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File Management

Before Getting Started:

Print this and keep it next to your computer at home.

You probably have figured out how important it is to name your files properly for a browser to "read" it, to title your page, and how important it is to keep your files organized. From the very beginning of your work on a web page, you need to be aware of organizing your files. It can get very confusing.
  • Organizing by folders
If your site is large enough to break down into separate sections, (folders), then each section would have its own folder. For instance, you may want to store all of your graphics in one folder, all of your lessons in another, school related information in one, and yet another for the presentations that you may be giving.

Whatever you decide, you need to implement your system from the very beginning; that is, you should make all the folders you will need for the entire site before you begin. If you decide later to add some this can very confusing and quite likely, your links will be break.

  • Organizing by name
If your site is relatively small, you could just give each different kind of file a prefix that indicates what it is. For instance, your title gifs could all begin with "head", your lesson files could all begin with "lp". (I personally prefer folders....).  You will see some sites done this way.  Most are sites with lots of images.  Instead of describing the image, numbers and/or letters are used.
Naming your files:
  • It is very important to know how to name your files. You have created HTML files (those for the web) and some graphic files. It is best to make these names as simple as possible. Some suggested rules:
    • Use all lowercase letters. The browser can read upper and lower, but your files are easier to organize and look more consistent if they are limited to lower case. Use only letters or numbers-no funny characters. Do not use apostrophes, colons, semicolons, bullets, slashes, or any other characters except letters or numbers. You can use the ~ (tilde), (underscore), - (hyphen), or . (period) Never use a space in any file name. All web pages must end in .htm or .html. (Dreamweaver defaults to .htm) Put an extension at the end of your graphic file names so you know what they are. They must have been saved in the same format as what they are named. ie. graphic.gif or graphic.jpg
    • Keep the file name short. (this reduces typos when people try to type it in) and it looks much neater.

  • Saving and titling pages:
    • When you Save As, you are saving the code as an HTML file, which is a web page.  Every web page has a name that ends in .htm or .html.  This is how the browser knows it is a web page.   The very first page of your web site must  be names index.html or index.htm.
    • Now you have to title your web page.  The title has nothing to do with the HTML file name you saved it as!  The title is what will appear in the title bar of the window when someone else views your page on the World wide Web.  Bookmarks use the title and this is what will appear when someone "saves" your site with a bookmark. Search engines look first at your title and decide from that where to add this page to their database so others can find you.  Make this title relevant to the page.

Upload Your Site:

Before you upload:

  • We are going to use the file transfer feature of Dreamweaver. If you are using another program, please feel free to call or e-mail for help with it.  Other options are WS_FTP for Windows on a PC or Fetch on a Mac.  All of these options will effectively transfer files from your computer to the Rice server. You must know your host name, The host directory will default to your folder on the Rice server. Your userid, which will look something like sboone.  Your ID was in your name badge.  It is also located in the URL on the front of your notebook.
  • Your password, which you help decide.  (You need to CHANGE the password that was given to you.)

Uploading files--Dreamweaver

  • Directions for Setting up your site and transferring files are on the TeacherTECH server.  Access this URL: .

    After you have finished entering all the local site info, the Site window can be viewed by clicking on the icon in the file panel. If you expand the view, you will see your local site on the right  Click the connection icon (to the right of the Site name in the toolbar) and you will connect with the Rice server. *Note: YOU MUST HAVE AN ACTIVE INTERNET CONNECTION IN ORDER FOR THIS TO WORK. Files can be selected and you can upload them to the appropriate folder on the server.  You can also download files from the Rice server.  There are tutorials in Dreamweaver to help you set up a site.

Test your site:

  • Since your files are visible to the world, open your home page in your browser, online. Go through EVERY page and click every link.  Make sure every graphic is there.  Make sure all e-mail forms work.  Make sure animated graphics are moving (and stopping), and that any sound files you created are loading and playing.


Uploading files--WS_FTP (or Fetch):
  • Open the FTP program Type in the data needed to run the program Check the preferences or options you the data format to sent as
    • raw data (same as binary) for images
    • ascii for your HTML files
  • You are now looking inside the computer AT RICE. The folder name the CEEE has given you (home) is open and available.
  • Transfer your files.
Updating files:
  • You are going to want to update your files regularly.
    • to update an existing page work on a saved copy of the file, then upload this file to the server.  This new reworked file will replace the old file, so BE VERY CAREFUL.
    • If you want to add an entirely new section, You will upload new files to the sever for this new section.  This means your home page and probably other pages will have changed.  Update all of the links that you may have on ANY of your pages.  We recommend you keep a list of files that need to be added and replaced.  (paper and pencil type).  It is also a good idea to keep back-up copies of ALL files someplace on your hard drive.

Home Computer Hard Drive

Server at Rice

Folder (Directory) on Your Hard Drive

Directory (folder) at Rice

file.html  (home)


(Rice)  file.html

These pages were developed through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) and made possible by support from the National Science Foundation and Rice University.

Copyright © 1995 -2006 by TeacherTECH
Updated: Sunday, June 4, 2006 7:25 PM