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Troubleshooting Filezilla Synchronized Browsing with Multiple Domains

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In this session we troubleshoot Filezilla synchronized browsing with multiple domains. We discuss the creation of a file structure in the computer that mirrors the file structure in the website. It is important to understand the root of the website and make sure that you have the right starting place for a given website.

Video Transcript

Rick:  So you’re having some awkwardness with Filezilla.

John:  That’s a good description, Rick. I don’t know why but it just seems to work fine whenever I’m with you. Then whenever…

Rick:  I think I just lost you. Did I just lose you John?

John:  I don’t know.

Rick:  Oh no, there you are. Okay.

John:  Hi.

Rick:  So you’re sharing your screen, obviously. First off, let’s look at your site. Okay so it’s…

John:  You can see Thesis is not there. That’s the problem.

Rick:  Right. So look at your URL there, it’s So it’s in that tempbiltmoresite that we’re going to have to be looking for and placing Thesis. Then open up Filezilla…

John:  Okay, there it is and this is the…

Rick:  The host?

John:  The host that they told me to… Bluehost recommended that I use this number instead of…

Rick:  Sure. That’s fine.

John:  And that would be… if I remember the instruction right, when I go to Bluehost, there’s a username and a host and this is supposedly more stable, I guess, than the URL.

Rick:  It’s fine. It’s just the numeric version of the URL.

John:  Okay.

Rick:  That’s fine. Just look at your Advanced tab for a second. I don’t believe that is an accurate directory name. Why don’t you cut out everything after public html and let’s just start there?

John:  Take that out, okay.

Rick:  Yeah. Put the slash in and hit connect. On the right hand side there, expand public html and let’s just look down here, just scroll down and show me all your different… okay so scroll back up. So you’ve got a folder called biltmoreetc. Double click on that one. Go ahead and say yes to disable synchronized browsing for the moment. Okay, expand the biltmoreetc. See that folder temp biltmore site?

John:  Yes.

Rick:  Double click on it. See this is where you need to start the synchronization because this is the root of this website. So it’s public html/biltmoreetc/tempbiltmoreetcsite. See that up over there where it says remote site?

John:  Yes, right here?

Rick:  Yeah, go ahead and cut that or copy it. Okay now go back to Site Manager and go to your Advanced Settings and now hit connect. Okay, double click on wp-content. Okay, double click on themes. Why don’t you expand the Filezilla so we can see more of it? Then under themes you’ve got small biz 2011 and 2010.

John:  Are these just the themes that come with WordPress that are already in there?

Rick:  Well, small biz must have been installed by Bluehost. 2010 and 2011 are automatically added. Expand themes for just a second. See, you do have a bunch of extraneous files in this that don’t belong there. For example, you don’t want plugins inside of themes. That should be deleted.

John:  Should I do it from here or do I need to go inside that?

Rick:  I’d open up your File Manager. Let’s just open up that first. Right now, I would delete public html. I would delete thesis 1.8.4 because they don’t belong there. Now if you open up wp-content, you should have downloads, plugins and themes. So I would delete the thesis 1.8 because what you’re trying to do here, John, is you’re trying to create a file structure on your computer that mirrors the file structure on your website. So you don’t have any themes directly under wp-content. All of your themes are under wp-content and themes. Go ahead and delete plugins there. You don’t have any plugins inside of the themes folder.

John:  That makes sense.

Rick:  You may as well go up and look at your plugins folder when this is done and see if you’ve got any themes inside your plugins folder. Okay, that’s fine. Maybe if you just look at the top there, you have dropbox, my biz websites, biltmoreetc, WordPress. WordPress is now the root of your file structure of your website on your local computer. Then inside of that is wp-content and inside of wp-content should be plugins and themes. Go ahead and click on wp-content.

John:  From here?

Rick:  Yeah.

John:  That’s why I’m getting nothing.

Rick:  Okay go to WordPress. Double click on wp-content again. Okay, there we go. I don’t know why it didn’t show that. But now what you have is the ordinary folder structure that you’re also going to have on your website. Open up themes and let’s just make sure Thesis 1.8.4 is in there and then open up Thesis 1.8.4. You’ve got Thesis 1.8.4 as a directory in there so delete that. In fact, what you really should do at this point is… because you don’t know what else you’ve changed, I will just delete this Thesis 1.8.4 entirely and create a new one from your downloaded zip file from Thesis.

John:  Which I don’t know where it is.

Rick:  Well, just go download it again from DIY Themes then. But on to themes first and let’s delete this version of Thesis 1.8.4. We might as well delete the index php as well.

