FTP - How To Upload Files To RootsWeb

Table of Contents

Getting Started


FTP and Netcom

FTP Through Your Browser

FTP and Macintosh

FTP and Windows

What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a special type of connection that allows you to transfer files from your computer to RootsWeb. You can upload files as well as download them.

Using FTP to Upload Files

Once you have your html or data file ready to be uploaded you will need to be able to connect to RootsWeb via a FTP connection.

Some ISP's provide their customers with a builtin FTP client. AOL, Netcom, Compuserve, etc. all provide this service. Check with your ISP to see if they provide FTP support. If they do not, then you will need to purchase a stand alone FTP Client to upload files. There are several good client FTP's on the market (WS_FTP, CuteFTP for the PC and FETCH for the Mac are a few types). You can download these clients from any shareware site for a nominal fee (from $30 and up).

Once you know whether your FTP client is builtin or you have installed a stand alone version, you will need to configure your FTP client to connect to RootsWeb.

Configuring Your Ftp Client

You will need to set your FTP program to contact RootsWeb as follows (these are general instructions):

FTP: users.rootsweb.com
Server type: Unix
Anonymous User: Off or uncheck
Account Name: Your user account name (stcounty)
Password: Your password
Directory: public_html

Note: You must be currently online to use FTP. Login to your ISP first, then run your FTP client.

Miscelleanous FTP Tips

From rfuller@freeway.net (Ron Fuller): Make sure to note the differences of versions within the same program. Not all persons are using current versions of everything (g!)

Thanks, Ron. You are correct....differences in versions of the same FTP program can cause problems for users. Not all instructions will work even when using the same FTP program -- so please check your users documentation for specific help if you get stuck.


It is very easy to upload files using AOL's builtin FTP program. To begin using FTP, select KEYWORD: and type in FTP. You will receive a general FTP screen back with several options on it. If you have never used FTP before, take a few minutes and read the general overiew on how to use FTP on AOL. Also, if you are planning on uploading files to your member account directory, you will need to read how to do this -- it is different from the procedure to upload files to RootsWeb. To jump right in, select the GO TO FTP button on the right side of the screen. You will receive a second screen back that will give you a list of suggested FTP sites -- Note: one of these is members.aol.com (this is what you would select if you wanted to upload into your member account). You need to click on the USE OTHER SITE button. A new screen will pop up that will have a blank box for a host server name. Type in users.rootsweb.com and check the box underneath that says PROMPT FOR USER ID. Click GO. Now you will receive a small screen that has a place for your user account name and password. Type these in just as they were sent to you from RootsWeb. Remember that passwords are case sensitive (so if there are captial letters in your password -- type them in that way).

You are now connected to RootsWeb. You will see the main FTP screen where you will upload your files. There are several directories listed in here - public_html, archive_ftp, and archive_html. You will load all your website files into the public_html directory so click once to open this directory. The screen should be blank and at the very top it will say something like:


Make sure you are inside the public_html directory before you upload any files. When you are ready to upload - just click the upload button. A SEND screen will pop up next - you can either type in the full path name of the file you wish to upload or click the FIND/BROWSE button at the bottom to search for the file on your computer. If you choose to search for the file, a browse screen will pop up and you can scroll through all the directories on your personal computer to find the file you want to upload. When you find it - click on it once to highlight it and then press the SEND file button. The file will be transfered to RootsWeb - a transfer screen will show you how much is being transfered and when it is done it will pop back and tell you that the "file is done."

To see your file with your browser, you will need to type in your account URL as follows:


Connecting Problems with AOL

Sometimes you will receive a connection refused error message from AOL when you try to FTP. Usually this happens during peak service times on AOL. It does not mean that RootsWeb is down. Sometimes the error message will tell you that the remote host is not responding - again this is almost always an AOL problem and not a RootsWeb problem. Your best bet is to FTP in the early morning hours and avoid peak service times.

Page Loading Problems with AOL

AOL connects to RootsWeb via a proxy server. This can sometimes cause problems for users especially when you upload files and want to see your new changes online right away. Often users think that their file did not load properly when in fact it did. AOL cache pages to save server connect times and reduce stress on their server systems. You may have to clear your computer's cache to see your new pages online - check under MY AOL/PREFERENCES/WWW and press the advanced options button. Then press the CLEAR CACHE NOW button. Sometimes this will do the trick but more than likely you will need to exit out of AOL and then log back in and go to your URL to see the new page.

FTP and Netcom

Netcom users can use the Netcruiser FTP client to upload files to RootsWeb. It is very easy to use - click on the "ftp" icon and it will bring up a window where you will type: users.rootsweb.com

The next screen comes up that has blanks for account name and password.. or anonymous (which it defaults to with a check in that square). Make sure you "uncheck" it, then type in your account name and password.

The next screen is your main account directory. You can choose public_html, archives_html or archives_ftp. Click on public_html and open that directory. Several icons will be on this next screen and you can upload, download, rename a file, or delete a file. Select Upload and then browse your computer for the file. Hightlight the file and click send.

[Instructions provided by Linda Lewis, cityslic@ix.netcom.com]

Uploading Through Your Browser Screen

It is possible to upload files to RootsWeb without using a standalone or builtin FTP client. Some browsers support file uploads (check your instruction manual or online tutorial). These are general instructions and may not work for everyone.

On your URL location screen, type in:


This will put you in your "home" directory where you will click on the public_html directory. You can upload files by clicking on menu options "file", then "upload file".

