[Fixed] Dreamweaver FTP Error: Timeout ‘Waiting for Server’


I’m not a regular user of Dreamweaver, I’ll admit that from the offset. I usually use a combination of Text Editor and FileZilla, but sometimes I’m on a Windows box and Dreamweaver is there, so once you know the keyboard shortcuts its easier to use the built in FTP features… when they work.

I often found that when FTP’ing several files up to a remote server using Dreamweaver, that only a few files into the process and the connection would seem to die. It would get stuck waiting for server…

Dreamweaver FTP Timeout Error

Clicking cancel would only seem to prolong the connection death. Sometimes several minutes later the connection would close and you’d finally be able to use Dreamweaver again.

Usually after this waiting for server message had appeared, future connections would instantly fail. As I had had trouble connecting to my hosting server before I thought nothing more of this until I moved to new hosting. The problem remained. Very frustrating.

Needless to say, actually spending 5 minutes to look into the problem, doing a bit of research and a fair whack of Googling (not actually a scientific unit of measuring), I came to quite a simple conclusion.

The answer, swtiching to passive FTP.

What’s the difference between ‘active’ & ‘passive’ FTP

The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) can work in one of two modes, active and passive. ‘Active’ is usually the default option. When you connect to a server with FTP you essentially are creating two connections, one to send commands and one to send data (aka, your files). The difference between the two modes essentially boils down to how the data channel is created. In ‘active’ mode the server creates the connection back to the client, while in ‘passive’ the client is told how to make the connection and then does so by its own methods. A subtle change but one that makes all the difference to networking devices.

To read more about the differences I recommend reading this StackOverflow page or this Wikipedia page for a more general over view.

Fixing Dreamweaver’s FTP Server Timeout

Switching your FTP mode over couldn’t be simpler, as long as you know where it is. If you open your Site Definition window, you can find it under the Remote Info category.

Dreamweaver Timeout Fix

Click that and your connection SHOULD stay open when uploading multiple files to a remote server.

Hopefully this helps with your FTP trouble, but if it doesn’t please let me know below and hopefully I can shed some light on your error.

7 thoughts on “[Fixed] Dreamweaver FTP Error: Timeout ‘Waiting for Server’

  1. I noticed that the “waiting for server” issue almost always appears with permanent ftp connection. If I disconnect from the remote server and then re-connect on uploading new files, all is going smooth with no delays.

    For that reason I recommend that you go to Preferences->Site settings where you can change FTP connection option : Disconnect after x minutes idle to eg 1min. Within a short period of idle connection the “waiting for server issue” should not happen, and for the next upload after that time, Dreamweaver will be forced to make new connection anyway.

    I hope this tip helps someone.

  2. Interestingly enough, I was experiencing this problem with passive on. I read this and thought, ‘what happens when I turn it off’ and knock on wood, it seems to be fixed.

    *shakes fist at Dreamweaver*

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