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Website Maintenance

Hello all,
I have been asked to make some changes to an existing Website, and can easily do so.
However, I would very much like to make the changes and test them on my local computer before Deploying back to the production environment.

Can anyone point me to the steps to:
a) import the website from the production environment to my development environment (I have username, pw),
b) when ready, apply the changes to the production environment in a safe manner

In a related manner, I tried "Open Website", chose FTP, but don't know the significance of "Passive Mode", and whether or not to convert from .NET 2.0 to .NET 3.5

After opening the Website, I immediately closed it, and then tried researching this subject in one of my books -- to no avail; hence why I'm here!

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can lend,
JJW
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jackwebb22002
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jackwebb22002
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vb_studentCommented:
hey. visual studio has many options for this. the best if available is as you mentioned ftp. when on a remote site you have 2 options. 1) work with the site live, you hit save changes upload. 2) change a local copy and then publish when signifigant changes are made. it sounds like you want the second one so here is what you do. go to file--> open website. choose ftp and fill in the password information. it appears that passive mode is the most common way to access the server and it used because of firewall settings thus if it downloads it is set right. on converting to .net 3.5 i would try to leave that alone if possible but is not likely a major problom if you can't get around it. once you give the password and server location it will likely keep this info. it should now download the site. once done there is a page where you can tell what files you changed and witch ones to upload. note be careful before you upload it can cause huge probloms if wrong files are sent changed or deleted. hope this helps :)
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jackwebb22002Author Commented:
thanks vb,
it does help, but as a matter of clarification, when downloading, do I accept the default of converting to .NET 3.5, or click "No" and download in .NET 2.0?  If it downloads in .NET 2.0, will I be able to maintain it in VS2008 .NET 3.5 mode?

Secondarily, once I download the site, will changes made to my copy remain on my machine only?, and not on the production site?

And tertiarily, do you happen to know which page records changes made?  If the local site doesn't tell me that, I can work with that, but will need to be diligent recording which pages I change.
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vb_studentCommented:
ok.  no you don't have to convert to 3.5 you can use VWD with it in 2.0 just fine. there are few changes with 3.5. and once you download it changes are made to the local copy only until you upload the copy. finaly visual studio dose keep track of the diffrences bettwen copies but it dosn't keep track of diffrent versions so it can help with what you upload to the server but won't remember when you made changes or keep track of multiple versions.
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jackwebb22002Author Commented:
Thanks so much.  your clarifications, on top of your original suggestion make for a comforting outlook.  See, now that was the tough part, i.e., making sure I don't disrupt the user community while I work on the intended changes.  The easy part will be making the changes!
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