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pagemasters' toolbox -- static pages

Uploading Files to Static-Page Servers

Chapter III Table of Contents

 

A. Overview

  1. Introduction

  2. Error Messages

  3. Hosted Sites

B. Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Macintosh with Fetch

  2. Windows and Macintosh with FileZilla

C. Post-transfer Steps

  1. Testing

  2. Clean-up

 


 

A. Overview

 

1. Introduction

 

You could choose to copy the current file down from the server each time you start to modify a file, but we suggest that you maintain a master copy of every file on your own computer, for development work, and then transfer each of the revised and new files "up" to the server. It will be easier to keep your files organized, and to do your local testing, if you place them in folders (or subdirectories) whose names and organization match those you are using on the server. 

The instructions given here are for ww2, which uses SFTP. The people2 system has also been configured to use SFTP software for file uploading. Some of the details are different, but you may find the following discussion useful anyway, because the basic approach is the same.

Uploading a file to ww2 or to people2 destroys the previous file of the same name, replacing it immediately. After transferring the files, however, there are several more steps involved before you are all done: testing the new files with various web browsers and removing old and outdated files from the server. These steps are discussed in section C, following the step-by step instructions for uploading from various environments.

We provide instructions for Fetch on Macintosh and FileZilla on Windows: those packages are free to Ohio University students and employees and are known to work. We will test with them before we install any SFTP server software updates on the staging or production servers. We expect that most other SFTP software will also work; you are free to decide to use any other package, but please be aware that we will not be able to provide as prompt, complete, or effective assistance with other packages.

 

2. Error Messages

 

If you fail to connect, your software is likely to report that as a wrong password. Sometimes that will actually be the problem, but you should consider another possibility that can produce the same message: ww2 and people2 use only SFTP. Trying to use standard FTP may result in a failure that looks like a wrong password.

In order to login, you must have changed your Ohio ID password since October 1, 2007. To change your Ohio ID password, use the "Change Your OHIO Password" link in the "Manage your OHIO ID account" section at the top of http://www.ohio.edu/oit/services/myaccount.cfm. If you encounter any difficulty with that process, please contact the OIT Service Desk, at 740-593-1222.

Please report any error messages that you receive from your SFTP software (including the identification of that software and what you believe was the root cause of the error message), using the e-mail link at the foot of this page. That will permit us to accumulate a description of those errors, their explanations, and what actions to take to resolve them.

 

3. Hosted Sites

 

The static-page Front Door server also provides "virtual host" services for sites that the world sees with a variety of other names. For a list of those currently in place, see

The step-by-step instructions, linked below, are written for people whose pages are seen on the Front Door, with URLs that start http://www.ohio.edu/; for people whose pages are on one of the virtual hosts, there is one conceptual difference (although it may require a short sequence of steps to achieve): when you first login, the SFTP server software will place you inside the Front Door's folder, so you will have to navigate "out" or "up" and then "in" or "down" to get into the folder with your files. If you are using Fetch or FileZilla, then you will easily see what is required, and should have no difficulty recognizing your files' folder. Other software packages may require specification of the path and folder name ahead of time; one or the other of the following two styles is likely to work:

  • E:\WebDocumentFolders\www.[site].ohio.edu\

  • ../www.[site].ohio.edu


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B. Step-by-Step Instructions

 

We document here only the uploading steps. If you have any difficulty reversing them for downloading, please contact us, using the e-mail link at the foot of this page. These instructions are specifically written for ww2 users, but should be of assistance to people2 users. The procedures are conceptually quite similar, but the details are different.

 


In general, HTML files are transferred as "ASCII" or "text" files, while images, whether in GIF, JPEG, PNG, or other formats, and PDF, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, etc., files are all transferred as "binary" or "raw data" files.


 

1. Macintosh with Fetch

 

So that you can print them out and follow them without having to go back and forth between windows, we have placed the step-by-step instruction for using Fetch with the Macintosh in a separate file. We do suggest that Fetch be your first choice, but there have been times when a specific problem affected Fetch and not FileZilla.

 

 

2. Windows and Macintosh with FileZilla

 

So that you can print them out and follow them without having to go back and forth between windows, we have placed the step-by-step instruction for using FileZilla with Windows or Macintosh in a separate file.

 


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C. Post-transfer Steps

 

 

 

1. Testing

 

Once you have transferred your files to ww2, you should immediately verify that they have arrived uncorrupted and with no obvious mistakes: open the appropriate URL in your favorite web browser and verify that the display is what you planned. You may need to force your browser to reload the file; you may even have to erase your browser's cache -- "delete all temporary internet files" -- before reloading will display the updated page.

 

Follow all the critical, new, and modified links to verify that they function as intended. Examine all new or modified images to verify that they display as intended.

Check additional links that you did not already check. As soon as possible, make sure that the appearance of your pages is reasonable under all four major browsers: FireFox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. The HTML "standards" are still evolving, and those browsers are often not identical in their implementation of the newest aspects of HTML. (They also sometimes differ in the implementation of long-established aspects of HTML!) It is good practice to test with as many other browsers as possible, either yourself, or in cooperation with others who have access to other browsers. Be sure to examine your page on Macintosh and on Windows, because several text characters that you can type on each platform will create bizzare results when viewed on the other platform. Likewise, examine your page on both Apple and Android smartphones (for the differences in browser coding and for the small screen size).

 

2. Clean-up

 

Once you are confident that there are no bugs in your files, you should clean up. You should delete any relic files that have been made obsolete by the changes you have made, but see point 6 of part 1 of section D in Chapter I.

 


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