Your home page
A home page is the page a visitor will first see when visiting your site by entering your URL. On most sites, this page is called:
Some sites may use a different name, but most will allow you to use any one of these names. If your host recommends something, use that. WebDwarf uses index.html as the default, so if in doubt, try that first.
- index.html or index.htm
- default.html or default.htm
A full URL to a web page normally includes the page name. But for home pages, we adopt a convenient shortcut -- links to home pages don't need to include the name of the first page. These two links are equivalent:
WebDwarf will automatically name new pages "index". If you don't want an index page, change this name to any name you like by entering the new name into the page name edit box on the Page toolbar of your workpage (don't include the .html or .htm file extension).
Open the publisher
Open the publisher by:
- clicking the Publish button on the top toolbar; or
- clicking Publish > Publish Project from the top menu; or
- using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+P
Setting your profile (Profile tab)
Your profile is the list of settings you need for your projects.
In the Export Destination section, you have these choices:
Leave the Publish Format set at HTML.
- My Web Host (FTP): select if you want WebDwarf to upload the relevant files to your host. It will first create the files in your local publish directory -- on your computer disk.
- Files on Disk: select if you want to create the HTML files only in your local publish directory. You will then use a separate FTP program to do the upload, or the Windows FTP.
- IHost VM Options: select if your site is (to be) hosted by iHostVM, or you want a free 24-hour trial site.
Use the Local Publish Directory to select a local directory (folder) for the published project. WebDwarf will always place the published files in this directory. If you are using WebDwarf to upload to your host, it will FTP to your host from this directory.
Editing your profile
Webdwarf will save any changes you make to the Profile tab or the other tabs for use in the future. You can edit your profile too -- if you are not publishing immediately, click "Apply" to apply your changes.
To browse to a new directory, click the ellipsis ( ... ) button to the right of the directory name.
After you publish, you can browse this directory (say, with Windows Explorer) to see exactly what files have been published -- sometimes there can be surprises! E.g., huge files, or many duplicate images.
Use the Path Options section to select Gather or Relative mode. We recommend you leave this set to Gather to start with.
Gather collects all the image files for your project, then copies them into the publish directory. If you require, it will then FTP them to your host. This is the safest option with the least risk of missing files. Since the published code keeps file paths all relative to current directory, you can move the whole published project to another location, and it will still work. See also: Relative URLs.
As you gain experience, turning Gather off is also reasonable. For this option, you gather your esternal images manually, and place them yourself in the required sub folders of your site. WebDwarf will continue to Gather the image files that it creates -- the ones whose names start with "obj".
Sub folders (or sub-directories)
Clicking the Sub Folders button in the Profile tab will produce a window like that below. This window shows the common file types and the default folders where WebDwarf will place them. Normally these will be just fine, but for small sites, you may opt to put everything in the root folder of your site. If so, uncheck the "Use Sub Folders" box.
If you have unchecked the "Use Sub Folders" box, all image files will go in the root folder of your site -- the top level folder. Otherwise they will go to the image or geometry folders of your site.
Publishing to a local directory
If you have chosen "Files On Disk" as your Export Destination on the Profile tab, you can now press the Publish button to export your project to the Local Publish Directory on the Profile tab. If you will later move or FTP the exported files yourself, we suggest that you start with an empty directory. After publishing, this directory will then contain all the files related to the project. (And if you are well organized, only the files related to the project!)
Publishing to your web server
In order to FTP directly to your web site (also called web server or web host) you will need to know the permissions and procedures that your hosting company expects you to use. Most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will expect you to enter a User Name and a Password. You will also need to know the IP address for the server and the directory that your files must be put into. This information varies from host to host. Some free hosting sites may not allow you to FTP directly to your web site or may require that you use their specialized procedures to upload your files. If you do not already know the procedure or don't have the required FTP information, contact your hosting company technical support.
