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FTP support is being discontinued in the near future. If you (or your designer) use FTP to upload and change design files then you’ll now use WebDAV instead. WebDAV displays your BigCommerce store as a folder on your PC or Mac – exactly how file sharing software like Dropbox or Google Drive works.

Technology has a way of reminding us that time doesn’t stand still.  There are always better pieces of information to act upon, technological advances being discovered, and new ideas being put into practice.  In order to keep up with the needs of the rapidly-changing e-commerce environment, BigCommerce is updating the way you interact with the files that your site relies upon by implementing WebDAV as the preferred method to manage the files for your store.  WebDAV makes processes such as uploading products, product images and editing design files quick and painless.

Since FTP is going away soon you will need to prepare yourself (and your store) for this change. We have created a few resources to make the transition straightforward and worry free. If you have been using FTP and are not familiar with WebDAV, just think of it as a way to upload, download, and edit files located in your site’s document library from the convenience of your desktop.  For those of you who use cloud-connecting apps such as Dropbox, WebDAV will seem very familiar to you.  Similar to Dropbox, you use your own computer to create a link to your repository in the cloud.

If you are a PC user:

Here’s how easy it is: from your “Computer” view in Windows Explorer, simply click on Map network drive. 

When prompted, just paste in the link provided to you from your control panel under File Access.  You’ll then be asked to login using your credentials for the control panel, and PRESTO…you will see your files.

Figure 2: Setting up WebDAV on a PC

 

If you are a Mac user:

Click on Go from the top menu in Finder, and then choose Connect to Server.

Figure 3: Setting up WebDAV on a MAC

When prompted, just paste in the link provided to you from your control panel under File Access.  You’ll then be asked to login using your credentials for the control panel, and PRESTO…you will see your files.

Just to summarize, this method allows you to manage your site’s files the same way you would manage your files on your computer.  For more detailed information on how to use WebDAV, please see the Knowledge Base article here.

Leave a Comment
  • Eric Montzka

    This post is almost three years old now. Do you think it’s time yet to update this pdf that says you CAN use ftp? I found this link in the blueprint theme, btw. https://www.bigcommerce.com/pdf/Big_Commerce_Template_Guide_1.0.pdf

  • Aaron

    Just as a hint to everyone. There is still a way to use Dreamweaver and Bigcommerce together. Instead of setting up a WebDAV connection through your Dreamweaver server settings. Instead, map a network drive to your computer. This can be done with windows and mac. Just Google “webdav on windows” or “webdav on mac”. Once you have mapped the WebDAV account to your computer, you can now setup Dreamweaver server settings to use “local/network”. Just selected the mapped drive that you just setup as the folder. And voila, you are now able to use Dreamweaver and bigcommerce without a second program.

  • Suzi Beaumont

    I’m a professional web designer using Dreamweaver. I’ve tried to follow the above instructions, however they are not specific enough. I’ve also tried Cyberduck – the documentation for both cyberduck and BigCommerce webDAV is lacking. I would think Bigcommerce would want to keep its designer affiliates, but the support for this transition is inadequate. For my future clients, I’ll be looking for another shopping cart company that works better with designers.

  • Daniel Brady

    This WebDav is insanely slow compared to FTP. I’m reconsidering using BigCommerce since I don’t know how I’ll ever get my custom theme implemented when changes go through so slowly.

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  • I have to agree this is a desperately poor decision. I am stuck out in the sticks on a slow connection and WEBDAV is unbelievably slow. What takes me a few seconds with FTP can take 20 mins with WEBDAV. Just reading directories is unbearable. I can’t speak for other operating systems but on Windows 7 there is no feedback as to what is happening so you cant tell whether you are waiting for something to download or the system has hung. It is so slow that Windows 7 is always telling me the program has stopped responding. Please leave the FTP option open.

    Graham

  • Jessica Malnik

    Hi Dexter, have you considered looking into SmartFTP? Many of our clients have said this is there preferred way to manage multiple workflows in WebDAV.

  • I totally agree with it being a bad move…so many other options. Kills my workflow!!!

  • David

    This is ridiculous. Bad move.

