Publishing Your RootsWeb Web Site with Expression Web

IMPORTANT NOTE: With the changes to the RootsWeb servers (July 2018), it is no longer possible to publish your site with Expression Web. You will need to use Filezilla or another ftp software program.

NOTE: These instructions will work with Expression Web 1 and 2.
For those using Expression Web 3.0 or 4.0

If you are using Sharepoint Designer 2007, you can also follow this tutorial.

The screenshots for this tutorial were done with a system running Windows Vista. Yours may look slightly different.

Step 1: Open your website in Expression Web. Make any changes to your pages before publishing.

Step 2: If you didn't set the options for your site before developing your site, check your settings before attempting to upload/publish. FREE Setting up Expression Web Ebook by Tina Clarke. Get the one for your version of EW.

Step 3: Recalculate Hyperlinks Site > Recalculate Hyperlinks

Screenshot recalculate hyperlinks menu.

Step 4: Choose File > Publish Site

Screenshot Publish Site Menu.

Step 5: If the remote website dialog box does not pop up, click the remote website button in the upper right hand side of the window.

Screenshot remote website button.

There are several things to do on the dialog box that pops up. 

Choose the "Remote Web Site" tab.

Check the button beside "FTP" and then enter the correct information in the following fields:

"Remote Web Site Location" - for the freepages server put in ftp location -

 "FTP Directory"  genealogy_html (or whichever one you're publishing to - history_html, misc_html, etc.)

Screenshot Remote Properties Dialogue Box.
click thumbnail for larger image

For RootsWeb Servers: "Remote Web Site Location" - put in ftp location -
"FTP Directory"  leave blank

For HomePages Servers: "Remote Web Site Location" - put in ftp location -
"FTP Directory"  leave blank

Screenshot remote publishing box
click thumbnail for larger image

Then click on the "Publishing" tab and make the following changes:

"Changed Pages Only" - unless you're trying to publish your entire site for some reason.

"Changes" -  I use "Determine changes by comparing source and destination"

"Logging" - If you check "Log changes during publish" you review your log entry if you have problems while publishing.

Screenshot Remote Properties Publishing Dialogue Box.
Click thumbnail for larger image

Step 6: When you click "OK", you will get a window to enter your username and password.  Be sure to type them EXACTLY as they were given to you - passwords are CAse SeNsiTiVe.  

Screenshot of password dialogue box.

Step 7: You will see your website (on your computer) in the left window.  The RootsWeb file you're publishing to is shown in the right window.

Screenshot Remote Local Publishing.

Depending on what you're trying to do:

There are three arrows between the windows.  If you want to move just a file or two, you can highlight it, then click the arrow to copy just that file or files.

"Local to Remote" is used most often. It publishes everything that has changed from your computer to the RootsWeb site.

"Remote to Local" is used if you happen to lose your site on your computer or damage the files, you could use this to download the site or a file from RootsWeb to your own computer

"Synchronize" - compares the two sites and moves the data back and forth until they match.  Use this with caution.

There are three option arrows also located in the lower right corner and apply to the entire website.  If you wanted to just publish the entire site, choose one of those in the corner and click on "Publish web site"

Screenshot lower publishing section of dialogue box.

If you use the "Publish web site" button, when complete you will get a message that your file is finished uploading.

The next time you publish your site, this process will compare the Rootsweb site with what is on your computer. If there are files on RootsWeb that you've deleted from the web on your computer, a message box may pop up asking you if you want to delete them. If you are sure they are no longer needed, answer OK. If not, do some checking.

NOTE:  Expression Web 1.0 will NOT remember you username or password when publishing via ftp so you will have to enter it each time. The problem has been corrected with EW 2.0.

If you have problems publishing, check the following:

  • Did you type your UserID and password correctly?  Remember it's caSE seNSitiVE, so must be exactly what you were sent in the "welcome" e-mail.
  • Did you type the ftp address correctly?
  • If you have a Firewall installed, did you give Expression Web the permissions it needs to publish?
  • Did you include any files on your web that are not allowed on RootsWeb Freepages?  PDF file formats are allowed. Zip files are not. FreePages accounts may NOT be used for file storage - whether it is MP3 files, video files, huge images files, etc. Accounts that are being used in this manner will be closed.
  • Spaces in file names MAY cause problems in uploading files. It is best NOT to use them. Use a hyphen or underscore to separate the words geary-family.html or geary_family.html NOT geary family.html.
  • Punctuation as part of a file name MAY be valid but will most likely cause problems in uploading to the RootsWeb servers. That does NOT include the dot between the file name and file extension.

NOTE: If you received the following error when trying to publish: "Could not find a Web server at '' on port 21.  Please check to make sure that the web server name is valid and your proxy settings are set correctly.  If you are sure that everything is correct, the Web server may be temporarily out of service."

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Pat Geary

Copyright © 2007 - 2008 Pat Geary of Genealogy Web Creations All Rights Reserved
Revised May 2010