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Uploading files using FTP

Maybe for some time you've been using page builders or control panels on your free hosts, but there will come a moment when you will want to make file uploading easier and faster. If your host provides FTP access, you should learn how to use it.

What is FTP?

It means File Transfer Protocol. The name says it all. It's a way of transfering files to remote locations, that is - your hosting server.

Step 1: Software

There are various free and commercial software out there for you to use. I found some useful links for downloading free FTP clients, so you don't have to look for them :)

Step 2: Connection

When you installed the FTP client, open it. The program will probably pop-up a window with some fields to fill. What every connection needs is:

  • Server IP / URL - this is either a set of numbers, something like 65.17.284.295 or ftp.yourhost.com or similar.
  • Username - it's the username you chose when you applied for hosting
  • Password - it's the password you chose by yourself, or was given to you by your host

Other fields are usually optional. Click the "Connect" button and you're on it :)

Step 3: Uploading / downloading

This is very similar to using Windows Explorer or some similar sortware. The files on your computer are usually shown on the left side, while your remote host is shown on the right side. You must select the files from your computer to be transfered, and then click on the button "Upload" - usually an arrow pointing to the right, or pointing up. This depends on the software you chose. Sometimes you must right-click on the file and select Upload - this works if you have multiple files selected, or even folders too.

When you started upload, you should see some words and numbers scrolling across your panel, which means the uploading of files is in progress. Once the panel seems still, the upload is complete. By entering your remote adress (the host should have given you this, it can be http://username.somehost.com/ or http://www.somehost.com/username/) in your web browser, you should see your website looking exactly as it did on your computer :)

Downloading files is exactly the opposite - You chose files from your remote server, and then click the arrow pointing on the left (or down) or right-click and select the word Download.

File permissions - CHMOD

You usually won't need this, but if you decide to use some scripts that use files to store data, it's important to set the permissions to write. The way it's done probably slightly differs from client to client, but usually you can right-click on the file/folder and choose Properties.

I suppose now a small pop-up opened, containing some radio buttons and one textfield containig a numeric value. You can set the permissions by clicking on radio buttons (saying Read, Write and Execute) or by entering the number in the textfield. If you're using a script you should usually CHMOD to 666, but that's probably stated in the instructions for that particular script.

This tutorial was short, but it should be enough. If something is not clear enough, look into the Help of the program you are using.


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