Before you can publish, you need at least these important pieces of information:
We'll continue by assuming that you are publishing the Hello World project (2 pages) and that you have alread set up your profile,
- Host name (or IP Address)
- Login name
Put a forward slash in the Remote Publish Directory for now, or let WebDwarf do so.
FTP login data
Host Name (or IP Address).
A Host Name is a unique identifier for a server on the Internet and is typically a main level domain name prefixed by ftp such as: ftp://virtualmechanics.com or
An IP Address also identifies a unique domain and takes the form of four numbers separated by dots such as 220.127.116.11. Some web hosts require an IP address, others require a domain name and many will accept either. If you are not sure, contact your host technical support.
Either way, enter the Host Name or IP address as provided by your host.
Anonymous login, restricts your options and usually requires that you use your e-mail address. You don't want an Anonymous login.
Enter your User Name as provided by your host. This is the name you enter to log on to your server.
Enter your Password as provided by your host. If you check the checkbox "Save Password", the password will be saved in plain text in your ftppro.ini file.
Browse your site
You should now be able to access your web site. Be sure you are connected to the Internet and select the Browse button next to the Remote Publish Directory box. If everything is set up correctly, you should see an FTP Server Directory dialog with your Remote Directory and a list of the files within it. If the dialog does not appear, see Why can't I browse my site?
Although it does not look like it, you can resize this window in the usual way -- just drag the right hand edge or bottom.
Your window should look a little like the one above. In practice, you should have a few files and folders already there. There may be a file there called index.html (or .htm) or default.html (or htm). This will contain a simple message that your host provides for all new sites saying in effect: "Hello, this site isn't up yet".
If you see one of those files, you have found the right place and you are in the correct folder.
On some hosts, the directory that you start with may not be the directory you publish your project to. You can explore your host by selecting folders or the red up arrow. Navigate up or down the directories by double clicking on the red arrow or the folder. Try double-clicking the red up arrow until you can navigate no higher. If you find nothing better, the folder you arrive at is probably the one where you should put your site files.
For our example, the folder of interest is called "web". But on your site, the folder may have a variety of other names like "httpdocs", "public_html" or "wwwroot". If there are multiple folders, it may not be clear which one you are to use for your site. If so, you'll need to explore each path in turn. We'll explore the only one possible here: "web" -- image below.
This is starting to look more promising. Again in this simple example, there is only one place to go -- so double-click the folder now visible:
This is the place we have been looking for. In practice, you are unlikely to find the two special files together like this -- expect to see only one. So this is the correct directory for your site -- the root folder. Notice how the name of the path to this folder appears in the Destination Directory.
Click OK to accept the settings and close the FTP Server Directory dialog. This will automatically transfer the path from the Destination Directory to the FTP Tab Remote Publish Directory. If you know the path, you can enter it directly into the Remote Publish Directory edit box, but keep in mind that some hosts are CaSe sensitive. To avoid typos, it is best to browse for the directory as we have done, and allow WebDwarf to make the setting.
In turn, this setting will form part of the profile for your projects, after you click "Apply", or "Publish" using the profile.
Publish and export progress
You should now be ready to export your project by pressing the Publish button. WebDwarf will display the name of each file that is being FTP'd in an Export Progress dialog. Any errors indicate that for some reason, such as a lost connection, a read protected file or a write protected remote directory, WebDwarf did not transfer the file.
If there were errors, check the Export Progress window to see exactly what they were. With that information, you will be better placed to solve the problem. You can right-click the body of the Export Progress window, use "Select All" from the context menu to select all the text -- then use the standard Windows Copy/Paste keyboard shortcuts to paste it elsewhere for easier study.
A successful upload should always end with: "Transfer completed without errors!"
Having published the first page of your project, you will now need to repeat the procedure for the second page.
If you browse your Destination Directory again, you should see that your files have appeared in that folder.
Why can't I browse my site?
