FTP Software – What It Is and How to Use It

What is FTP:

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows files to be transferred from one computer to another. FTP software allows your computer to connect directly to another computer using the internet, and then transfer files between the two. This is how to update your website pages on the host’s computer. Free FTP software can be found online.

The cPanel provided by your host can be used for updating website files, but an FTP program is quicker and easier. It’s like having a desktop shortcut that takes you directly to where you want to go, and makes exchanging files between your computer and the host computer as simple as drag and drop.

How to FTP:

Most programs are similar. Filezilla, is a good example to use here. It’s free open-source software provided by the same people who provide the Firefox web browser, and very popular.

Basically, the open program shows two main frames, one on the left and one on the right. The left frame displays files on the “Local Site”, that’s your computer. The right frame displays files on the “Remote Site”, these are your website files on the host computer.

Connect to your host via the FTP program by filling in the blanks at the top; Host (eg, ftp.domain.com), Username and Password, then click Quickconnect.

The program will connect to the host and store the connection information in a dropdown menu for a single-click connection next time. As many websites as you like can be in the dropdown menu.

On the left where your computer files are, go to the upper window, choose a folder and double-click on it. The contents will display in the lower window.

On the right where your website files are shown on the host computer, double-click here as well to display folder contents in the lower window. Website folders and files will be in the “public_html” folder. There are more folders there you can navigate but they don’t have anything to do with simple file transfer.

Transfer methods (using the lower frames on both sides):

· drag and drop manually,

· double-click any file to automatically begin file transfer,

· select multiple files, right-click, choose upload or download.

These methods work for both upload and download. Follow prompts in any message boxes that might pop up. You can also right-click and delete unwanted files from the host computer to keep it looking tidy.

That’s the quick and easy way to get started with your own FTP program. If you have questions about using it, you can bet other people do too, find the forum online.

One of the most spectacular things about the internet is that it’s global and without any borders. Your host can be just down the road or thousands of kilometres away. Find the best deal that’s right for you.