Publishing you FreePages web site live from the remote server with Expression Web

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your site web has been designed in either Expression Web or FrontPage (any version) and you have used a third party ftp program to transfer the files to the server, the meta files are going to be on the server. Any folders that contain those files WILL NOT be transferred using the method described below. You will receive a warning message as soon as you start the publishing process.

View Warning message screen

Once you click OK, the publishing process will stop and only the folders will have been published to your local site BUT NOT THE CONTENTS.

Publishing from the remote server

If you do NOT have a copy of your Freepages site on YOUR computer, or you need to retrieve your site from the server to your computer, you can do so by following the instructions given below.

NOTE: The tutorial is written using Expression Web 4.0 If you are using an earlier version, you can follow Tina's earlier instructions.

How to open a web site live on the server with FTP

STEP 1: Open Expression Web

Make sure there are no webs open within Expression Web. You can double check by looking at the Folder List Panel. If the folder list panel is not open go to Panels > Folder List or press Alt + F1 on the keyboard. Use the 'Folder List' to see if a web is open.

STEP 2: Select Site >| Open Site (the 'Open Site' dialog box will open) type in the ftp address path where it says Location:


Open Site dialog box.

Press the 'Open' button

Expression Web will then ask you if you wish to Edit the site live or Edit the local copy on your hard drive.

Remote site editing options.

Choose 'Edit Live Web site now' and press OK.

If this is the first time you have opened the remote site, Enter your username and password into the dialog box. Press OK

Dialog box for username and password.

If you still have the 'Folder List' open you can see when the site appears within Expression Web.

Remote site in folder list view.

How to publish your site back to your hard drive from live on the server with FTP

STEP 3: The remote site will appear within the left hand pane. Go to Site > Publishing. If this is the first time you have published the remote site click 'Add a publishing destination. . .' or you can set this up from the Publishing Settings on the menu or by clicking the 'Publishing Settings'  button, The 'Connection Settings' dialog box should appear.

Type a name for the site.
Select 'File System' from the dropdown menu

Once you select File System, the dialog box will change.


If you have already created a new site on your hard drive for this web, browse to the directory on your hard drive you wish to publish to. If you have not created an empty web before hand you can just type the name and the path and make a new name for the site. It is best to browse to the location then add a new name. Click the 'Add' button.

 You will receive a message that the site does not exist, do you want to create it. Click Yes

Create folder message.
Fig 4 - A Web site does not exist - would you like to create a web at that location?

STEP 4: Expression Web will proceed to make the web on the hard drive and is now ready for you to publish live from the server to the hard drive.

If this is the first time you have published the remote site to your computer, select Site > Publish All Files to . . . 

Ready to publish live from the server to the hard drive.
Fig 5 - Ready to publish live from the server to the hard drive

The publishing status panel will show at the bottom of your screen

WARNING: If you have previously published your site using a third party ftp program like Filezilla and ANY of the meta files are on the server you will receive a warning message:

Publishing status panel with warning.

Clicking OK will stop the publishing process. The folders will show but none of the files will have been copied to the web on your hard drive.

At this point you  have several options to allow the publishing to continue:

  • Delete the problem folders. The problem with the _vti_cnf folders is they exist in EVERY folder. At this point you may choose to use your third party ftp program to transfer the files/folders.
  • Highlight the first file/folder in the list and press and hold the shift key and highlight the last file/folder in the list BEFORE the problem folder. Using the arrow keys in the middle panel Click the top arrow of using the keyboard Press Ctrl + Alt + P. Follow the same procedure for the files/folders that come after the problem folder.

The Status of the publish will display under the panes on the left and will let you know when it has finished.

STEP 6: All that is left to do is to close the site. Site > Close and to open the newly made web on your hard drive where you can edit it.