First, make sure you are connected to the internet! Other problem areas are:
The most common reason for failure is that you have a firewall (or a program like "Net Nanny") turned on that is blocking the transfer. In that case, you must set the firewall to allow WebDwarf to access the Internet.
If the firewall is causing the problem you may see
Preparing to Connect ...
and then nothing further. Sometimes it will also say
Could Not Connect
and you may see
The server name or address could not be resolved
Depending on the firewall, WebDwarf may just wait (hang) until it connects or it times out -- then you get the "could not be resolved" message
If you are using Windows, you may have the Windows firewall running by default. Also, be sure you are not using a 3rd party firewall and the Windows firewall at the same time. That can cause problems. And don't overlook firewalls on your local network.
If you cannot configure your firewall(s), try turning it or them off completely and then browsing/ publishing. Turn them back on when you are done.
Invalid Host, User Name or Password
If any of your host name, user name or password are incorrect, you will not be able to browse or publish. If you see a "Last Error" of
The password was not allowed
it could be an incorrect Host, User Name or Password -- since they work as a trio.
Of course you should double and treble check that you have all three absolutely correct -- make sure the capitalization exactly matches what your host has given you. If you can, copy and paste from the email your host sent you. Some letters like "o" and "I" can look very like numbers ("0" and "1") -- copy and paste avoids that difficulty.
Sometimes your host has a failure and resets your password to what it was when you first signed up. So try your original password. If in any doubt, tell your host you have lost your password and they will e-mail you the current one.
Invalid Host Name
If you are absolutely confident about login and password, then the only variable is the host name, and unfortunately this is the one hosts are often vague about.
If you get a "could not be resolved" message almost immediately (within 1 second), make sure your user name is allowed to use FTP -- you may be able to check through the Admin function of your site. And make sure you are using the correct FTP address -- it need not be the same as your web address. Check the spelling.
If your domain name is http://www.MyDomain.com. your ftp address may be something like:
Try each of those variations -- you have nothing to lose. If that does not work, ask your web host to confirm the correct Host Name.
Wi-Fi connections tend to be unreliable for FTP -- there is a high rate of frame dropouts. Or you might have a bad landline. Either of these could cause upload problems through timeouts or too many retries. You may have some luck setting the retries value higher -- also try switching between active and passive modes. You might have better luck at another time of the day, when sources of electrical interference are reduced.
Try to connect another way
Try to log on to your site via the Windows FTP or some other FTP program. If you can, it is at least confirmation of your login details. You may instead choose the "other way" to upload, and instead use WebDwarf only for the publish to disk.
Why can't I publish to my web host?
If you can't publish, the first step is to see if you can browse your site as described above. If that works, there are still several reasons why WebDwarf might be able to browse but not publish:
Check the obvious first. Make sure you have the Profile tab set to an Export Destination of My Web Host(FTP).
Check your Export Progress window to see what html files WebDwarf is actually publishing.
You may be trying to publish to the wrong part (folder) of your site. If you do not know the correct part, try leaving the Remote Publish Directory as a forward slash, / Then allow WebDwarf to set the directory by browsing your site.
You may have used up your allocated disk space on your host.
If you are experiencing an unreliable connection that seems to work partially, you may be using a connection that requires "Passive Mode" FTP. To correct this, select the Use Passive Mode check-box on the FTP tab of the Publisher window.
You may have a file open in some other program, such as an image editor or viewer program.
Look closely at all the error messages in your Export Progress window. Even though they seem cryptic, there may be some clues there. Are there any patterns in the files that are producing the errors? Look at the locations where the files are going -- if wrong, you need to correctly set your Remote Publish Directory by browsing your site.
Try to publish another way
If none of the above helps, try publishing to a local directory using the "Files on Disk" Export Option. If you can do that without problems, a workaround may be to:
- publish locally; and
- open a 3rd party FTP program (There are many free ones available on the Web, and there is also one built into Windows); and
- upload the published files from your local directory to your web server.