How To Set Up An FTP Site In 6 Easy Steps!

An FTP site is an online file storage location that enables users to upload files onto a secure server and share them over the internet.

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is the single most widely used file transfer and sharing program worldwide. An FTP site is simply an online storage location where users can quickly and securely upload, download, store, and share any type and size files they like.

The files can be software, movies, drawings, designs, pictures, etc. In addition, the account holder has the ability to create folders, add users, and control all access privileges to the site and its contents.

Why have an FTP site?

Beyond being so widely used and accepted, FTP is extremely secure. Some FTP hosting sites provide HIPAA level security, which means information as personal and confidential as patient medical files are safe and secure.

In addition, users can upload an unlimited amount of files regardless of their size. This is particularly helpful if an individual or business owner needs to share large files with others. It also provides a secure location to store files, freeing up valuable memory space on your computer and your customers’. So how do you set up an FTP site?

6 Easy Steps to Set Up your FTP Site:

Step One. Find an FTP hosting service that meets your needs. This is important because not all FTP online file sharing services are created equal. When comparing options be sure to look for:

  • File size limits. Look for a site that offers an option that meets your needs. For example a large business may need 11GB of storage and you only need 2GB, you certainly don’t want to have to pay for the 11GB the larger company needs. Make sure your service offers an option that meets your needs.
  • Price. Like file size limits, look for a pricing system that meets your budget needs. As your needs grow, you can increase your online storage limits.
  • Compatibility with FTP software if you’re going to be using external software. Many FTP sites require FTP software compatibility. This is fine if you’re both comfortable using the software and your service is compatible with it. However, some offer free web based software so all you have to do is logon and start sharing files. No software installs are required.
  • Security. Look for an FTP hosting site that gives you the security you need. If you’re exchanging confidential information, proprietary information, or are working on behalf of a client who needs confidentiality, then security is extremely important. Not all hosting sites are created equal. Look for one that takes security seriously.
  • Customer service. When you’re dealing with any business, customer service is important. However it is particularly important when you’re storing and sharing information. You need customer service that is responsive and available.
  • Step Two. Create an account. Designate administrative users and users who have access to specific folders. Create passwords and logon information for users. Access can be expanded later so it is fine to limit access in the beginning. Be sure to make note of passwords and user account information so you can keep track of who has access to what. The better services out there will provide you with a list of your users and folders so you can visually see who has access to which folder.

    Step Three. Create folders. Remember to name them appropriately so you will be able to quickly and easily recognize your respective clients folders. Directories and sub-directories can be created to make online storage organized and efficient.

    Step Four. Add your users and assign them to their specific folder. For example, if you’re working with a business partner on a new business, a folder can be created with the business name. In the folder you could store marketing strategies, contracts and agreements, research, business plans and even profit and loss projections. The folder can be assigned and secured so that it can be accessed only by yourself and your business partner. As the systems administrator you will have full access to all the folders you create. The users you create will only be able to access the folder you assign to them.

    Step Five. Upload & Download files. Uploading & downloading files can be handled a number of ways. The easiest, if it is available, is to simply use the free web based software provided by the FTP service provider. This process is as simple as clicking a button that says “Upload my files” and clicking on the appropriate file. If however you’d prefer to use an FTP client software program like CuteFTP, Filezilla, FTP Voyager, Smart FTP, Ipswitch, or Fetch, then you’ll need to follow the instructions of the specific software. Most FTP client software is easy to use and function the same basic way. The other option is to download files with your web browser. There are limitations on file size but this is also a fairly straight forward cut and paste option.

    Step Six. Log off. Yep, that’s it. Setting up an FTP hosting site is really easy when you have the right provider. With some providers, customization is an option too. Users can customize their site so their business logo and company name appear when users log onto the account.

    FTP hosting is one of the simplest, easiest, and most cost effective means of sharing large files in a secure and easily accessible manner.

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