Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: phranque

Message Too Old, No Replies

How to sync my host and computer website files

Redundancy and dublicate files

6:33 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 11, 2005
votes: 0

I have had my website since 1999 and it is quiet successful in its field.

There is something I have always struggled with: the storage or files and the problem of

redundancy. My website is hosted on a shared hosting. With that come the following


-when I make changs to the website or update it, sometimes I make the changes in my computer

then FTP them to the server.
-Other times, I just update it on the server using Front Page, but that creates a problem,

because the new update is only avaialble on the server but not on my computer. In other

words, the files on the server and the file on my computer are not synched!
I mean I can go to use my FTP to download the new updates to my computer, but that takes a

long time, and a lot of manual work, because you have to know which files have changed etc.

Based on the above, here are some questions, I would really appreciate an answer, because I

know I am not doing things the right way.

1-(provided that your website is hosted somewhere): do you work on your website on your

computer first, then FTP them, or do you just work on them on the server?
2-If you work on them on the server, how do you make sure you have a second synced and

updated copy on your computer?
3-Speaking of having copies, I sometimes just download whatever is on my server on my computer, using FTP, but it never works, as it always times out. This is really frustrating. And I can't sit there to make sure it doesn't time out, because my website is some 1.5 gb in size. I just want to let the FTP run and do its job, without me having to restart it evetrytime.

Any tips on how to do this would be greatly appreciated, because I know I am not doing things right or the efficient way.

Thank You

1:47 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 31, 2003
votes: 0

I host in Linux, so I edit my files directly on the server using ssh, and don't have to transfer them. And I do an automatic backup to my home machine. It's a big advantage because I know the latest files are always there, with the correct paths, and I can test each change as I make it.

But otherwise, I would suggest always editing on your workstation and uploading the changes to the server. If you have path problems, you can share the folder on your Windows workstation where you keep your site files, then map that folder to a different drive letter on the same workstation. That way, "/index.html" will refer to your home page both on the server and workstation.

FTP is a badly designed protocol. Timeouts and firewall issues are common. SFTP is a great alternative, but it's not widely supported on Windows servers or shared servers.

6:17 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Administrator from JP 

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 12, 2000
votes: 66

Are you using FrontPage extensions? If so, then you're publishing to the webserver (not FTP). Then you have a local copy and a remote copy. In order to put the same site on another server you would just publish it again. If you lose your local copy then you open the remote copy on the server directly and publish it back to your local PC.

If you're using FP without the extensions then you're using FP's version of FTP. FTP can break some functionality of certain FP components that work with the server extensions.

If you're just FTPing things back and forth then you could use something like rsync to keep files synched up between your server and local copy. There are also various FTP sync options in programs like WS_FTP that will accomplish essentially the same thing (if not a bit slower).

6:45 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from ES 

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 13, 2005
votes: 0

I think you should always work on your local computer and forget about Frontpage.

Once you finish your job, use NetLoad (an old W98 program) and make an exact replica of your local site on the server/online site.
NetLoad will upload just the updated files and delete the deleted files.

7:50 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

5+ Year Member

joined:July 8, 2006
votes: 0

front page ... that was a stone age entry level software...
2:20 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Administrator from JP 

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 12, 2000
votes: 66

FrontPage works just fine as a website creation tool. Let's try to keep the thread on topic. Do you have other suggestions on how to sync the site?
5:58 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member henry0 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 19, 2003
votes: 2

Nothing goes on the server that is not "fresh" on my test bed

Before working at any update
I overwrite the production server file on my test server (or your PC)
so I am sure that I work in sync.

Now in order to catch up
First save a local copy of your existing files on your PC then D-load the whole site from its server location.
Open and look at every files, kill dupes etc..
Then use a good text editor and use its compare function

Next wait till next year and make a new resolution about keeping your site in sync :)