  • Kurt

    I also use Dreamweaver and I’m disappointed that it won’t connect with webdav. When I click test it passes but when I go to actually connect, it just gives an error. I’ve resorted back to FTPS for now.

  • Jessica Malnik

    Hi Chad,

    I understand how change can be hard and difficult to swallow at first. But as someone who personally uses Transmit, I can tell you the speeds on Transmit are a lot faster than through Dreamweaver directly. Plus, there are many advantages to using WebDAV. You can read about them here. https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1706/

  • I use Dreamweaver as my master file management system. Dreamweaver does not connect to HTTPS webdav at all, so I can’t maintain any sync information anymore. I have to leave the editor, go find the files and use Transmit to get them on the server.

    Loss of FTP is very inconvenient.

  • Brian

    FTP is a key part of my development workflow. This is a huge inconvenience as a active developer!!

  • I don’t understand why FTP has to be “retired”. It isn’t as though it is some sort of huge drain on resources.

    In my experience FTP is faster than webdav for transferring large files. Much faster. Half the time I use WebDav it stalls 3/4 of the way through uploading my data feed (about a 150MB text file).

    I have scripts in place to update the data feed and automatically upload it over FTP at night. works 100%, every time. I tried changing it to copy over WebDAV and more often than not the copy is stalled when I start work in the morning.

    why not keep both?

  • Jessica Malnik

    Hi Bob, if you still need assistance with this, here’s a great step-by-step tutorial for how to do this. https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1365

  • Bob

    Never mind – looks like I have to manually create the images folder per this doc: https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1138/

  • Bob

    I’m not seeing how to use webdav to upload the template images. Using the brown template, I have a folder ../images/brown with images such as bg_navi.gif, bg_topseller.gif, etc that I need to alter the color of. I downloaded those template images and have modified them. How do I upload them without FTP? I may have webdav configured incorrectly but I don’t see an images/brown folder under the /dav path that Cyberduck has access to.

  • Jessica Malnik

    Hi Tony, What’s your support ticket number? I’ll be happy to take a look at this for you.

  • Need to update site. Add a few panels etc. Got to use WebDAV. with CyberDuck. Not impressed.

    One or the other doesn’t work. Files wont transfer. BC have raised a ticket.

    It’s not a big job would have had it done in a couple of hours. As it stands I’ve been chatting for about an hour with no joy.

  • Never mind, I figured it out. the login is not the email address but the username. Got in. Thanks.

  • Hi,

    I am a bit amused by comments talking about webdav being bad when they’ve been using ftp with passwords sent in the clear over the internet. From an IT stand point, I understand how webdav can help you with automating your CDN and increased security over ftp.

    My only problem with WebDAV is that, it refuses my login/password for the SAME user/pwd I’m enabled it for. I’m on a mac so I’ve tried both the “connect to server” method and pasting the https: in firefox.

    Is webdav available under the 14 day trial? I’d like to fully evaluate before “Buying”. As of now, I can’t upload files.

    Cheers,
    Gilles
    .

  • Itchybrain

    When I open webdav on a mac i get the structure-tree but I can’t find anywhere that allows me to duplicate a page template. That is, I can’t find the default page file to be able to duplicate it and make a new template. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

  • Next, big commerce to do away with HTML, too?

  • Sam

    Wow, you guys should give WebDAV several years of tweaks, patching, and improvments before you even think about drop FTP.

  • Mathew

    So far, it is an aweful experience. I’m trying to make a backup copy of product_images and so far it has taken over 20 minutes and it is still trying to discover the items. With ftp, the files would already be downloading, if not downloaded by now.

    I have a question, how do i do an (automated) incremental backup using WebDAV? I can automate this with FTP, but i wouldn’t have a clue how to or if I can with WebDAV.

    (I’m located in Melblourne, Aust)

    PS It is now downloading… 103MB with estimated time remaining of 2hrs 13mins.

  • Please do not get rid of FTP. WebDAV on Mac is extremely slow compared to FTP for picture uploads. It is not stable, constantly disconnects, throws errors, and is painfully slow. Leave FTP intact if at all possible.

