How To Update Your Web Site - Beginner's Guide

Services for Real Estate Pros with Smart Media Creative Solutions

If you have a web site, and you wish to make minor updates to it without subcontracting the work out, here is an easy guide to help you accomplish that.

What you need:

  • Your web site's FTP login info. You can get this from your web host, or anyone who works on your web site.

  • An FTP program. There are numerous free ones on the net, FileZilla is a popular free one.  Dreamweaver and Frontpage have one built in.

  • Web site editing software. Dreamweaver and Frontpage (which is discontinued and now Microsoft is pushing Expression as their new web design software) are the popular choices, if you are looking for a free alternative NVU is the best one I have found for free.

Step 1

Log into your web site using your FTP program. If you are unsure how to do this, consult the program's help file. Download the entire web site to your computer.


Step 2

Make any changes you wish using your web site editing software, and save them.

Tip: Always test your web sites by opening them in a web browser to make sure they look ok. I recommend  looking at them in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. (If you don't have Firefox you can download it for free)

Step 3

When you are happy with your web site updates, upload them back to your web server using your FTP program. They will save over the current files, and you can now view your updated live web site!


For extreme beginners I recommend only attempting minor text updates.

Adding images:
If you're feeling bold and want to try adding images to your web site, save the image you wish to add into your web site's images folder. Do not resize the image in your web editing software, (unless you are trying to determine what size you want the image to be). You must resize the image to the final size it will be in the web site using image editing software. The preferred choice for image editing software is Photoshop, but the free alternative is GIMP. When working on the web always set the DPI to 72, and the color mode to RGB on your images. Most digital photos are set to this by default but you should double check. If you are unsure how to check these, consult your image editing software's help file. Make sure to upload both the image file(s) you added, and the web page file using your FTP program.

If it will save you money, it's worth a shot. The worst that could happen is you have to call your webmaster and pay him/her to update the site for you as usual. :-P

Good luck!

Comments (7)

Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate

Thank you for sharing your helpful tips!  Keep them coming to us!

Happy Holidays.


Dec 19, 2007 06:23 AM
Collette Lee
Tower Realty - Riverside, CA

I'm definitely computer illiterate, but those steps sounded so easy. Thanks you've been helpful

Dec 19, 2007 06:25 AM
Robert Krames
Smart Media Creative Solutions - Gainesville, FL
Sure give it a shot! What have you got to lose?
Dec 19, 2007 06:35 AM
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT
Robert, On AR and my other blog I can switch to HTML, is there still a need to buy web site editing software?  I'm pretty clueless.  Thanks.
Dec 20, 2007 02:44 AM
Robert Krames
Smart Media Creative Solutions - Gainesville, FL

You could use that html, but you would probably need to understand HTML a little in order to use it, because it leaves out the Document Type, TITLE,  HTML, and HEAD tags in the AR editing code. But if you knew how to ad these manually, you could theoretically copy the HTML generated by the AR blog editing interface into a TXT file and do a Save As an HTML file and you could upload that to your web site and use it as a web page. Web site editing software would have more feature than the AR interface though.

 But an interesting question.

Dec 20, 2007 03:40 AM
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta
Thanks for the info!  This is a topic I have been struggling with. Here I go!
Jan 03, 2008 05:09 AM
Tina Merritt
Nest Realty - Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Real Estate
Thanks for the great tips!
Mar 01, 2008 07:56 AM