor, and allows them to download it.

So, you need to transfer your files from your computer to your webspace on this server. First you must actually sign up for some space. Your ISP may provide you with some for free, or you may buy some professional hosting, or sign up for some free space with one of the many companies that offer it. You will typically receive between 20 and 50 megabytes (MB) of space, which is much more than you probably need at this stage. Once you have signed up you will be given a web address where others can find your site. At the moment they won't see much there, so you need to get your files to that location.

Some webspace providers have a system online which lets you upload files through your web browser. This is helpful, but for proper control of your site you will want FTP access. FTP means File Transfer Protocol — the way you transfer files from one computer to another. To perform FTP you will need an FTP client program. For the examples on this page I am using » Cute FTP, which you can download as shareware and use for 30 days. There are loads of free programs too, » FileZilla being particularly good; have a » hunt around and find one that you like. Windows users should have a look on their systems for the Web Publishing Wizard, which'll guide you through the process. All these programs function roughly the same.

Making the Connection

Once you have an address, your username and a password, you can use your FTP program to connect to your server. All of the necessary information should have been given to you by now. If not, it will be found easily on your webspace provider's site.

So open your FTP program and fill in your info, which will look something like this:

Cute FTP dialog box showing information necessary to log into your account

Press Connect and you will be presented with a screen like the one below. The view on the left is your computer, and on the right you can see the directory structure of your server. Now simply select the files you want to upload and drag them across or press upload, and they will begin to be transferred (it might take a little while if you're uploading large files, as the uploading process is slightly slower than downloading).

Example view of an FTP transfer window

ASCII vs. Binary

Files must be uploaded in the correct mode or they might become corrupted on the server. Files are classified as either ASCII text or binary code. Most modern FTP clients will be able to detect which mode to send files in automatically, so this won’t be a problem for most of you; but if you are asked, make sure you send pages with HTML, CSS or JavaScript code in them as ASCII, and images, music, movies and programs as binary.


Remember, the main page in each directory, including your homepage, will need to be named index.html. This means that a page with the url

can be referenced by an address ending with the directory name and a slash, as most servers open this index.html page whenever no other page is specifically asked for. On some sites the special filename will be default.html, though you should be told somewhere if they will be departing from the established rules. The address below will be invisibly redirected to the file above:

That's it — once the transfer is complete your pages should be accessible online by typing in the URL into your browser's address bar. Give your site a once-over to make sure everything works right, and then send your friends the address.

The fun starts here.