John:  So what you’re saying, Rick is I got this thing pretty jacked up.

Rick:  Well, it seems like there’s a bit of a disconnect in your mind on how WordPress stores its files. So we’ve got plugin files where they don’t belong and theme files where they don’t belong and that’s just going to make things more and more confusing. So go ahead and get a new copy of the zip file from Thesis. You got to actually put your username in unless username is your username which I doubt.

John:  Let me just… I have that here in a file.

Rick:  Okay. Let me move your screen off of the window here, if I can. There we go. Okay, there you go. Then go to Download Thesis up on the top there, the very top. Okay so now Thesis is in your downloads directory so open up your File Manager again. Windows Explorer and go to Downloads and go find that Thesis 1.8.4 zip file.

John:  Why is this going on right here?

Rick:  Because you’ve got so much stuff in your downloads folder that it’s taking a while for it to show it all.

John:  Okay. In your opinion… I know we’re not here to talk about that but is that a poor practice to have stuff in there?

Rick:  It probably is but you know, that’s what I do too.

John:  Okay. Should I go ahead and click this to sort by date?

Rick:  Yeah, you can sort it by date or sort by title, it doesn’t matter. Whichever way it takes you to get there.

John:  Come on machine. I’m just going to have to enjoy watching this little green bar for a moment.

Rick:  When you get there, what you’re going to do is copy it.

John:  Shouldn’t that just be Thesis?

Rick:  It all depends on how you’re sorting there. Well, don’t kill it yet. Go ahead and just let it finish its thing there. Okay, it’s never going to go any quicker than it’s going right now.

John:  So you can’t take the file out of here right now if you can find it?

Rick:  Well, if you can scroll down, sure. But you’ve got to go over to your scroll bar and see if you can scroll down or you could search for it too. There you go. You’ve got a couple copies of it so just copy it, go over to your library. I mean, the place where you want to go which in this case is… yeah, there you go. Paste it there and expand it or extract it. Yeah, just right there. Okay so now you have a clean copy of Thesis 1.8.4 sitting in the right place in your computer. Now go back to Filezilla, refresh this view. It’s the blue green arrow… there you go. Okay and now just select Thesis 1.8.4 on the lower place. Yeah, not the zip file. There you go, just select it and say upload.

The whole trick here John is first, understanding the file structure. So it’s the root of your website then inside that root is wp-content. Inside wp-content is themes. Inside of themes is your Thesis 1.8.4 folder. It’s understanding that and then making sure that you have the right starting place for a given website because you have multiple websites there. So you have to get to the right starting place and the right starting place, in this case, is public html biltmoreetc temp biltmoreetc site. That’s the corresponding starting place. That’s the root of the temp biltmoreetc website. So that corresponds to WordPress on your local machine.

If it made it any clearer for you, you could change the name of WordPress to temp biltmoreetc site on your local machine so that you saw that correspondence more directly. But it doesn’t matter what you call them. You could call it fishsticks and it would still do the job. I don’t think you can change the name here though. I don’t think you can change it in that dialogue. You’ll have to change it in the other…

John:  In the files?

Rick:  Right.

John:  Okay, we’ll leave it for now.

Rick:  Okay so now go to your website. You’re going to see it there.

John:  Bingo. Look at that. So activate right here?

Rick:  Yeah. Now see that attention? In order to take full advantage of the controls, Thesis offers you have to change the name of the custom sample to custom? Open up Filezilla again and open up Thesis 1.8.4.

John:  Didn’t I?

Rick:  Yeah. I’m sorry, let’s go back to your website. The zip file, I didn’t catch what was going on there. So go back to Appearance and Themes and we’re going to delete this. So activate the 2011 theme for a second.

John:  And the 2010?

Rick:  It doesn’t matter. Either one. Just deactivating Thesis is what you’re doing. Now, go down to the Thesis and delete it and say yes to all of its files. It’s going to ask you if you want to delete all those files. You just say yes. Okay, is it gone? So now let’s go back to your local computer. Not here but using your Windows Explorer. Okay, open up Thesis 1.8.4. Oh, hold it. Oh brother. See, it’s got a Thesis 1.8.4 folder inside of a Thesis 1.8.4 folder. That’s the problem. So go up a level and copy that or cut it or whatever. Cut it, go up another level. Okay, delete both of those, paste what you cut.

John:  What? What happened?

