In preparation for changing domain names, I first have to prove ownership to the google Webmaster gods. To do this, they ask that you upload a specially crafted .html page to your server, then visit it in your browser. So, the html file is named something like google[randomHashedTag].html. So I upload it in to the public_html folder on the webserver, and go to www.ourdomain.com/google[randomHashedTag].html as requested... and it fails out completely. Possible approaches (which I have NOT tried... I figured asking experts was better than mucking up my web server!)

  1. Edit the html file in something like Sublime Text, and copy and paste the contents into a new page WITHIN EE.
  2. Try to upload the file into other random, but less "obvious" seeming places like the Public_HTML folder...
  3. Ask you folks.

Very clearly, I went option three. I assume I'm missing something really simple. Google offers other ways to approach this problem (different ways of proving ownership), but now I really want to figure out if you can even upload a pre-built html file and have it somehow interact with the EE site. Thanks!

Oh yeah... due to forces beyond my control, we're still running EE 1.7.1. :-/

Note, a similar (nay, identical?) problem was posted and marked Off Topic, with the suggestion to just ftp the page to the webserver. I've done that, and it doesn't load, so please provide more of an answer before you turn me to n00bhood, where I clearly belong. :D

  • For the record, I broke down and did the CNAME entry with Network Solutions to prove ownership, but I still need to know if you can actually do this with Expression Engine or not... in complaining about my inability to DO so, my ED has come up with some other pages he'd like added that way. FML. :D Jul 28, 2016 at 19:00
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    I'd guess you're either uploading it to the wrong directory, or your .htaccess file has some greedy rewrite rules in it, preventing the file from displaying. Jul 28, 2016 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


Normally just uploading the supplied .html file to /public_html works for me. Check that you saved the file correctly and it is in the right location, eg /public_html/xxxxx.html

Otherwise you can try the google site verification meta tag, you just need to add that in whatever template(s) the < head > tag of your site appears in.

See https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35179?hl=en for further info.

  • Definitely uploaded into /public_html. Thanks for the google link, but that's where I started off this whole journey in the first place. ;) Aug 11, 2016 at 17:53

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