We have recently been receiving quite a lot of support request
from new users that are having problems publishing their
projects. Publishing is a relatively difficult concept and
process for many new users to figure out. Fortunately you
usually only need to do it once. After the publisher is set up
correctly it simply requires that you press the Publish button
whenever you are ready to update your site.

Since it is a difficult topic I thought it may be useful to repeat
an article from our first issue. The IMS Web Dwarf Publisher
is a little different from the Web Spinner and Web Engine
publishers described here. The operations and method
however, are the same.

OK this a pretty dry topic. If you know how to Export to an
FTP server you may wish to skip it. If you don't, this
information may help although I admit it can be a bit like
wading in syrup.

We recently released Version 1.5 of IMS Web Engine and
Version 1.15 of IMS Web Spinner. These updates included
our new Export Dialog with FTP support and multiple
Publishing profiles. Although FTP support is a great
convenience when publishing your web site, it did as
expected, generate more tech support questions than any other
single topic. Some questions related to legitimate problems
that caused us to update the program. The latest release is
Version 1.61 of IMS Web Engine and 1.21 of IMS Web
Spinner. Both these releases include fixes in the Publisher in
addition to several new features. If you have earlier versions
of the program, you should consider updating from  the
download page.

Many of the publishing questions related to simply
understanding what FTP meant and how to enter the correct
settings into a Profile. FTP stands for 'File Transfer Protocol
and is the primary means by which most of us will transfer
files from our local computer to a remote Internet Host. Prior
to providing FTP support, the IMS programs were designed to
Export a project to a local directory on your computer. You
would then use a 3rd party ftp program to transfer the
necessary files to the Internet host. In a near future release, we
will include a stand alone FTP program. If you don't currently
have one however, an excellent one is available at www.ipswitch.com

The latest IMS programs allow you to create multiple Export
Profiles so that you can quickly publish your project to your
local machine or to several remote hosts without changing any
setting after their initial set up. To create a new profile, enter
the Publisher dialog and select the New button in the Profile
Dialog. Change the name in the Edit Box to anything that will
help you identify this profile from other profiles. Next, decide
if you want this profile to publish to your local computer or to
a remote host and set the Export Destination. I will go into the
Clean and Backup operations in another newsletter. If you are
not sure, check them both.

The Pages dialog is used to select which pages in your project
are to be exported. You would normally set this to 'Export All
Pages' but if you wish to quickly update one or a few pages,
you can change this setting. You can use the drop down box to
change the name of page if you forgot to do it in the Page
Editor. The usual name for the first page in a Web Site is
"default.htm" or "index.html".

The File Path dialog is used to select a local export directory
for your project. When the 'Copy to Disk' option is selected,
this will be the final destination. When exporting to a remote
host, this will be a directory to temporarily store the output.
The 'Gather Option' is a powerful feature that will
automatically copy all referenced files to the Export
destination. You should normally use the Gather Option unless
you are managing a large Web Site with multiple
subdirectories. The Format option is used to select between
Dynamic HTML and standard HTML. If you are using IMS
Web Spinner or using IMS Web Engine without any special
effects or animation, select HTML 3.2 format for the most
compact files. If you are using IMS Web Engine with
animation or special effects such as drop menus, use DHTML
4.0 format and check the Combine Box.

The FTP dialog is used to set the FTP login requirements and
destination directory to an Internet Host when the 'Export to
Internet Server' option is selected. If you don't get this just
right, your Publish operation will fail. The first thing to do is
to identify the Internet location of the remote computer. You
do this by entering an IP address or Host Name. This is the
computer's address and it identifies the computer you want
from the millions of other computers on the Internet. Getting
the numbers close justwill not do. You must ask your Internet
service provider for the IP address which is a set of four
numbers separated by periods "." or an address name which is
simply an easy to remember alternative to the IP address.
Once you have the address, you need to provide your
Username and Password. This is equivalent to the keys to the
house and proves that you are entitled to enter. If you don't
already have them, contact you service provider. Onceyou
have your FTP login settings entered, you can verify that they
are correct by selecting the Browse Button. This is used to
select the destination directory on the host. By using the
Browse button you will not only ensure that the file path is
correct but that your login settings are also correct.

Once you have your Profile set, use the Apply button to save it
or the Publish button to test it. You can create as many profiles
as you like. Profiles are saved in the "ftppro.ini" file in the /bin
directory were you installed your IMS program. When you
install an IMS update into the same directory as an earlier
install, this file will be preserved and used in the update. If
you install the program into a new directory, you can copy this
file into the new /bin directory so that you will not lose any
existing settings.

As a final note, some free Hosts will not let you FTP files
directly to their server. You must use their Upload dialog to
locate the files on your local computer and then transfer them.
This should not present a problem. Simply create a new empty
directory on your computer then Publish to it using the 'Copy
to Disk' and 'Gather' options. All files in the directory can then
be selected and transferred to the host.

FTP operations can appear quite complex to the uninitiated.
Let us know what difficulties you have had so that we can
continue to make improvements and build a knowledge base
on this necessary but admittedly difficult topic.

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 1999 Virtual Mechanics

"IMS Web Tips" is a weekly news letter for all web site managers regardless of experience who are looking for detailed information on
creating, maintaining and promoting their web sites.
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