My Site Won't Update

by James Cook on June 18, 2009

Another problem often experienced by Dreamweaver noobies is:

I've updated my site in Dreamweaver and it looks fine when I preview it but after I upload it the changes don't show up on the site.

  1. Let's eliminate the easiest solution first. Did you refresh your browser window? When you view a page on the web, your browser stores a copy of that page (and it's dependent files) in it's cache. Then, if you return to the page, your browser shows you the cached version rather than the "live" version. This speeds upĀ  browsing but also might prevent you from viewing the latest version of your page. Refreshing the browser window by clicking the Refresh button in your browser should guaranteeĀ  you're looking at the current version of the page.
  2. Another possibility - if you are viewing the home page of your site through a URL such as - is that you have multiple index files. As you should be aware, servers are set up to display a default page for a directory if no file name is specified in the URL. The default file is usually index.htm, index.html, index.php or something similar. The server can even be configured (and often is) so that any of those file names can be used for the default file. A problem arises when more than one of the possible default files is present.Say, for instance, a file index.htm pre-exists on your server and, when you create your new site, you use index.html (note the "l") as your default file name. When you upload your site the existing index.htm file will not be overwritten. So when you visit you may continue to see the old index.htm and not your new home page, index.html.The solution is relatively simple, delete the index.htm file on the server OR change your default file to index.htm (remove the "l") so that when it uploads it will replace the exiting home page.
  3. Another possibility is that you have defined your Host Directory incorrectly in your Remote Site definition. If this is the case, when you upload your files they are placed in the wrong directory on the server. So you won't see the new pages when you visit the site with your browser. More information on defining your site is available in my tutorial, Define Your Site at the Dreamweaver Club forum or in my Let's Get Started with Dreamweaver mini-course.

As always, feel free to email me with your questions, comments and suggestions. And please follow me on Twitter (DWcourse) for additional Dreamweaver news and tips.

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