Uploading publications to your servers

Product: FlippingBook Publisher

This article describes how to upload a publication to your own server. 

Is uploading to your own server really the best solution for you?

FlippingBook Publisher provides two options for hosting your publications: on your own server or on FlippingBook Cloud. Both have advantages and disadvantages. We advise you to carefully weigh them before deciding where to publish.


Differences between hosting on FlippingBook Cloud and on your server


FlippingBook Cloud

Your server

Upload process

Simple, completely integrated into the software

Technical knowledge and additional authorizations needed

Server requirements


Space on your web server (large publications can take up more than 1GB). Requires the server to be set up correctly*


Requires active support contract

Unlimited number of publications even without support contract

Updating publications

Automatic updates for technical compliance and incremental content updates

In most cases, full publication must be re-uploaded


Customizable subdomain on cld. bz and customizable publication name (yourname.cld.bz/yourpublication)

Fully customizable link (within limitations of your hosting provider)


Files stored on cloud (Amazon Web Services) may not comply with company policies

Should not cause policy problems

* This as a minimum means that your server should support SVG, and serve index.html as a default page. However, we have seen other issues occuring as well due to specific server configuration settings.

Publishing on FlippingBook Cloud is effortless and fast. And while it may cost a bit more, it can save you or your IT staff hours and hours of work. This will be apparent when uploading and updating publications under normal circumstances, but even more when third parties like Google, Apple, YouTube, or Facebook change interfaces. Cloud publications are often updated automatically when we accommodate for these changes on our servers. But if you use your own server, you will need to open and re-upload all your publications yourself, one-by-one, in the latest Publisher version.

On the other hand, your company policy may not allow you to use cloud-based services at all. So we advise you to consider the pros and cons of both solutions.

Note!Uploading to your own server is not rocket science, but it is also not a question of pressing two buttons and you’re done! If you have no experience with uploading files to your server, then we really advise you to contact the administrator of your website or your IT-staff before trying!



How to transfer publications to your server?

To upload a publication to your server, you will have to contact the administrator of your website/server first. There are several ways to get a publication to your server, and only your administrator can tell you how exactly this is done in your organization. Some examples:

  • Sometimes the administrator does not permit end users to upload anything but will prefer to do this on your behalf. In this case, you will have to generate the files and send them to your administrator
  • Sometimes, the administrator will set up a specific folder on your network where you can copy the files to so that they are automatically uploaded/synchronized with the server. In that case, you will have to generate the files and copy them to that folder
  • Sometimes, you will have to upload the files yourself using (S)FTP. In that case, your administrator will need to provide you with an account on the server. You will then have to upload them with an FTP program or using our built-in FTP client


Understanding (S)FTP

When you copy files on your own computer, you can simply copy and paste them. If you want to copy files to another computer (or a network drive on the server) on your network, then you can often also simply copy and paste them too. But your webserver is never on the same network as your computer, which makes things much more complicated. To copy files to a computer on another network, you need to send them using the File Transfer Protocol - FTP.

FTP sets up a connection between your computer and the webserver, so that you can start transferring files, one by one. FTP only has a very limited set of commands available. You can transfer a single file, rename it, delete it, and change permissions for who can access it, but that’s about it. Every file has to be transferred individually, and for every transfer, your PC and the server start a dialog that looks something like this:

“‘I want to send a file”
“Sure, I am ready to receive it, go ahead”
“Here it comes”
“Thanks, I have received it”
“Anything else I can do for you?”
“Yes, I want to send another file...”

This makes FTP a rather slow solution to work with, if there are a lot of files to transfer. More so, if you made a mistake (for example, you uploaded to the wrong directory), then you cannot simply ‘drag and drop’ the folder to the right place. You will have to delete all the old files first and then upload everything again (yet again starting the whole process). This makes FTP a rather unforgiving solution if you made small mistakes.

Since you transfer data from your computer to a server outside your local network, your network administrator will probably also have to grant you special permission to do so, by configuring the firewall to make this possible.

The difference between FTP and SFTP

FTP and SFTP are very similar in what they do. The difference is that if you use normal FTP, then the communication between your PC and the webserver will be not be encrypted. When you communicate with the server, the data that you send and receive, may pass through several other servers completely unrelated to your company. All these servers can (theoretically) read all this data.

If you use SFTP (Secure FTP) instead, then your PC and the server first discuss a way to encrypt all further communication. This means that the servers in the middle have no way to read the contents of your communication, making it more secure.



