Matt - sorry about the delay in responding - I've been finishing a large urgent project which of course had some glitches along the way, but we're now off an running so I'm hoping to spend the next couple of days doing things for the dnn community and for me
Now, On the skin help page, I have information that shows the most common reason for skins not being visible.
It's alot in how you zip them up...
Creating a skin package is different to creating a zip to upload skins and a zip to upload containers.
So, from a beginners perspective, or in a situation where you just can't work it out quickly and logically, do one at a time.
Have you ever bought skins from snowcovered and seen sometimes they are packaged differently?
Some people will package skins in their own upload and then you have to go back and upload the containers..that's not really regarded as a 'skin package' becuase if you have a 'skin package' you have combined skins and containers together and DNN knows to upload skins to the skins folder and containers to the container folder.
But if you don't know how to package skins, then what happens is you have uploaded files that are zips in zips, or a folder called skins/skins and container/containers or nothing at all, so when you go to use them, there DNN doesn't know where to find the files.
Also, if you have been OUTSIDE the skin folder - and just zip that folder up - it's a zip in a zip - and when DNN installs it, if you were to look at the folder structure in ftp - you would see - SkinFileName/skin/skinfiles.htm, so dnn just sees that empty folder - does that make sense.
I suggest you do this first -
In the folder of the skin file you've just created, place your mouse in there and then right click and zip it.. it should take on the name of the current folder you were in...
Upload that as a skin - under the Host/skins area
In the folder of the container you've just created, place your mouse in there and right click and zip it and Upload as a container under the host/skins area.
.. in most applictions today - zip is acessible through the right click context of your mouse, similar to right click copy, right click create shortcut... if you have a third party zip appliction from winzip - it will let you do this work using right click functions. I think if you can do that it will be very clear.
To create a skin package it's a little more involved... but it's easy to do when you get the idea of how it works... really it is..
Firstly - that skin you just zipped up, rename it to Skins.zip
Then, go to the container folder with that container you just created and name it Containers.zip - and the COPY the Containers.zip file into your folder where the Skins.zip file is - you should see in the folder of the skin you've created, two zips - called Skins.zip and Containers.zip -
Make sure your mouse is IN THAT FOLDER and your RIGHT CLICK and ZIP the Skins.zip and the Containers.zip files together -
You will have then - SkinName.zip with Skin.zip and Containers.zip in there... This is called a DotNetNuke Skin Package and DotNetNuke knows, when you upload using Host/Skins - install skin - to unzip and place the skin and containers together with the same names in the right place.
I believe you're on the right track but you're missing the folder structure to complete the process...
Let me know how you go.