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FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

Connecting to Your Hosting Account
Posted on 10/05/11 View Comments

What is FTP (File Transfer Protocol)?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)  is the simplest and most secure way to exchange files over the Internet. FTP is most commonly used to upload and download files from your website hosting space. The ability to transfer files back-and-forth makes FTP an essential process for anyone creating a website, this process is normal controlled by settings in your website design software or via an FTP Client.

An FTP client is a piece of software designed to transfer files between two computers over the Internet, in this case connecting your computer to our hosting servers. Popular FTP clients are Filezilla, SmartFTP, FTP Explorer, Core FTP & the more professional and paid for CuteFTP.

We Recommend Using Filezilla to Get Started as it’s FREE & Easy To Use. Click Here to Download Now.

We will assume that you are OK with downloading and installing software,  if not Click Here for Installation Guide.

The FileZilla FTP Client is a classic two-pane design. The pane on the left displays the files on your computer and the pane on the right displays the files on the remote computer see below:-

Annotated FilleZilla FTP Client Main Window The Main Parts of the FileZilla FTP Main Window.

1/ Main Software Toolbar
2/ Quick Connect to Server Bar
3/ FTP Message Log Area
4/ Local Computer Pane, Folders & Files
5/ Remote Computer Pane, Folders & Files
6/ The File Transfer Queue.

How to Connect to Your Your Server Using FileZilla FTP.

Once the FileZilla FTP client is installed your next step is to connect to your server ready for the transfer of files & data between Local & Remote computers. You should have been supplied with an FTP Hostname/FTP Server Name/IP Address, Username and Password when you signed up for your Website Hosting Account, these are normally contained in your Hosting Account Welcome Emails.

Below we have used some fictional login data – please use your own data instead if you want to actively follow this tutorial and transfer a few files so that you get used to using FTP.

Hostname: Username: john Password: 7PjU#.J3

To get you started we will use the (2/ Quick Connect to Server Bar) for establishing your first connection:

FileZilla Quick Connect Toolbar

Enter Your FTP Hostname/FTP Server Name/IP Address into the Quick Connect Bars Host: field, your supplied username into the Username: field as well as the password into the Password: field. You may leave the Port: field empty unless your login information specifies a certain port to use. Now to get connected click on the Quickconnect button.

Please Note: If your hosting  login information specifies a protocol like SFTP or FTPS, enter the FTP Hostname/FTP Server Name/IP Address as follows: sftp://hostname or ftps://hostname respectively.

Your FileZilla FTP Client will now try to connect to your remote hosting server. If a successful connection is made, you will notice that the right “column” (5/ Remote Computer Pane, Folders & Files) switched from Not connected to to displaying a list of your remote files and directories.

Uploading Files to Your Remote Server.

The first stage in any uploading process is to locate the files that you wish to upload – in the local pane (4/ Local Computer Pane), You will see a listing of Folders & Files – locate the directory containing the files you wish to upload (e.g. folder to upload from: the folder & files index.html and images/).

Next step is to navigate to the desired target directory on the remote server using the server pane’s file listings  (5/ Remote Computer Pane, Folders & Files)

To upload your local data to your remote server, select the respective files/directories and drag them from the (4/ Local Computer Pane, Folders & Files), to the (5/ Remote Computer Pane, Folders & Files). After dragging the folders & files you will notice that the files have been added to the (6/ The File Transfer Queue.) at the bottom of the main window and soon thereafter get removed again – since they were (hopefully, if nothing went wrong) just uploaded to your remote server.

The uploaded files & directories should now be displayed (5/ Remote Computer Pane, Folders & Files) on the right.

FileZilla File Window & Folder Lists

Note: If you don’t like using drag-and-drop, you can also Right Click on Files/Directories (in the lower local pane) and Select Upload to upload them – or simply double-click a file entry (this does not work for directories).

Downloading Files From Your Remote Server.

Downloading files, or complete directories from your remote server works essentially the same way as uploading – you just drag the files/directories from (5/ Remote Computer Pane, Folders & Files)  to  (4/ Local Computer Pane, Folders & Files) this time, instead of the other way round.

Please Note: for your security and to stop you from accidentally overwriting a file or folder during uploading or download, the FileZilla FTP Client will by default display a dialog box asking you what you want to do (overwrite, rename, skip…).

Our Conclusion & Your Next Steps With FTP.

FileZilla FTP Client is a great piece of software and best of all it’s FREE, the software will easily get you started in the world of FTP, transfer your files & folders between local & remote computers and allow to easily upload your website designs etc…..

Although this is only a getting started guide there is a lot more you can do with this software, when you are confident connecting to servers, uploading & downloading  etc… and you wish to advance your understanding visit the main FileZilla website by Clicking Here for more advanced information.

Many thanks for reading our FileZilla Quick Start Guide, please let us know below how you get on.