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Updating Web-site by FTP  
  Remote (offline) synchronization  
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Updating Web Site

If you have one or several web sites on the Internet, which you develop and test locally on your computer and then publish via FTP, you will certainly like using ZSKSoft Synchronizer for publishing the changes.


FTP Point Particularities

Working with FTP points goes much slower than with local folders, therefore it is better to communicate with them only when there is an actual need for that. For instance, if you have a large enough web site, even plain reading of the list of folders, files, and their properties can take quite a lot of time. However, if nobody edits that web site except for you, you can handle that without scanning at all; you just have to know that there are no changes there since the last update.

Another particularity is that when a file is copied to an FTP server, its modification date/time property changes - the FTP server sets it automatically. Most often, it sets its own current date and time, and the server can be in totally different time zones with you. Therefore, when ZSync displays files' age in FTP locations, instead of the numbers that it uses for the regular files it assigns letters. Just like at a high school math class: "This is "x"; it can be more than 1, and it can be less than 1".


Synchronization Process

Once the initial synchronization of the web site with the local copy is complete, ZSync saves the current state. When you run the program the next time, it compares the state of the local copy with what it has in its records and doesn't even look at the web site. Having detected what has changed in the local copy, the program generates the synchronization plan and lays it before you. The entire process goes completely automatically. Having reviewed the plan and made sure that everything is correct, you go online and click the Synchronize button. ZSync publishes the changes on the web site and saves the new state.


Initial Synchronization: New Web Site

If you want to publish a new web site - simply create and configure the appropriate scheme. ZSync will initially suppose that the web site does not yet exist and will suggest you to publish the local folder contents completely. Connect to the Internet and then click on the Synchronize button; ZSync will automatically publish everything for you.


Initial Synchronization: Existing Synchronized Web Site

If your web site already exists, and you want to put it under ZSync's control - do as follows. As usually, create and configure the synchronization scheme. ZSync will not immediately scan the web site but will suppose it's empty and will suggest you to publish the local copy contents completely. If you are sure that for the moment your web site is synchronized with the local copy - open the main menu item of "Commands -> More -> Copy state". On the "Copy state from..." drop-down list, select the local point; on the destination list ("to the following points") select the FTP point. Then click Execute!, and ZSync will replicate the list of files, folders and their properties from the local point to the FTP point, i.e. now, from its point of view, the files will be absolutely identical what was originally required. Please note: this all worked out without having to go online.


Initial Synchronization: Existing Not Synchronized Web Site

If your web site and the local copy are different, it's better that you synchronize them manually for the first time and save that state as described in the previous case study. However, you can get this done only when you exactly know what is different between them. If you do not know that - you will need to compare them.

As it was noted before, a file's date/time attribute on an FTP server cannot be used for comparing that file with its local copy. Therefore, do as follows: create the required scheme, and on its properties window, under the Settings tab, uncheck the option of "Compare date/time" and instead check the option of "Compare CRC32". Then open the item of "Commands -> Refresh -> All" on the main menu. As the result, ZSync will scan the web site, generate the list of files and folders and compare the files' contents with the local copy (actually, compare the specially calculated checksum - CRC32) and reveal the difference. Get ready that the process may take quite a lot of time. Once completed, reset the options under the Settings tab to their original settings and click the Synchronize button.

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