  • Yeah, it’s evident that BigCommerce does not even consider it design/developer partners or even its end users. Hey, it makes their life easier, so forget what everyone else thinks or has to deal with!

  • Tim Holt

    +1 for maintaining FTP as well. WebDav breaks the workflow of developing and testing locally and then uploading when one is satisfied the file is complete.

    This article make WebDav out to be a modern successor to FTP, however it has been around since Windows 98. Surely if it were a good tool for managing web files, it would have caught on before now.

    I get that it would make more sense to a store owner with only one site, but as a developer, this feels like a big step backwards.

    And so far I can only get it to work on my Mac but not my Windows 7 machine.

  • I am running Ubuntu 12.04. I finally got it running by changing the prefix to davs:// instead of https://

    This is the way WebDAV seems to work in Linux in general (not a BC issue). I had to do the same to connect to my Box.com account.

    I wrote a more detailed tutorial on my site to help others:

    http://esdev.net/edit-bigcommerce-stores-webdav-linux/

    As I mentioned in my earlier comment above, drag/drop (adding files) and deleting files works just fine.

    The only remaining issue is that I have not been able to open a file via WebDAV, edit it, and then resave on the server. Gives me a ‘file will be truncated’ error, and won’t let me save. As a workaround, I copy it into a blank file on my computer and paste the contents into it and then drag/drop in WebDAV. Not elegant and a pain if I want to make simple edit, but it does work.

  • Wade

    Your webdev is painfully slow…

  • FTP has much more and better client software, tools, and libraries than WebDAV. In fact, with tools like WebDrive, you can even mount an FTP site as a drive on your computer. I understand WebDAV is easier to use for beginners, so why not add WebDAV support and keep FTP for the pros? In the forums, you say it is for ‘architectural reasons’ without elaborating. It sounds like you must be using cloud storage like Amazon S3, which also does not support FTP. Still, I think it would make life a lot easier for power users if you could preserve some sort of FTP bridge to your back-end file storage system.

  • PC Freitas

    I hope it’ll NEVER actually happens… FTP is the standard for 99.9% of the webdesigners/developers I hope BigCommerce is not going to do this huge mistake.

  • Bob West – Thought Nozzle

    FWIW – If you’re on a Mac, and you’d like to continue using an FTP client instead of mounting BC on your desktop, I *highly* recommend using Transmit, from Panic Software. I just changed the settings to WebDAV HTTPS, entered the new URL and my login, and I was in.

    For editing your template files remotely, Panic’s excellent code editor Coda also handles the WebDAV just as easily.

    Nope, I don’t work for Panic, but they’ve been providing me with great software for years.

    Hope this helps somebody…

    …Bob

  • I honestly cannot see how webdav can be pitched as a better solution. webdav came from the shadows of Microsoft during a time when it was difficult to share and move files Around. Hosting companies everywhere were inventing there own control panel. I Remember this golden era of the internet well i grew up around it.

    Stating that Moving to webdav from ftp is like handing a kid a Dodge neon And stating that it is a Mustang, The kid will clearly see this is not true.

    Webdav in itself really isn’t my concern directly. My bigger question is Why can ftp no longer make the cut? I Have seen FTP Run huge trading Platforms moving huge amounts of data and trades With 100% accuracy. I have see it use outside its scope to Syndicate computers to update thousands of computers with a single click.

    So my more pressing question is, Why is Preventing its use? Is your system Compromised or unstable to where it its easier to use webdav to hide the real issue?

    I do not want to sound skeptical. But i am :/

  • Can you please give us more detailed explanation on how this will benefit ourselves as web designer/developers? A “bit of a context” doesnt feel like enough. I’m new to BigCommerce and am setting up a cart for a client. I tried the Web Dav and it seems quite slow – certainly slower than FTP which I also prefer.
    The explanation re cache clearing could maybe do with a bit of expansion.
    Bobs original post seemed a little general and hasnt sold me on the idea – After reading it I dont really feel any sense of “great, web dav’s going to make my work life easier”. More details please?

