Set up FTP, SFTP, WebDav, or RDS connections to upload or download files from the publishing web server.

A remote server (often referred to as a web server or a publishing server) is where you publish your site files so that people can view them online. This remote server is simply another computer like your local computer with a collection of files and folders on it, such as an FTP server.

Specify a folder for your site on the remote server, just as you specified a folder for your local site on your local computer. Dreamweaver refers to the specified remote folder as your remote site.

When you set up a remote folder, you also select a connection method for Dreamweaver to upload and download files to and from your web server. The most typical connection method is FTP, but Dreamweaver also supports local/network, FTPS, SFTP, WebDav, and RDS connection methods. If you don’t know which connection method to use, ask your ISP or your server administrator.

Note:

Dreamweaver also supports connections to IPv6-enabled servers. Supported connection types include FTP, SFTP, WebDav, and RDS. For more information, see www.ipv6.org/.

Prerequisites

Before you start, you must have access to a remote web server—such as a hosting company's server, a server owned by the client you're working for, or an intranet server within your company.

Also, some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide access to free web space as part of your Internet connection contract.

If you do not have access to a server, contact your ISP, your client, your system administrator, or one of the many hosting companies that provide web hosting packages.

You also must have defined a local site before you proceed. For more information on defining a local site, see Set up a local version of your site.

Specify connection to the remote server

You can connect to a remote (or a publishing server) using different connection methods depending on your set up. 

The most common used connection method is FTP. However, you can also use more secure connection methods such as Secure FTP (SFTP) or FTP over SSL (FTPS)

If you are using a folder within your network as the remote server, then you can opt for local or network connections.

Other connection methods supported are Remote Development Services (RDS), and Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) protocol.

If you are not sure about the connection method to choose, ask your ISP or server administrator.

Use the filters below to navigate to view only the connection method you want to use, or simply read on.

Specify a connection method

FTP connections

Use this setting if you connect to your web server using FTP.

Note: Business Catalyst supports only SFTP. If you are using Business Catalyst, see the section on SFTP connections on this page.

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. Click New to set up a new site, or select an existing Dreamweaver site and click the edit icon.

  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, select the Servers category and do one of the following:

    • Click the Add New Server button to add a new server.
    • Select an existing server and click the Edit Existing Server button.

    Here is a sample Server set up screen showing the basic setup options with the text fields populated.

    Setting up FTP connections
    Setting up FTP connections

  4. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. You can choose any name that you require.

  5. Select FTP from the Connect Using pop-up menu.
  6. In the FTP Address text box, enter the address of the FTP server to which you upload files for your website.

    Your FTP address is the full Internet name of a computer system, such as ftp.mindspring.com. Enter the full address without any additional text. In particular, don’t add a protocol name in front of the address.

    If you do not know your FTP address, contact your web hosting company.

    Note:

    Port 21 is the default port for receiving FTP connections. You can change the default port number by editing the text box to the right. The result when you save your settings is a colon and the new port number appended to your FTP address (for example, ftp.mindspring.com:29).

  7. In the Username and Password text boxes, enter the username and password that you use to connect to the FTP server.

    Note:

    You must obtain the FTP address, username and password information from the system administrator for the company hosting your site. No one else has access to this information. Enter the information exactly as your system administrator gives it to you.

  8. Click Test to test your FTP address, username, and password.
  9. Dreamweaver saves your password by default. Deselect the Save option if you prefer that Dreamweaver prompt you for a password each time you connect to the remote server.
  10. In the Root Directory text box, enter the directory (folder) on the remote server where you store documents that are visible to the public.

    If you are uncertain about what to enter as the root directory, contact the server’s administrator or leave the text box blank. On some servers, your root directory is the same as the directory you first connect to with FTP. To find out, connect to the server. If a folder with a name like public_html, or www, or your user name, appears in the Remote File view in your Files panel, that’s probably the directory you should enter in the Root Directory text box.

  11. In the Web URL text box enter the URL of your website (for example, http://www.mysite.com). Dreamweaver uses the Web URL to create site root-relative links, and to verify links when you use the link checker.

    For a more extensive explanation of this option, see Advanced Settings category.

  12. Expand the More Options section if you still need to set more options.
  13. Select Use Passive FTP if your firewall configuration requires use of passive FTP.

    Passive FTP enables your local software to set up the FTP connection rather than requesting the remote server to set it up. If you are not sure whether you use passive FTP, check with your system administrator.

    For more information on passive FTP, see What is Passive FTP?

  14. Select Use IPv6 Transfer Mode if you are using an IPv6-enabled FTP server.

    With the deployment of version 6 of the Internet Protocol (IPv6), EPRT and EPSV have replaced the FTP commands PORT and PASV, respectively. Thus, if you are trying to connect to an IPv6-enabled FTP server, you must use the extended passive (EPSV) and the extended active (EPRT) commands for your data connection.