Generating the files to upload

To generate FlippingBook files for your web server, please follow these steps:

  1. Open your publication in FlippingBook Publisher, click Upload Publication.
  2. Choose Local folder option. Select the folder on your computer to which you would like to save your publication, enter URL for sharing and embedding and press Start. This generates all the files for your publication and saves them on your local computer.
  3. Once done, click on the button View Folder. You can use the Preview button to preview the result, but that works only on your computer. At this point, your content has NOT been uploaded to the internet.

Depending on how the files are transferred exactly in your organization (see How to transfer publications to your server?), you can now start with the next steps to actually get the files to your server.

  • In case your administrator will upload them for you, you will probably have to create a zip-file that you can send to them. Select all the files by pressing Ctrl+A, then right-click and choose Send to > Compressed folder. This will generate a zip-file that you can send to your webmaster.
  • If you can copy them to a network folder that synchronizes with your webserver, you can copy and paste all the files to that folder
  • If you are an experienced FTP user, you can upload the files yourself, with your FTP-client of choice as described in the next section


How to upload a publication with an FTP program?

If you decide to upload to your own server, then the instructions below should be helpful. But please note that uploading the publication to the correct place on your server (and finding out the URL to open it after it is uploaded) requires specific knowledge about your web server. Therefore, we recommend doing this only if you are comfortable working with FTP. Uploading to the wrong place may even overwrite other pages.

In this example, we will use FileZilla (a popular and free solution) to upload the generated files to our server, but you can use any FTP-program of your choice.

  1. Log in to your server with your FTP credentials. The server we use for this example is demo-ftp.flippingbook.com
  2. Navigate to the folder on your PC, to which you published your publication files earlier
  3. Navigate to the folder on your server where you want to host your publication (here we will use /public/helpdesk).
  4. Right-click the folder on your PC and choose the 'Upload' option.
  5. Wait for the upload to complete and check if there are no ‘failed transfers’. Depending on the size of your publication, this may take a while!

After the upload, your publication is available on your server. The URL which you can use to open it depends on the settings that you used, but in the case of this example it will be: http://demo-ftp.flippingbook.com/public/helpdesk/Quick Start Guide/index.html

In our example, finding out the URL to open the publication was really simple. We add the upload folder to the server name and everything works. In reality, it may NOT be that simple. The FTP-protocol which we use to upload the files often uses different settings and names, than the HTTP-protocol uses. HTTP is what we use to actually open the publication in your browser. For example: you may upload to ftp.example.com and then to the folder htdocs/catalogs/2018 , but the actual link to open the publication in the browser would then be ‘www.example.com/catalogs/2018’ (so ‘ftp’ becomes ‘www’ and ‘htdocs’ is dropped!) - Only your server administrator knows the exact details.

Note!We recommend to create a new folder for every upload. This prevents problems with caching, where files from a previous version are mixed with files from the latest version, which may cause problems when opening your publication!



Uploading the publication directly from FlippingBook Publisher

 If you are comfortable with FTP/SFTP, then you can use our built-in FTP client to generate and upload the files directly. The instruction about how to upload the files via SFTP you can find in our article Uploading publications to your server via SFTP, and here are the steps you should follow to upload the files via FTP:

1. When your publication is ready for upload, open it in FlippingBook Publisher, press the Upload button, and choose FTP/SFTP server.

Enter all the required data, such as your server’s host, login, and password, in the corresponding fields.

2. Press Next, select the folder where you will store the publication, right-click on it, and choose Add subfolder.

3. Type the name that you want to use. It will appear in the URL. Then press Enter. We recommend that you create a separate folder to avoid problems with overwriting existing files (or not overwriting) in the target folder, which can create caching problems later. 

4. Add URL for sharing and embedding, change the Access settings if needed and press Start.

All files will be generated and uploaded to your server.

If you want to view the publication right afterwards, you can do this: Open a browser, enter your server’s address, including the full path to the folder containing your publication files, and type index.html at the end.

If that doesn’t work, then we cannot help you any further in determining the exact link. The upload is done over the FTP protocol, but the HTTP protocol is used to view the publication. These protocols can employ different naming conventions. The conventions used in your case are determined by the webserver administrator, so please contact him or her for more information.

Note!FlippingBook Publisher Professional and Business editions let you upload publications to a server using a built-in FTP client. If your edition is Basic, you are free to use any third-party FTP client for this, such as FileZilla (which is free).
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