Rick:  Okay so we just have to hit cancel, go back to your downloads folder. Try dragging that directly into this folder again. I guess you can’t, okay. Just open it up in Windows Explorer. Open containing folder would have been the thing to do there, yeah. Okay, copy that, go to the Dropbox. Okay, let’s open that up for a second, that’s good. Go back up to themes. So the problem was I did not notice that when you unzipped it, it created a folder within a folder. That doesn’t maintain the file structure and I’m actually surprised it work. But obviously, it did work so now let’s go back to Filezilla, refresh the view and let’s upload this again.

John:  From here?

Rick:  Go to themes, there you go. Select Thesis 1.8.4 down below and right click. No, you selected it up above, right? So select themes again where you are. See down below where it says file name? That’s where you manage the files. You can navigate any of the 4 panes but really, the top pane is for navigating and the bottom pane is for manipulating. So just right click on that now and say upload. The bottom pane shows you all the content of whatever the selected folder happens to be and the top pane shows you the tree.

John:  Okay, I get it.

Rick:  Okay so now go back to your site. You just refresh it and then open it up on Filezilla again. Now we want to look in the custom folder.

John:  Here?

Rick:  Well yeah, select Thesis 1.8.4. Now you can see the content of Thesis 1.8.4, right?

John:  Yes.

Rick:  Okay. On the right hand side that is on the remote server, we want to change the name from custom to custom sample. That’s not where you’re going to change the name though. You’re going to change the name in the lower pane so you have to scroll down to it. Okay, you can right click on that and say change name or rename or whatever. Okay and it should just be custom, not capital.

John:  Why?

Rick:  What do you mean why?

John:  Why do we have to change it?

Rick:  Because that’s the way Thesis works. That’s what that message that we just read earlier was. In order for you to take full advantage, you have to rename. So now you just renamed custom sample to custom.

John:  Okay.

Rick:  Now go back over to your site and refresh it and that attention message goes away. Okay?

John:  Okay. Very good.

Rick:  So the takeaway here is that you need to have a good understanding of 2 things. One is, what is the WordPress file structure look like and we’ve just finished that. I mean, there isn’t any more to it than we just talked about. So what is the WordPress file structure look like and what is the root of my website? The root of your temp biltmoreetc website is publichtml/biltmoreetc/tempbiltmorewebsite. The root of your biltmoreetc website is publichtml/biltmoreetc.

John:  Okay.

Rick:  I don’t know, your Crazy Arizona Homes or whatever that was was publichtml/crazyarizonahomes. And you can see that but if you scroll up in that top right pane, you can see the tree of your… so it’s AZ Homes by Zip. I presume that’s a website.

John:  It’s a URL that I’ve never developed that could be.

Rick:  Okay well if you installed WordPress on AZ Homes by Zip, that would be its root. Select the minus sign there next to Biltmore Etc. Say yes to that. Okay, Cool AZ Digs. That’s what I was thinking of. That’s a website, right? So that’s the root of that website. My AZ Biz, I presume, is a website and so that’s the root of that website. For each one of these things, when you’re creating synchronized browsing for each of those sites, you need to make the relationship between where the root of the site is on your local computer and the root of the site on your server.

John:  In this case, just to be crystal clear with Cool AZ Digs on the right, this is the public location. So over here, I need to be from My Biz websites, I would presume it should be Cool AZ Digs.

Rick:  Well, let’s go up to your Site Manager and let’s just set one up. Okay so yeah, select Cool AZ Digs. Now go over to Advanced and so there it is except that… so there you got users, John, dropbox, my biz websites, Cool AZ Digs and presumably after that is WordPress.

John:  Probably so.

Rick:  Let’s just look and see. Okay so what I would do is I would delete wp content from that. And then down under here, the remote directory? It’s not wp-content. It’s Cool AZ Digs.

John:  Like that?

Rick:  Yeah. And now say connect and there you are.

John:  Okay.

Rick:  So does that make sense?

John:  Yeah. So these files here, you think that they appear to be as they should be?

Rick:  No. They appear to be mislocated.

John:  Okay. Well, that’s another session. Somebody else has turned up.

Rick:  Well, I mean, if you just think about it you know, where do plugins go? Plugins go under wp-content. So if it’s not under wp-content, it’s not in the right place.

John:  Okay.

Rick:  Because the relationship is the website root, wp-content, plugins or website root, wp-content themes.

John:  Okay. That makes sense. I’ll clean that up and I’ll be on my way with my Biltmore Etc site. Thank you for your help today.

Rick:  You bet. Have a good day, John.

John:  Alright, thank you.

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