How to Import an Existing Site to Dreamweaver FTP

Written by gareth downes-powell
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How to Import an Existing Site to Dreamweaver FTP
Dreamweaver uses a site to replicate the file system of the remote website. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Adobe Dreamweaver uses the term "site" to store the settings for a particular website on which you are working. Before you start working on an existing website, you must first define the site in Dreamweaver. This tells Dreamweaver where the files for the website are to be stored on your hard disk, the URL of the website to use for automatically generated links and the FTP details to allow Dreamweaver to connect to the remote server. You can create sites through the Dreamweaver "Site Manager."

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Dreamweaver, and then click "Site" from the main menu. Click on "New Site" from the site menu to start setting up the new site.

  2. 2

    Enter the name for the site that will appear in the Dreamweaver site manager on the "Site" tab. You can use the website's domain name as the site name to help identify the site. Click on the folder icon next to the "Local Site Folder" box, and create a directory on your computer's hard disk to store the site files. This directory mirrors the site directory on the remote server.

  3. 3

    Click on "Servers" from the menu on the left of the window to view the "Servers" tab, and then click on the "+" button at the bottom of the box.

  4. 4

    Type in a server name to identify the server. Select how Dreamweaver should connect to the server from the "Connect Using" drop-down menu, such as through FTP or SFTP. Leave this set to "FTP" if you are unsure of the connection method. Type in the FTP address of the server, as a domain name or IP address, and enter the FTP user name and password in the relevant boxes.

  5. 5

    Type in the directory that corresponds to the root directory of the website in the "Root Directory" box. For example, if you have to change to a directory named "public_html" to upload files to the website, enter "/public_html/" in the box. If you are automatically located in the root directory of the website when you log in through FTP, leave the box blank. Type in the root URL of the website in the "Web URL" box, such as ""

  6. 6

    Click the "Test" button to test the FTP connection. You should see a notification appear that the connection has been successful. If the connection fails, double-check all the settings with your Web host to ensure they are correct. Click the "Save" button to save the settings and close the server window. Click the "Save" button again on the main window to save the site and close.

  7. 7

    Select the new site from the site drop-down menu on the Files panel. Press "F8" to display the panel if it is not already visible. Select "Remote Server" from the drop-down menu at the top right of the Files panel, and then click the "Connect" button to connect to the server. You see all the files held on the FTP server for the site displayed in the "Remote Server" box.

  8. 8

    Click on the file or directory at the top of the remote files list to select it, and then hold down the "Shift" key while clicking the last file or directory to select all files. Right-click on the highlighted files and click "Get" to download the files to your computer. You can now edit the files in Dreamweaver and upload changed files to the remote server using the "Put" command.

Tips and warnings

  • You can export sites through the site manager to transfer the site settings to a different computer or keep them as a backup.

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