Server Mess - How do you keep it tidy?

This may seem like a silly question to some, but how do you keep your server tidy? I am trying to erase years of files in my Netfirms server from rapid weaver. The reason I use RW is because I know other about messy server files and how the internet handles it. It seems RW just keeps loading every time I update my website every week. I thought it would overwrite other files. Is there a setting or a trick. I have found my File Manager in Netfirms and the ‘root’. then public_html and other confusing files within. Then more obvious files under/website name and then files. When I select all and delete it just spins for so long it must be stuck. I I click on one file at a time and delete it works. There is no click on one file and go down (holding shift) to select a pile. Just click one at a time. So the question is do I need to go delete files every week to keep this clean or is there a setting or trick in RW to take care of this?

Hi Brian, there are some folders that will be in your root from the server, these you leave. And there are your RW uploaded site files. RW only uploads what’s in your project. So if there are old files from previous builds that are not needed on the server, delete them. And yes, I have also had that problem of having to do them individually, or a folder at a time. public_html is probably your root folder. And once you have cleaned up, you don’t have to keep deleting files.

As anugyan mentioned, RW does not delete anything from server. It only uploads files.

I would suggest using an external FileTransferProtocol client (there are plenty of free and paid ones – I am using Transmit). That way you can easily control what’s in your public_html folder and you can delete multiple files/folders at a time. You can also use it to upload an entire site from a folder exported from RW. This works for me much better than publishing directly from RW.

BTW, Transmit is the “gold standard” of macOS FTP apps. That’s how it is marketed and I completely agree with this statement.

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I also use Transmit (paid) on my Mac, and use FileZilla (free) on Linux systems. They both work great, FileZilla might intimidate some Mac users because the log is updated live on screen right in front of the user. Once you get used to it (ignore it unless you’re having problems) it works.

FTP apps work both ways. You can also download what’s on the server onto your Mac. So, before you start cleaning up a mess, BACKUP WHATS ON THE SERVER FIRST.


Great! Thanks everyone for replying. All these years and I never quite understood how this all worked. One thing for sure there were no details or tutorials up front on what and how to deal with this stuff. I did succeed in deleting the folder that held so many files it wouldn’t delete them all at once. As if the site was telling me 'I’VE NEVER SEEN SO MANY FILES BEFORE YOU IDIOT". I’ve now book marked what folder this is and just delete it every week. Or look into the FTP handers you’ve suggested. Thanks again.

One thing I do to ensure this doesn’t happen to me is I create a “docs” folder at the root of every site. Then, all of my warehoused items go into this folder in a very organized method. I create a subfolder (as needed) for each main page (or type of document) inside of the docs folder and then create additional folders inside of them. So, for example, inside of the departments folder will be about twenty folders (accounting, payroll, marketing, hr, etc.). Keep everything lower-cased, since case matters.

This works beautifully since now a) the root level is nice and clean, and; b) I know to never delete anything from within the docs folder. If I absolutely have to delete all of the Rw files, I can safely wipe out just about everything you see (with the exception of the htaccess file and the Archived stuff, cms-data, slpw and docs folders). Oh, and if I’m putting stuff out there temporarily for someone to download, it goes into the ‘delete’ folder - I know items in there can safely be deleted.


I use Transmit too. Works great!

Dr Hidding (@dave ),

Incredibly helpful. Thank you very much for this.

Thank you for the simplicity and clarity of thought. Just great, especially this:

This is so obvious, but I’ve never thought about it until now. Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks, @davidfreels. For changing the names of files, I’ve long used a donation-ware app found here: NameChanger - MRR Software It’s fantastic. If anyone downloads and uses it, please consider sending the author $10- it’s well worth it.

In my experience, RW overwrites previous files if the name remains the same. This applies to Resource files and Page names. Important to keep this in mind if you decide to change a page name because the old one will stay there and search engines will still go to it even if your navigation doesn’t. All RW files are in public_html by the way (or whatever web content folder your host uses)

It is also important to use the correct naming convention for your pages. Failing to do this will end up with masses of generic /page 4, 5 6 7 etc rather than anything meaningful. If you later name these pages properly the old generic ones will stay there.

As far as keeping it tidy, I do a complete delete and re-publish occasionally with my busy sites as required, making sure any old pages that will now 404 are redirected to relevant new ones.

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I use either FileZilla.
Totally free of charge and secure.

Be careful of a complete delete…
If you store files, pdf’s, images, etc.

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Or any “flat-file” CMS such as TotalCMS, EasyCMS, goCMS, Quick Editor Admin, etc., etc.



Absolutely - should have mentioned this. The data folders for these CMS systems will live in a subfolder somewhere in the RW uploads and deleting them will delete any CMS content added. Likewise if you have warehoused images or added any files to the server outside of RW resources.