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Lesson 4 – Part 4 – Synchronize your Local and Remote Files

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Configure FileZilla to Synchronize Local and Remote Files

Welcome back to Part 4 of Lesson 4 of the Start Building Your Website Here Tutorial Series. In this part of the lesson, we will learn how to synchronize the two file structures.  The local file structure and your remote file structure. It’s important to use synchronized browsing in Filezilla as it saves time and helps prevent errors caused by uploading files to the wrong location.  This is especially true for beginners so please don’t skip this step.

Let’s look at an example of what can happen if you don’t use synchronized browsing. In Filezilla go to the local file structure and select wp-content. You can see it has plugins, themes and index.php. I’ll open up the notepad Start>>accessories>>notepad and I’m going to make a dummy file that we can copy around. So I’ll type in “This is an example file” and then I’m going to save this as an html file. I’ll type in the name as “test.html” and save type as “all files”. Then we will scroll down here and go to our business website folder location. (name of folder)>>My Business Website>>WordPress>>wp-content and save it there. Click Save.

Close the notepad. Go back to FileZilla now, hit refresh. You can see that test.html has now been added your local file structure. Now on the right hand side let’s navigate to plugins. On the left select test.html, right click and select upload, you can see that it copied test.html to the folder “plugins” even though we placed test.html in the folder in wp-content folder. With Synchronized Browsing, what happens is if you create a file here and you upload, it will automatically place the file in the appropriate folder on the website.

In order to configure synchronized browsing we have to open up the Site Manger.  So let’s go to File, Site Manager, go to the our site here which is “tailor”.   Then we will click the Advanced tab and down here we will check “use synchronized browsing”. In addition to that, we need to set up our default directories. We’ll start with our default remote directory which in this case /public_html/wp-content/.  Don’t forget the beginning and ending forward slashes. Next let’s browse to our default local directory. So it’s under (name of folder)>>My Business Website>>Wordpress>>wp-content.

So now we both have our local directory and this remote directory setup and synchronized. So we’re going to hit connect. This dialog box will come up “Abort previous connections and connect in current tab”. Just click ok. Now that we have it setup and synchronized properly, if you double click on this folder here in our local directory, you can see that it does the same to the remote directory. Now if you upload this file, you’ll see that it gets uploaded to the correct directory and can’t be uploaded to the wrong directory because these are synchronized, when you move in one place, it also moves in the other. Ok so let’s delete these files.

That concludes Part 4 of Lesson 4 of the Start Building Your Website Here Tutorial Series. You now have a fully functioning FTP system where your local file structure is synchronized with your remote file structure.

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10 Comments… add one
10 comments… add one
  • natalie curry December 15, 2011, 11:34 am

    Lesson 4 – Part 3 – Download files from your domain video for Hostgator will not play

    • Rick Anderson December 16, 2011, 9:56 am

      It works fine when I do it. Perhaps you should try a different browser. I just tested it in Chrome.

  • Vanessa Podgorski December 24, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I just registered and paid for membership and was very anxious to get started. Once I did I found that I need to be on windows!
    I’m using a mac. Will your tutorials/videos work for me?

    • Rick Anderson December 25, 2011, 5:34 am

      Vanessa – the majority of the video tutorials will work with either widows or the mac. There is a mac version of filezilla. The interface looks a little different, but not much. The main difference is the file system. The mac has a different method of accessing the files than windows does. You will need to be comfortable setting up files and folders on your computer. Otherwise everything else is the same.

  • Hakeem Lewis February 7, 2013, 10:57 am

    Iam using a mac. I on part 2 of lesson 5. I can’t copy the theme. I get Zip files.

    here it the problem!

    You can see all of the different files that make up this theme. Let’s go back, select the “suffusion” theme, right click and “cut”. Now let’s go back to our WordPress folder which in this case is in My Business Website. We were just in the “Downloads” folder now we’re going to go to the wp-content/themes folder.  Open the folder, right click and “paste”. You can see that Suffusion has been pasted in here with all of the requisite files.
    Now next we’re going to synchronize our local files with our webserver.   So let’s go ahead and open up FileZilla. Go over to File and select Site Manager, select the site that we set up earlier. Hit Connect. Now remember that we’ve got this synchronized and the wp-content in your remote site is synchronized with the wp-content in your local machine. If you go and open up “themes”, you’ll see Suffusion is there. Right click on suffusion and select “upload”.

    • Rick Anderson February 7, 2013, 12:27 pm

      Hakeem, once you download the zip files you’ll need to unzip them and then copy them to the local file system. While the process is slightly different on a mac the concept is still the same.

  • Cora Foestner March 6, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Just wanted to leave a comment. I’ve used Filezilla before, but now have a better understanding of how to organize and use it more efficiently. I didn’t have a good way to set up my local files and didn’t know about the synchronizing files option–two key pieces of information. Thanks!!

    Second, your file system is excellent. In the past, I’ve just let Filezilla set things up, and I could never find my stuff. Now I know exactly where things are. I’m excited as that makes life easier and faster.

    I’m also a MAC user, and although Filezilla is a little different in Windows, it still works very similar. Instead of double clicking files in Filezilla, right click and open them, and your MAC files pop up in small a window. Same results, just looks a little different.

  • Gertraud Walters June 11, 2013, 6:35 am

    I am stuck on Lesson 4 – Part 2 – Setup Local File System & Configure
    Since I’ve been starting from scratch I am experiencing some recurring problem with the configuration. Here is the message I am getting. Not too sure what I’m doing wrong, but I have also sent this message to Hostgator Support for help.
    This is the message coming up.

    Status: Resolving address of
    Status: Connecting to…
    Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message…
    Response: 220———- Welcome to Pure-FTPd [privsep] [TLS] ———-
    Response: 220-You are user number 1 of 50 allowed.
    Response: 220-Local time is now 08:08. Server port: 21.
    Response: 220 You will be disconnected after 15 minutes of inactivity.
    Command: USER gertraud
    Response: 331 User gertraud OK. Password required
    Command: PASS *********
    Response: 530 Login authentication failed
    Error: Critical error
    Error: Could not connect to server

    I am sure it’s something very simple but I can’t see it. Password ???

    • Rick Anderson June 11, 2013, 6:48 am

      Gertraud, yes this error is due to using an incorrect password.

      • Gertraud Walters June 11, 2013, 8:56 am

        Thank you Rick.
        Out of sheer frustration I went for a run and had a thought that I used the wrong password. Well I did 5.13km ,came back used the CPanel Password and then read your Email.

        It’s all good now and I can continue.

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