    For more information, see www.ipv6.org/.

  15. Select Use Proxy if you want to specify a proxy host or proxy port.

    For more information, click the link to go to the Preferences dialog box, and then click the Help button in the Site category of the Preferences dialog.

  16. Click Save to close the Basic screen. Then in the Servers category, specify whether the server you just added or edited is a remote server, a testing server, or both.

For Help with troubleshooting FTP connectivity problems, see Troubleshoot FTP issues in Dreamweaver.

SFTP connections

Use Secure FTP (SFTP) if your server/firewall configuration requires the use of secure FTP. SFTP uses encryption and identity keys to secure a connection to your remote/testing server.

Note:

Your server must be running an SFTP service for you to select this option. If you don’t know whether your server is running SFTP, check with your server administrator.

You can now authenticate connections to an SFTP server based on an ‘Identity Key’ (with or without a passphrase).  

Dreamweaver supports only OpenSSH key files.

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. Click New to set up a new site, or select an existing Dreamweaver site and click Edit.
  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, select the Servers category and do one of the following:
    • Click the Add New Server button to add a new server.
    • Select an existing server and click the Edit Existing Server button.
  4. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. The name can be anything of your choosing.
  5. Select SFTP from the Connect Using pop-up menu.

Scenario 1

You do not have a key and want to establish an SFTP connection using only the credentials - combination of user name and password. In this case, use the “Username and Password” authentication method.  

Site setup with SFTP connection
Site setup with SFTP connection - user name and password

  1. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. This name is used internally by Dreamweaver to identify the server, so you can choose any name you like.

  2. From the Connect list, click SFTP, and enter a valid SFTP address and port.

  3. For the authentication method, click Username and Password, and then provide the user name and password.

    To verify the connection, click Test.

  4. Enter a valid Root Directory.

  5. Enter a valid Web URL.

  6. Click Save.

Scenario 2

You have a key that does not require a passphrase. And, you want to establish an SFTP connection using the combination of user name and Identity File. In this case, use the “Private Key File” authentication method.

  1. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. 

    This name is used internally by Dreamweaver to identify the server, so you can choose any name you like.

  2. From the Connect list, click SFTP, and enter a valid SFTP address and port.

  3. For the authentication method, click Private Key File, and then provide the following:

    • User name
    • A valid Identity File
    • Leave the Passphrase blank and select Save Passphrase
    Site setup with SFTP connection - Identity File
    Site setup with SFTP connection - Identity File

    Note:

    Dreamweaver supports only OpenSSH key files.

    To verify the connection, click Test.

  4. Enter a valid Root Directory.

  5. Enter a valid Web URL.

  6. Click Save.

Scenario 3

You have a key that requires a passphrase. And, you want to establish an SFTP connection using the combination of user name, Identity File, and the Passphrase for the key. In this case, use the “Private Key File” authentication method.

  1. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. This name is used internally by Dreamweaver to identify the server, so you can choose any name you like.

  2. From the Connect list, click SFTP, and enter a valid SFTP address and port.

  3. For the authentication method, click Private Key File, and then provide the following:

    • User name
    • A valid Identity File
    • Passphrase for the Identity File
    Site setup with SFTP connection - Identity File
    Site setup with SFTP connection - Identity File

    Note:

    Dreamweaver supports only OpenSSH key files.

    To verify the connection, click Test.

  4. Enter a valid Root Directory.

  5. Enter a valid Web URL.

  6. Click Save.

Note:

Port 22 is the default port for receiving SFTP connections.

Set the rest of the options the same way as you would for FTP connections. For more information, see FTP connections.

FTPS connections

FTPS (FTP over SSL) provides both encryption and authentication support as compared to SFTP that offers only encryption support.

When using FTPS for data transfer, you can choose to encrypt your credentials, and also the data being transmitted to the server. In addition, you can choose to authenticate the server's credentials and connections. The credentials of a server are validated against the current set of trusted CA server certificates in the Dreamweaver database. Certificate Authorities (CAs), which include companies like VeriSign, Thawte, and so on, issue digitally signed server certificates.

Note:

This procedure describes options specific to FTPS. For information on regular FTP options, see FTP connections.

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.

  2. Click New to set up a new site, or select an existing Dreamweaver site and click Edit.

  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, select the Servers category and do one of the following:

    • Click the “+” (Add New Server) button to add a new server.

    • Select an existing server and click the Edit Existing Server button.

  4. In Server Name, specify a name for the new server.

  5. In Connect Using, select one of the following based on your requirement.

    FTP over SSL/TLS (Implicit Encryption)

    The server terminates the connection if the security request is not received.

