File Locations

Click for Exercise at bottom

The first thing to remember is that HTML documents are just text files. You can create and edit them with any text editor, such as Notepad. So, to get started you need to know where to create your files and what to create.

Where are the files for your site?

Most web site makers have two copies of the site:

  1. A local copy, on your local computer (home or office) or USB memory stick. This is not visible to the world but it is the site location where you do your edits. You can only edit a site on a local computer unless your host has a web interface which lets you modify pages on your browser.

    Often the local-copy machine is also running local web server software which allows the web developer to fully preview how the web server on the host (remote) machine will work when uploaded to the web. For this course you will not need to install the web server on your computer. Most of the edits can work with just a browser.

    For a personal site on campus which you are developing off campus it is easier to place your local files on a USB drive. That way you can edit the files at home, at your office and also on campus. When on campus you can copy from the USB drive to the N: drive and when off campus you can still use one of the FTP methods to copy files.

  2. The remote copy. This is the actual website visible on the world wide web. This copy is located on a computer at the host's location. This can be anywhere the World Wide Web goes to. The computer at the host is called a server and it can be in the same room or on the other side of the world. Normally you copy (upload) files from your local copy to this remote copy using an FTP program.
  3. The university, in this case, is your host as as long as you are a student (or employee) you have a website space reserved for you. You just need to (1) know about it and (2) use it.
  4. The BEST METHOD for putting files on your site, not only on campus, but anywhere, is an FTP program. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is the oldest and most dependable method of copying files from one end of the internet to any other end.

Having two copies also gives you backup in case either one gets wiped.

The Local Copy


Alternately create this folder on a USB drive plugged into your computer.

A USB drive is much handier if you are traveling between home and campus. It allows you to work with the same files from home, office and on campus.

  • View your website as it stands using HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol)
    • For this use your browser
  • View your website files and folders (on the web server) using FTP (file transfer protocol)
    • Use an FTP program
    • Download and install Filezilla
    • Setup up connection
    • Store connection
  • Directory Structure (paths, HTTP, applications)
  • Create a Directory on Your Local Computer for your website files


Location of personal home and web spaces at UMKC

Click on this link to find out where your personal home space and personal web space at UMKC is located:
There will be three locations we need:
1 - the http address which is how anyone in the world gets to see your site (and how I see it to grade it).
2 - the ftp address which is how you can use a file transfer program to move files from your USB to the web site.
3 - the network address on the "N" drive in case you work on it directly at UMKC.
also - this page will instruct you how to use MS Expression Web to work on it directly.



1 (HTTP) - View your website on the server on a normal browser using HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol). This is the way you view the pages you've put together. You cannot edit or copy files with HTTP protocol. This is designed for viewing as the pages are formatted.

Save this location in your browser by saving its Bookmark ("Save as Favorite") so that you can get back to it easily.

2 (FTP) - View your website on the server using FTP (File Transport Protocol) using FileZilla. This is how you move your files from the computer you are sitting at ("local") to your space on the web server ("remote") and vice versa. You cannot edit on the web. You must edit on the local machine and then upload the files to the server on the web.

The computer you are sitting at is your "local" computer.

3 - Local File Structure

Create a folder named "MyClassWebSite" (or other name you will easily recognize)
   This can be on your USB drive (handiest for home, work, campus) or on your hard drive as ...
   For Windows create "MyClassWebSite" in "Computer\Public" drive or directly on the "C:\" drive.
   For Mac or Linux create the folder in the root or on the desktop

Then create three sub-folders to duplicate the sub-folders in your web site space on the WWW server from the service provider. Create these sub-folders:
1 - Images
2 - Media

  • We will be putting our pictures in the "Images" folder
  • Our video or audio files in the "Media" folder and
  • The "_private" folder is not for use by you. This is created by the web server for its own use in administering the site. So notice the folder but please don't attempt to place any files here.

For now, don't put any files in the folders.