Ensure Your Homepage is an
2. Understanding Case Sensitivity
3. What mode should I upload my files
with - ASCII or Binary?
4. The difference between ASCII and
5. Setting your FTP client to automatically
detect ASCII and Binary file transfers
6. File types and what they represent
7. FrontPage™ and FTP
Your "homepage" is saved as index.html
It is industry
standard, that your "homepage" or "main page"
be saved as index.html. If after you type your Domain Name into
your web browser and you see a directory listing and not your
website, chances are you have not named your main page index.html.
When you access
your site by calling it as http://www.mydomain.com, the web server
looks for the "index.html" file as the (default file)
to be sent to visitors. It's because the server automatically
looks for index.html whenever a domain or directory is called
without a filename appended to it such as this, http://www.mydomain.com/file.html
If it can't
find index.html, it will simply list "your entire web directory"
to everyone that access's it, which is a MAJOR security risk!
ALWAYS, use an "index.html" file in any directory
you create. In general, it's always a good idea to use "index.html"
as your main page in "all sub-directories" of your account.
Forgetting to place an index.html in your root web, or any subdirectory
of your web for that matter will effectively leave all of its
contents viewable to the world.
local PC, the Unix file system is very particular about "uppercase"
and "lowercase" file names.
servers are exceptionally fussy on this issue, so make sure you
pay close attention to "case' when uploading files, or installing
and configuring cgi based scripts. The same rule applies for all
files including your .html pages. Again, the server treats .html
and .HTML as two entirely different files. Want to keep in simple?
Try to stick with lowercase letters in all file names and extensions.
mode should I upload my files with - ASCII or Binary?
in the wrong format for images or binaries will result in a strange
mess appearing in place of the file. For CGI scripts, this mistake
has to be the most common cause of that annoying error known as
the (Server 500 Error - Malformed Headers), or something to that
extent. While this can be the result of many various programming
errors, the most popular amongst users are uploading their scripts
in the "WRONG" format. Your cgi scripts "MUST"
always be uploaded in ASCII mode. Alternatively, if you upload
an image or .exe file, it must be done in "BINARY" mode.
difference between ASCII and BINARY?
html or text based files are supposed to be transferred in ASCII
mode. Uploading them in Binary mode will append ^M's to the end
of every line. In most cases, this is OK, with html files because
your browser will ignore them. BUT, with other text files such
as cgi scripts, uploading them in binary will damage them, thus
causing a (server 500 error). This is because binary mode has
added ^M's to the end of every line, which are not supposed to
be in the program. This of course, is what causes the additional
message of (Malformed Headers), which often displays at the bottom
of the "Server 500" message when a CGI script has crashed.
BINARY mode is used for transferring executable programs, compressed
files and all image/picture files. If you try to upload an image
in ASCII mode, you observer a strange mess appearing on the page
where the image is suppose to appear. ASCII mode in this case,
has corrupted the binary coding in the jpeg or gif image. If this
happens, just re-upload it in the Binary format
your FTP client to automatically detect ASCII and Binary file
Most FTP programs
have "AUTO" mode, which will tell the FTP client to
automatically detect the file type you're transferring and will
select the appropriate mode. By default, most FTP programs will
attempt to transfer everything in binary mode, but when "Automatic"
is selected, the FTP client will check a list of known ASCII extensions,
(for example, .pl, .cgi, .txt). If it detects one of these extensions,
it automatically switches to ASCII mode.
most of the well-known files to be uploaded in ASCII are already
entered, however you can manually add additional extensions that
you would like to transfer in ASCII mode by selecting the feature
called "Extensions." Here, you can any additional extensions
that will cause the FTP client to toggle to ASCII mode automatically
upon detecting an extension entered in its list. Remember, you
must set your transfer mode to "Automatic" for this
types and what they represent:
types can effect both the behavior of your files, as well as how
the server treats them. While there are numerous file extensions,
which represent a host of various file types, we'll stick to the
basic ones in this quick overview:
This is one
is the most commonly used and the most one of you are already
familiar with. Html stands for (Hypertext Markup Language). Essentially,
it tells the server, as well as the clients browser to process
and display the .html coding in a way, which is meaningful to
the end user through a browser.
Many of you
have probably noticed this newer extension appearing in place
of the traditional .html one. In short, .htm is most often created,
and or generated from the Microsoft FrontPage web editor or Macromedia
Dreamweaver. The two are essentially the same and provide the
same basic purpose. Keep in mind, whenever there are two files
named the same, but with different extensions, the .html file
will "win" take precedence over .htm. An example is,
when using a WYSIWYG editor such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver,
the default of course is to save index.htm. You may end up creating
a file and saving it index.html. Now you have two files uploaded
to your server..two files named index. The one with the .html
extension will be the default.
and .jpg file:
used because of its good compression in web page images. Generally,
.gif files are the fastest loading, as they remove a lot of information,
which is not required to maintain image integrity, but to a point
however. .jpg will allow more flexibility in compression and quality
settings, however can also result in larger files.
and the .pl file:
.cgi and .pl
are most often used for perl scripts. Perl scripts are small text
based programs, which are executed on the server end, and will
perform a host of interactive functions for a web site. In short,
when a .pl or .cgi file is called, it tells the server to process
it using the "Perl Interpreter." The Perl Interpreter
understands the programming within the script, and will perform
the set of sub routines, which will yield your desired effect.
This desired effect could be anything from a simple web page counter,
to more complex programs such as discussion forums, e-commerce
platforms, to online auctions. In many cases, you can download
these "ready to go" scripts for free, and in others
you may have to purchase them. Note: A common error in a PERL
script is forgetting to change the permissions on the file to
planning on using Microsoft FrontPage™ to manage your web
site, there are a couple of issues things you may want to keep
two worlds. The Unix hosting world, and the Microsoft world. While
this is not necessarily a bad thing, Microsoft does play by its
own rules. As a result, FrontPage™ does not always conform
to the rules of Unix, so you should be extremely careful when
accessing a FrontPage™ web via FTP. It's easy to damage
the FrontPage™ web, as well as it's associated server extensions,
and if it happens, you may loose the ability to administrate it
from your FrontPage™ Explorer. To avoid problems like this:
- Do not
alter, or delete files that are part of a FrontPage™ web
- Do delete,
move, or alter directories ending in _vtf. These are the FrontPage™
If you plan to design your website using
ensure that you have the FrontPage™
extensions installed on your server. It is always best to use only FrontPage™
for downloading / uploading your website files. If you use any FTP program you can corrupt the website files. Additionally, if you are using FrontPage™
specific features such as themes, they will not necessarily appear on your live site if you do not publish using FrontPage™
does NOT provide technical support on troubleshooting or using
you are planning to use Dreamweaver, then you will be able to
use any FTP client to upload your files, or you can upload via
the built-in FTP client that is part of Dreamweaver. To FTP using
Dreamweaver, you will need to edit the "Define Your Site"
Properties. Choose FTP from the top drop-down. FTP
Host is your Domain Name, withOUT the http://www. Host
Directory is the location on your server where you upload
your web files to. Username and Password refer to your web hosting
server configurations for both your username and password. Need more info?