    FTP over SSL/TLS (Explicit Encryption)

    If the client does not request for a secure connection, the server can proceed with an insecure transaction, or refuse/limit the connection.

  6. In Authentication, choose one of the following options:

    None

    The server’s credentials, signed or self-signed, are displayed. If you accept the server’s credentials, the certificate is added to a certificate store, trustedSites.db, in Dreamweaver. When you connect to the same server the next time, Dreamweaver directly connects to the server.

    Note:

    If the credentials of a self-signed certificate have changed on the server, you are prompted to accept the new credentials.

    Trusted

    The presented certificate is validated with the current set of trusted CA server certificates in the Dreamweaver database. The list of trusted servers is stored in the cacerts.pem file.

    Note:

    An error message is displayed if you select Trusted Server, and connect to a server with a self-signed certificate.

  7. Expand the More Options section to set more options.

    Use Passive FTP

    if your firewall configuration requires use of passive FTP. Passive FTP enables your local software to set up the FTP connection rather than requesting the remote server to set it up. If you are not sure whether you use passive FTP, check with your system administrator.

    For more information on passive FTP, see What is Passive FTP?

    Encrypt Only Command Channel

    Select this option if you want to encrypt only the commands that are being transmitted. Use this option when the data being transmitted is already encrypted, or does not contain sensitive information.

    Encrypt Only User Name and Password

    Select this option if you want to encrypt only your user name and password.

    Use IPv6 Transfer Mode

    Set this option if you are using an IPv6-enabled FTP server.

    With the deployment of version 6 of the Internet Protocol (IPv6), EPRT and EPSV have replaced the FTP commands PORT and PASV, respectively. Thus, if you are trying to connect to an IPv6-enabled FTP server, you must use the extended passive (EPSV) and the extended active (EPRT) commands for your data connection. For more information, see www.ipv6.org/.

  8. Click Save to close the Basic screen. Then in the Servers category, specify whether the server you added or edited is a remote server, a testing server, or both.

For Help with troubleshooting FTP connectivity problems, see Troubleshoot FTP issues in Dreamweaver.

Local or network connections

Use this setting to connect to a network folder, or if you are storing files or running your testing server on your local computer.

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. Click New to set up a new site, or select an existing Dreamweaver site and click Edit.
  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, select the Servers category and do one of the following:
    • Click the Add New Server button to add a new server.
    • Select an existing server and click the Edit Existing Server button.
  4. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. This name is used internally by Dreamweaver to identify the server, so you can choose any name you like.

  5. Select Local/Network from the Connect Using pop-up menu.
  6. Click the folder icon beside the Server Folder text box to browse to and select the folder where you store your site files.
  7. In the Web URL text box enter the URL of your website (for example, http://www.mysite.com). Dreamweaver uses the Web URL to create site root-relative links, and to verify links when you use the link checker.

    For a more extensive explanation of this option, see Advanced Settings category.

  8. Click Save to close the Basic screen. Then in the Servers category, specify whether the server you just added or edited is a remote server, a testing server, or both.
  9. In the Servers category in the Site Setup dialog box, specify whether the server you added or edited is a remote server, a testing server, or both.

WebDAV connections

Use this setting if you connect to your web server using the Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) protocol.

For this connection method, you must have a server that supports this protocol, such as Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 5.0 or an appropriately configured installation of Apache web server.

Note:

If you select WebDAV as your connection method, and you are using Dreamweaver in a multiuser environment, you should also make sure that all of your users select WebDAV as the connection method. If some users select WebDAV, and other users select other connection methods (FTP, for example), Dreamweaver’s check-in/check-out feature will not work as expected, since WebDAV uses its own locking system.

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. Click New to set up a new site, or select an existing Dreamweaver site and click Edit.
  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, select the Servers category and do one of the following:
    • Click the Add New Server button to add a new server

    • Select an existing server and click the Edit Existing Server button

  4. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. The name can be anything of your choosing.
  5. Select WebDAV from the Connect Using pop-up menu.
  6. For the URL, enter the complete URL to the directory on the WebDAV server you want to connect to.

    This URL includes the protocol, port, and directory (if not the root directory). For example, http://webdav.mydomain.net/mysite.

  7. Enter your username and password.

    This information is for server authentication and is not related to Dreamweaver. If you are not sure of your username and password, check with your system administrator or webmaster.

  8. Click Test to test your connection settings.
  9. Select the Save option if you want Dreamweaver to remember your password each time you start a new session.
  10. In the Web URL text box enter the URL of your website (for example, http://www.mysite.com). Dreamweaver uses the Web URL to create site root-relative links, and to verify links when you use the link checker.

    For a more extensive explanation of this option, see Advanced Settings category.

  11. Click Save to close the Basic screen. Then in the Servers category, specify whether the server you just added or edited is a remote server, a testing server, or both.
  12. In the Servers category in the Site Setup dialog box, specify whether the server you added or edited is a remote server, a testing server, or both.