  • Tried touse the mapping and when I went to copy 341 files, It was going to take 25 minutes to copy…
    I juts used FTP and it copied it in less than 2 minutes.
    Why is mapping better than using FTP?

  • Can someone please clarify the word “soon”???

    I don’t agree with this policy shift but as I have no choice in the matter the least you folks at BigC could do is be clear about when this is going to happen…

    Thanks in advance

  • Pingback: Big Commerce Turning Into Another Volusion? - Page 2 - Ecommerce Forums()

  • Bob Hart

    Hi Steve,

    If you will please submit a ticket with our Technical Support team (https://account.bigcommerce.com/tickets.php?a=submit&token=) they would be happy to help you with these steps on XP.

  • This is bad news for developers, the people you’re supposed to make less work for. As developers we now have to disconnect and reconnect a network drive each time we work on a different project. Furthermore, I don’t have a local copy of the modified templates files unless I navigate through the admin area to the store design section and download the entire set of modified template files. So now I have to do this every time I modify files. A poor alternative and a poor decision. Don’t force this change give us a choice.

  • I’m running Ubuntu 12.04 and was getting errors trying to connect using the details that BigCommerce provides for Windows and Mac users.

    This is what works, however.

    Instead of your server address being:

    https://www.yourstore.com/dav

    It needs to be:

    davs://www.yourstore.com/dav

    I haven’t tested it extensively, but I can view/navigate directories. Drag/dropping new files into a directory works fine as well. Deleting works too.

  • This is critical– currently demo accounts don’t have access and they MUST get this if designers/developers are to work on updates/modifications!

  • Chris Boulton

    Hi Jesse,

    We only talk WebDAV over SSL, and of course requires credentials for a valid administrative user in your store.

    WebDAV tends to get a bad wrap for security, primarily from Windows Server based environments (with Sharepoint, IIS, etc). In terms of it being a writeable file system on our servers, our implementation of WebDAV (I mentioned this in a comment above) is software based – meaning we basically expose a virtual file system to stores, which lets us control access with fine-grained ACLs, and have control over the whole end to end process.

  • Chris Boulton

    Jennifer – they’re taken care of. The replacement of FTP with WebDAV only affects how you transfer files to your store, not actually where they are saved – so no change is required by you.

  • Chris Boulton

    Hi Jake,

    FTP is going away at *BigCommerce* soon. Our apologies if that wasn’t clear in the blog post.

    For us, replacing FTP with WebDAV wasn’t an arbitrary decision – a lot of planning and work has gone in to out integration. On a purely technical level for us to be able to grow and improve our architecture, FTP no longer makes the cut. WebDAV works, because it’s a system that we can control entirely in software (you upload a file, we clear the appropriate cache on your store, delete the related record from the database, etc)

    I hope that provides a bit of context.

  • Gary Robinson

    Once again some marketing moron has screwed things up. Nothing new here.

  • I am a Software Engineer and have leveraged BC for several of my small to medium business clients who want a storefront up and running very quickly. I am in the process of migrating 10 of my clients right now. FTP is the most efficient way to manage all accounts easily and seamlessly. Plus it is one of the most stable and proven methods in IT standards. Is BC also going to start limiting so much that development tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver and other cannot do what they do well using the protocols? As a tech and designer, I am a little baffled at this move. Many of us already struggle getting a Global Variable list and mapping for BC pages. Now even getting to the pages is changing. What’s next?

  • Why have you chosen to discontinue FTP? Is there any reason you can’t have it AND WebDAV? I use FTP software for all my client sites. Having numerous mapped drives would be a LOT of clutter. Plus, if I move over to a new PC I can’t simply export and import all the linked accounts. I will have to remap all the drives again. Now, if in the future I manage hundreds of clients, how is WebDAV going to be better? And won’t my computer be slower trying to connect to all these drives?

  • Ditto needing instructions for Windows XP Pro . . .

  • I couldn’t agree with you more.
    I spent alot of money building templates for big commerce.
    This is not good.
    It is probably going to be a deal breaker for us.
    Very Unfair, to say the least.

