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Developing with a Remote Server

The local server configuration is not for everyone. Macintosh users obviously have no access to ASP on IIS. Furthermore, many Windows and Macintosh users are not permitted to install and run Web servers. Even behind a university firewall, I am not allowed to run servers. The reason for this is security. Web servers need regular maintenance to deal with the viruses and security holes that make corporate or university networks vulnerable. To prevent, or at least minimize, the chance of infiltrators circumventing an overall security system, administrators often forbid users from installing Web servers on their own machines.

Obviously, if you don’t have access to a local server, you’ll need to find access to some other development server. This may be a dedicated development server (which is what I use at the university), or it may be a nonpublic folder inside your public Web server. You can access the server over a network, if you have a network connection to the server, or by using FTP. Either way, you will need to get the network path or FTP specifics from the server administrator before you can continue and define your site in Dreamweaver. The server needs to be IIS (for ASP development), have ColdFusion MX installed (for ColdFusion development), or have Apache or IIS installed with the PHP module loaded (for PHP development).

In addition to an account, and permission to add and remove files and folders within that account, you’ll also need one of the following pieces of information from the site administrator:

  • The path to the folder on the network, which could look like one of the following:
  • The FTP information to access the site, including the Host Name/Address, which is usually an IP address (and looks something like and a username/ password combination to access your account on that server.

The preceding information is enough to give you access to upload your content to those folders. But you will also need some way to browse the content. Specifically, you need a URL to access your content on the server. Typically, the URL will look something like or http://serverName/your_site/. When you migrate your site into production, the production URL (in this example) would be The important thing to look for is a complete URL that includes http://. Only your server administrator can give you this information.

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