Drag & Drop Web Publishing

Drag & Drop Web Publishing

Ever wish you could publish your web pages to a server as easily as you drag and drop files from one folder to another on your Windows desktop? Internet Explorer versions 5 through 9 allow you to do so.. Microsoft programmed the FTP function into Explorer.exe, allowing you to use most Windows compatible browsers to FTP using this method. Unfortunately, Microsoft made changes starting with version 10, so the function is not available in current versions of Internet Explorer.  Not all servers accept this type of file transfer, but RootsWeb does. If you're a Macintosh user, see Wes Groleau's instructions for OS9.

Instructions for Internet Explorer v5 thru v9:

  1. Open Internet Explorer. From the Tools Menu select Internet Options, then the Advanced tab. Under the section headed Browsing, check the box to "Enable folder view for FTP sites". If this option is not listed, just go to step 2.

  2. Log on to your Internet Service Provider. Enter your userid and the server URL in the address box of your browser window. For FreePages, you will enter
    ftp://[email protected]
    where "userid"' is the userid/account name you were assigned when your account was created.
    Now is a good time to add this to your "Favorites" list so you can come back to it easily in the future.

    Browser Address Box

  3. A dialogue box will pop up asking for your User Name and password. If you use this method for more than one account or server, be sure the correct User Name appears in the box. Enter your password exactly as it was sent to you in your Welcome Letter from FreePages. Your password is case sensitive, so you must copy it eXacTLy. You can check the box to save/remember  password so you won't have to fill these in the next time you log on, but be sure to consider the security risk before you do so. Click Login.

    Login Dialogue

    The browser window will change slightly, adding the Copy, Paste, and Delete icons to the Tool Bar. After searching your Freepages account, it will list all of the community/directory folders in your root directory. Open the folder where you want to upload your files. Any files that have already been uploaded to this folder will be listed. If you are using Windows Vista and IE7 or IE8, you will need to click Page, then click Open FTP site in Windows Explorer.

    WARNING: Do NOT rename, move or delete any of the community folders in the root directory of your account. The FreePages server has been set up so each of the xxxx_html directories maps to a unique URL. They must NOT be changed or deleted.

  4. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer in a new window, and navigate to the directory where the files you want to publish are located on your computer.

  5. Tile or resize both the browser window and the MyComputer window so both are visible on your desk top.

  6. Drag and drop or copy and paste the file(s) or folder(s) you want to publish from the MyComputer window to the browser window. Your original files will remain right where they are on your computer, but they will be copied to your chosen directory/URL at FreePages.

Using your browser, you can view, download, upload, rename (move), and delete files and folders in your FreePages account. This method piggybacks on http:// so can be somewhat slower than file transfers using a stand-alone FTP client; but the familiarity and convenience of the interface will offset this for many users.

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