[Instructions provided by John Rigdon and Linda Lewis]

Using FETCH on the Macintosh

Macintosh users can upload a variety of ways - using either a builtin client through an ISP like AOL or Netcom, or they can use a standalone FTP program called FETCH. FETCH is very easy to use and is shareware - you can download it from http://www.hotfiles.com (select Macintosh, then search for FTP).

You will need to signon to the internet first, then double click on FETCH to start the program. You can set your preferences so that each time, FETCH will open a connection to RootsWeb. To start select OPEN a CONNECTION and type in the following:

HOST: ftp.rootsweb.com
ACCOUNT: your account name
PASSWORD: your password
DIRECTORY: Leave blank

FETCH will open a FTP connection to RootsWeb and will place you in your account. You will need to click on public_html and then you can upload all your files. To start, select the PUT FILES button and find the file you want to upload through the browse screen. Highlight it and click ok. Choose RAW DATA and type in the file name -- if it is different than what is on your computer. Click SEND. To download files, choose GET FILES instead.

Before sending, select the 'preferences' option from 'customize menu'; choose the option to upload the files as 'raw data'. That way, the files will always transfer in the right format.

You can also change file permissions with FETCH - do to this select REMOTE under the menu and you can set permissions, rename a file, or delete a file.

[Instructions provided by Julie Clayton (knomaddd@ix.netcom.com)]

Using WS_FTP for Windows 3.1/95

WS_FTP32 a freeware product for noncomercial use. It can be downloaded from TUCOWS at: http://tucows.myriad.net/ftp95.html (listed as WS-FTP LE32-bit) OR from it's own page (good information here)

Once installed/setup it opens with a window called SESSION PROFILE

Name : (what you want to call it, I used my County name)
Host Name: users.rootsweb.com
Host Type: UNIX (standard)[this is selected from list]
User ID: (account: ____ from confirmation letter)
Password: (password: ____ from confirmation letter)

You can "click" on Save Password (This is optional but nice).

Remote Host: public_html Local PC: (hard drive, directory where you keep these files) (for me this is - D:\Web_Pg\MS)

"click" SAVE

After that each time you select the Profile Name the setup will appear and you will only "click" OK to start. It will log on and go to the directory on your computer where the files are saved and the directory at RootsWeb where you will place the files.

Make sure you "click" ASCII for a transfer of HTML files and BINARY for graphic files.

[Instructions provided by Jean Jones (auntjean@rapidramp.com)]

Connection Problems with WS_FTP

Some users experience connection problems when trying to use WS_FTP for the first time. One common problem is that WS_FTP seems to want it's own WINSOCK.DLL in the local directory. If you get an error stating that WS_FTP cannot find this file, you need to copy WINSOCK.DLL from another place on your hard drive and into the WS_FTP folder. You can run Find Files under the start menu on Windows 95 and search for this file. Once you find it, go to your desk top and open up the My Computer Icon. Go to the folder where this file is located and copy it. Then select and drag it into your WS_FTP folder.

Connection Problems with WS_FTP and AOL

AOL Users should be able to use WS_FTP over top of their AOL connection. To do this successfully you need to make sure you are using the 16-bit version of WS_FTP and not the 32-bit version.

Using CuteFTP for Windows 3.1/95

CuteFTP is freeware and can be downloaded at http://www.download.com or http://www.hotfiles.com. It is really easy to use and works well for most users.

Login to your ISP. Start CuteFTP and Click Quick Connect under the FTP menu.

Type in Host Address space
Type (your county ID) in User ID space
Type your assigned password in Password space
Login Type - shows Normal
Transfer Type - shows Auto-Detect
Then click on OK

Once you are connected to RootsWeb, select the public_html directory and open it up. Upload all your files into this directory.

[Instructions provided by Jolee Spears (spearsj@nando.net)]

Using Netscape Navigator 3.0

Login to your ISP as usual. Open your browser screen to the location of your account. Open up the public_html file and then using Netscape, just clicked on file. A drop down box appears where you can find your files on your computer. Click on the file you want (clicked open) and it will start uploading. A dialog box tells you what is happening. When the file is finsihed, a box will appear telling you it was loaded successfully. Click OK and repeat the process until finished.

[Instructions provided by Dianne Rabchak (drabchak@telusplanet.net)]

Using MS FrontPage

Instructions for using Front Page program with Rootsweb server.

Be SURE you don't call the new web "ROOT" anything. This will put you into the main local host of the program and will end up publishing ALL of your webs…. Plus, you have to be very careful when deleting or you may need to reinstall FP (Guess what I did tonight) I renamed the web name to my county name, and all is fine now.

The first time you hit publish, you need to enter a new server. Hit "More webs" and it says "Please enter…" I had the best luck with users.rootsweb.com. Just entering rootsweb.com gives the message "There is no server on port 80 at rootsweb.com"

FTP server name rootsweb.com Directory path (This is the hard part) Using regular FTP, cut the exact directory path to public_html. My husband had to grab it out of the FTP log and paste it into FP. Once we figured this out, it worked like a charm!

(next menu)

Username: mnclay

I noticed today the end of an arguement about not using Front Page, the older versions were pretty ugly, and most of the WYSIWYG programs are nasty. Yet, Front Page 98 does a pretty swift job, and has management tools that make the whole thing worthwhile. I'll let it check for broken links before I head to bed, and they will be listed easily for me in the am.

Really easy to snip in new stuffs, and you can click over the the reg html to beat into submission those little things that just don't want to behave correctly. Definatley makes the whole process faster and more efficient.

[Instructions provided by Shannon Anderson (shannon@paulbunyan.net)]