Connecting to the Course Server

How do I edit code and publish it to a live web page? There are many ways to create, edit, and publish HTML & CSS files to the web. Below, we describe two ways to access and publish files to the course server, located at:

1. ShiftEdit: A Cloud-Based Editor

For this course, we strongly recommend that you use the cloud-based editor, ShiftEdit, because it will help you keep track of your files at home and at school, and you don't have to install anything. After we create a server account for you, please register for and set up ShiftEdit according to the instructions below. Note: you will only have to go through steps 1 - 7 once.

  1. Make sure that someone has set you up with an account on
  2. Navigate to the ShiftEdit website:
  3. Click the "Sign In" link.
  4. If you have a Google Account, sign in with it Google Account (sign in by clicking the "G" button). Otherwise, click the "Register" button and register a new username and password.
  5. Once you have registered, you will be redirected to a code editor screen that looks like a file browser.
  6. Look at the right-hand side of your screen and click the icon with the three horizontal bars, then click “New Site…”
  7. Enter the following information in the "Site Settings" dialog (but replace "vanwars" with your username).
Name: MMART Web Server
Password: See the Moodle

Once you have successfully logged into the server, here are some tips for creating and adding files:

  • To create a new page, click File >> New in the upper left-hand menu, and then select HTML. Then start creating your first web page. Don't forget to name it and save it right away.
  • To upload an entire folder into ShiftEdit, right-click your top level folder (in the left-hand panel), and click "upload folder."
  • To view your changes, make sure that you save everything, and then navigate to, then find your username, and then navigate to your file.

Critical Information to Remember When Naming Files Make sure that every file that you upload to the server has a legal name. Macs are much more forgiving with file names than servers. The following file names are illegal, and can cause you real problems in ShiftEdit:

  • .DS_Store
  • ~My Word Document.docx
  • Surf Nation (or any file with a space and no file extension)

As we discussed in class, stick with all lowercase, non-special character naming conventions (underscores and dashes are OK).

2. Sublime Text + FileZilla: Using a Desktop Text Editor & FTP Client

If you do want to use a Desktop client (though we recommend ShiftEdit to start), you can keep editing files in Sublime Text, and then upload your files to the server using an FTP Client. We recommend FileZilla: After you download and install FileZilla, configure it as follows:

  • In the top menu, go to File > Site Manager
  • Click the button that says: "New Site"
  • Name your new site mmart, and then fill in the credential details as follows:
Name: MMART Web Server
Protocol: FTP - File Transfer Protocol
Logon Type: Normal
Password: See the Moodle

  • Then click the blue Connect button.

Once you have connected, you should see a list of your server files in the right-hand panel, and a list of the files on your local computer in the left-hand panel.

  • To transfer files between your computer and your server, just drag files from one panel to the other.
  • Note that dragging a file of the same name from one panel to the next will overwrite the existing file, so be careful.
  • Also take care to follow the file naming conventions!

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