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FTP?! Baffled? Read on …


FTPNot another acronym I hear you cry! But yes! The web is full of them unfortunately.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol – which simply means moving something from your own home computer to your hosting company’s server. So for example if you are paying Dreamhost for your hosting – that’s where all your website files are kept – you would use an FTP client to connect you to Dreamhost.

Why do you need to know about an FTP client? You need to know because if you have your own website you will at some point need to access your files – delete things, add things, move stuff from your computer to your hosting company. And to do this easily, you should use an FTP client.

FTPIt can seem a little daunting at first – but actually it is really simple. I use a free client called Filezilla. You download it from the internet.

Once you have got it running you need to go to file/site manager, which is on the top menu bar and then fill in the following details:

1. Host: Type in ftp. followed by your domain name without the www.
2. Username: Your hosting company will have provided you with this.
3. Password: Also given to you by your hosting company.
4. Port: Normally you don’t need to put anything in here.

Then hit connect. You will see the files that make up your hosting company appearing on the right hand side of the screen. This side of the screen is called the remote browser because it stores files which are remote i.e. not on your computer and on the left hand side of the screen is the local browser – a mirror image of what is on your own computer.

You then can move files backwards and forwards between your computer and your host. You can edit files, delete files, rename them – although do be careful – take a copy of everything you do, before you start fiddling about, just in case you make a mistake.

Filezilla doesn’t have a particularly user-friendly interface so you could try Coffecup or Cyberduck – they are both free and a little nicer to use. You can of course buy FTP clients – two of which, Fetch for Macs and Cerberus for Windows, I think are good. And good luck!

If you’d like help with using an FTP client or you’d like to talk about creating or developing a website, contact LJ at Muswell Hill Media on 020 8815 9965, or email [email protected]


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