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Practical Guide To Transferring Files Using FTP

Ftp file transfer :A necessary skill for future site administrators

Most larger websites (as well as some of the smaller ones) run on their own dedicated machine. This machine has a  server , which deals with the program interpretation, database and HTTP serving. Since the administrator has direct access to the machine ,there’s rarely need for file transfers. However , if you’ve ever hosted a site on a web hosting plan, you know that FTP is necessary in  order to upload the files of your website to the distant machine. Here’s what we’ll try to explain here – transferring files to and from an FTP server. 

First off, let’s ask a simple question – what kind of program contacts and interacts with a server ? That’s right, it’s a client program. Particularly , in this example, we’d need an FTP client. There are many and different clients out there, and most of them operate on the same basic principles. In order to make our example the same for Windows , Linux and Mac systems, we’re going to use FileZilla.

FileZilla is an FTP client which is easy to find, easy to install and easy to use.  Download it from the official Filezilla website, after which you can install it, going through the simple “Next>Next>Finish” routine, or even just unzip it and run the Filezilla.exe.

Anyway, once you’ve started FileZilla, let’s start with a guide to connecting it to your FTP server, step by step :

  1. Go to File > Site Manager , or press Ctrl+S on your keyboard
  2. In the dialog that opens up, click New Site
  3. On the right, you should find the fields for your FTP server’s information :
  • The domain name of your FTP server should be written in the Host field.
  • In protocol, select FTP .
  • If your FTP server requires accounts (which it most probably does), change the Authentication Type (in some versions Logon Type)  from Anonymous to Normal.
  • Enter your username and password below
  1. Click “Connect” in the field below

This summarizes the steps towards connecting to your FTP server. From there on, everything is fairly simple. In most installations , your computers files are on the left, while the server’s files are on the right. If you want to upload files,  mark them with your mouse , right click and select “Upload”.

If you want to do the exact opposite, select files from the server, right click and  press “Download”.

Either of those commands saves from  current folder to current folder. Which means you’ll upload the file to the server folder which is currently open. And when you download, you will download to the folder which is currently open in FileZilla.

Hopefully, this simple guide has taught you the basics of transferring files using FTP. Good luck with your web design and development endeavors!

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Ajinkya Thete is passionate Blogger,a self-taught web developer and a person who is always looking for innovation.

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