RDS connections

Use this setting if you connect to your web server using Remote Development Services (RDS). For this connection method, your remote server must be on a computer running Adobe® ColdFusion®

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. Click New to set up a new site, or select an existing Dreamweaver site and click Edit.
  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, select the Servers category and do one of the following:
    • Click the Add New Server button to add a new server

    • Select an existing server and click the Edit Existing Server button

  4. In the Server Name text box, specify a name for the new server. This name is used internally by Dreamweaver to identify the server, so you can choose any name you like.

  5. Select RDS from the Connect Using pop-up menu.
  6. Click the Settings button and provide the following information in the Configure RDS Server dialog box:
    • Enter the name of the host computer where your web server is installed.
    • The host name is probably an IP address or a URL. If you are unsure, ask your administrator.
    • Enter the port number that you connect to.
    • Enter your root remote folder as the host directory. For example, c:\inetpub\wwwroot\myHostDir\.
    • Enter your RDS username and password.

    Note:

    These options might not appear if you set your username and password in the ColdFusion Administrator security settings.

    • Click Save if you want Dreamweaver to remember your settings.
  7. Click OK to close the Configure RDS Server dialog box.
  8. In the Web URL text box enter the URL of your website (for example, http://www.mysite.com). Dreamweaver uses the Web URL to create site root-relative links, and to verify links when you use the link checker.

    For a more extensive explanation of this option, see Advanced Settings category.

  9. Click Save to close the Basic screen. Then in the Servers category, specify whether the server you just added or edited is a remote server, a testing server, or both.

Set Advanced server options

  1. Select Site > Manage Sites.
  2. Click New to set up a new site, or select an existing Dreamweaver site and click Edit.
  3. In the Site Setup dialog box, select the Servers category and do one of the following:
    • Click the Add New Server button to add a new server

    • Select an existing server and click the Edit Existing Server button

  4. Specify Basic options as necessary, and then click the Advanced button.
  5. Select Maintain Synchronization Information if you want to automatically synchronize your local and remote files. (This option is selected by default.)
  6. Select Automatically Upload Files to Server on Save if you want Dreamweaver to upload your file to your remote site when you save the file.
  7. Select Enable File Check Out if you want to activate the Check In/Out system.
    Setting advanced server connect options
    Setting advanced server connect options

  8. If you are using a Testing server, select a server model from the Server Model pop-up menu. For more information, see Set up a testing server.

Connect to or disconnect from a remote folder

Depending on the type of connection, you can connect to or disconnect from your remote folder:

FTP, SFTP, FTPS, WebDAV, or RDS connection:

In the Files panel:

  • To connect, click Connects to Remote Host in the toolbar.
  • To disconnect, click Disconnect in the toolbar.

Local or network connection:

You do not have to explicitly connect to the remote folder; you are always connected to it. Click the Refresh button to see your remote files.

  • In the Files panel:
    • To connect, click Connects to Remote Host in the toolbar.
    • To disconnect, click Disconnect in the toolbar.

Troubleshoot the remote folder setup

Here are some common problems you may encounter in setting up a remote folder, and how to resolve them.

  • The Dreamweaver FTP implementation might not work properly with certain proxy servers, multilevel firewalls, and other forms of indirect server access. If you encounter problems with FTP access, ask your local system administrator for help.
  • For a Dreamweaver FTP implementation, you must connect to the remote system’s root folder. Be sure to indicate the remote system’s root folder as the host directory. If you’ve specified the host directory using a single slash (/), you might need to specify a relative path from the directory you are connecting to and the remote root folder. For example, if the remote root folder is a higher level directory, you may need to specify a ../../ for the host directory.
  • Use underscores in place of spaces, and avoid special characters in file and folder names wherever possible. Colons, slashes, periods, and apostrophes in file or folder names can sometimes cause problems.
  • If you encounter problems with long filenames, rename them with shorter names. On the Mac OS, filenames cannot be more than 31 characters long.
  • Many servers use symbolic links (UNIX), shortcuts (Windows), or aliases (Macintosh) to connect a folder on one part of the server’s disk with another folder elsewhere. Such aliases usually have no effect on your ability to connect to the appropriate folder or directory; however, if you can connect to one part of the server but not another, there might be an alias discrepancy.
  • If you encounter an error message such as “cannot put file,” your remote folder may be out of space. For more detailed information, look at the FTP log.

Note:

In general, when you encounter a problem with an FTP transfer, examine the FTP log by selecting Window > Results (Windows) or Site > FTP Log (Macintosh), then clicking the FTP Log tag.

 For more information on troubleshooting FTP issues, see Troubleshoot FTP issues in Dreamweaver.

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