  • Ray

    I will be uploading thousands of images at one time, with FTP this has not been a problem, will WebDAV make this easier if not then I don’t believe we would want to stay with BigCommerce.

  • Excuse me!, But are you kidding??? WebDAV (Not secure)
    I just finished my web importer. I’ll be paying out about $5,000.00
    and “BOB HART” you just decide your going to make it useless by discontinuing FTP service.
    How irresponsible can you get!!!
    You would just do that to your customers???
    This is what’s wrong with hosted sites. Shot right out of the saddle.
    I’m MAD AS HELL!

  • luis

    Im using Linux too, I need to buy a new computer? :S

  • I tried (and commented in a reply to my comment above that seems to have not been approved, about the steps I’d tried) for abut 2 hours yesterday Stephen and then gave up and found an old laptop with Windows on it.

  • Great development but I followed the instructions and was not able to map to WebDav using thepath provided – can you provide instructions for mapping using Windows XP please. Thanks

    Steve

  • Jesse

    Lol, so you are switching from a decently secured Explicit FTP to an insecure WebDAV format with several major security flaws?

    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/050511-webdav.html

    Please say you are using SSL and Two-Factor Authentication at least?

  • I’m sorry, but I’m not a developer, and only used FTP once – to store my FB, Twitter, and other social media icons. Do I need to migrate these to WebDAV? Or will that be taken care of for me?

    Thanks.

  • Your WebDAV is soooo slow! tehre are better options than this

  • Stephen

    Great now if you could just put a tutorial together for getting webdav on ubuntu 12.04 that would be awesome..

  • Sorry about the typo… another late nite(night). ;)

  • I’ve been using FTP since 1995 (yes, I’m a webdesignosaur). There are FTP tools that can do things that are not possible with Webdav. I use half a dozen development tools for different reasons and certain FTP tools have automation and bulk processing capabilities that I rely on daily. Fact is people who don’t use FTP probably don’t know what it is or why it’s still relevant as a protocol not to mention that it’s integrated into many development processes. I’d reconsider this decision to avoid alienating developers who have reliable production processes that may use FTP tools in various capacities. I’m not apposed to Webdav I just don’t want to rely on it as a sole means of file manipulation not to mention the unreliability of webdav connections in certain networking environments. Ok…there – i said it.

  • Does this mean that demo accounts will be given access to WebDAV? Or maybe developers can apply for developer access accounts to create themes and make modifications.

  • Jaysen

    FTP is (was) my sole method of customising my (and my clients’) stores. It’s the most reliable (and least frustrating) aspect of the BigCommerce experience. Now you’re deprecating it?

    Drag-and-drop upload/download may be wonderful for casual (i.e. most) users, but for diffing the templates folder tree I use Beyond Compare (which is awesome, but apparently does not support webdav) so this just means more work (and/or more money on another diff tool) for me.

  • Jake

    Excuse me, FTP is going away soon? Said who?! I work as a sysadmin at a large web hosting and dedicated server provider and by no means are we seeing any trend of replacing WebDAV with FTP. I do not understand why BigCommerce would arbitrarily cut an *industry standard* protocol and replace it with one that is less stable, less common, and less favored by IT leaders around the globe. I can understand saying you want to switch to SFTP or FTP with SSL/TLS for security reasons, but WebDav is not really suitable for web designers/web server file handling.

  • John

    As a follow up – I tried several methods of connecting using webdav on Unbuntu – with the following results :-

    Firefox (supposed to support natively) : Got a method not supported error when connecting

    Webdav and mount the webdav folder in Terminal : Could connect but couldn’t write a new file (an jquery file) to the /content/ folder

    Cadaver in Terminal : could connect but using PUT or MPUT resulted in the session hanging.

    The only way I could work on my clients site to do what I needed to was to find an old Windows PC, copy the files to a memory stick on Unbuntu, read it in Windows and use the standard Webdav functionality – not something that I want to have to remember to do every time I need to use Webdav :(

  • But if you run Ubuntu on the desktop and not Windows or Mac you no longer have access to that area of customisation :(

  • I really like the webdav feature – FTP has past its used by date so good stuff for getting rid of it.

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