What is FTP and How Do I Use It?
The next step on getting our website up and going is using an FTP client to place all of the files we’re going to need onto our server from our desktop computer. Now I understand if you’ve never heard of the term FTP, or this process may look a little daunting, but I assure you, it’s quite easy.
FTP is just a fancy acronym for File Transfer Protocol. And all that really means is the way to move a file from your desktop computer to your server. That’s it. So just imagine in your mind your desktop computer and your server as two separate places. Then draw an imaginary line from the desktop to your server. That’s your FTP client connection. Simple right?
The great thing about using FTP clients, is the best ones are free. And the one I definitely recommend using, and it’s the one I personally use, is FileZilla. For all of my tutorials and videos I’ll be using FileZilla. So if you want to follow along with what you see pictured below, then just grab FileZilla. You can get your free copy here. It only takes a minute to install. Just follow their directions when you’re prompted.
And, it works on any OS, so don’t worry about any incompatibility problems. Their website even goes as so far as to detect what OS you have on your computer and prompts which file to download, so you don’t need to wonder which download to grab. Cool, yeah? For this demonstration I’m using my Linux desktop.
Configuring your FTP client/software
After getting FileZilla installed, we need to configure it. So the first thing you’re going to look for is the little FileZilla icon for your software and launch the program. You’ll get something that looks like this.
Next, go to the drop down menu on the top left hand corner and select file>site manager. After you click on Site Manager you’ll see a pop up that asks you for some information about your Server. This is the basic information that you’re going to need in order to connect your computer to your server.
The first thing you do is click on the New Site on the bottom left. Once you click on the new site button, you’ll see a highlighted area in the little box on your left just above the button you just pushed.
Type in whatever name you want to use so that you remember your site. I usually just use the URL name for the domain with out any suffixes. It doesn’t have anything to do with the connection or anything like that, so you can name your website in the Site Manager anything you want.
The next step is to go to where it says Logon Type: and change the defaulted anonymous to normal by clicking on the bar and selecting from the drop down menu. Once we do that now we can add a User: and our Password: All of the other settings that you’ll see do not need to be played with at all. My suggestion, don’t touch them unless you really know what you’re doing. I almost never touch any of those other settings.
Now we need to input our FTP information so that we can make a connection. The main information we need is the Host, User and Password. I never use the “Host” information either.
All the information were going to need comes from our server, or hosting company. Each host has different information. So you’ll need to check for whichever host you’re using. I’ll go over a little bit about how to do this with Host Gator and InMotion Hosting. But I’m not so familiar with other hosting companies.
If you using InMotion Hosting, we don’t need to add an IP address. We’ll just use the FTP domain which looks like ftp.yourURL.com. But if you’re using Host Gator, or maybe another hosting company, you’re going to need the FTP address.
YourURL will be the URL you opened the account with your hosting company with.
Now all this information is actually in two different places. It should be in you’re welcome email that you get from your hosting company when you first opened your hosting account. And it should also be in your server account were you can see your cPanel . The easiest way to find this information is in you’re welcome email that you got after you signed up for your hosting account.
I’ll be using my in motion hosting server for the rest of this tutorial. It just easiest for me. As this is the same server this site is actually hosted on.
If you look at my welcome email from InMotion Hosting, you’ll see a heading that says Quick Start – Your Account Info. Your username password will be found there.
Just a tip: as you can see a lot of my details are all blacked out. This is for good reason. You never ever want to share your server password with anyone. Anyone who gets into your server can add all kinds of scripts and stuff that you do not want on a server. So do not give yours login details to anyone you do not trust 100%!
So once you filled out though user, password, and host, all you need to do is click on the connect button at the very bottom on the right. That’s it. You’re now connected your desktop to your server. So anything you now add into that right-hand box goes directly is directly uploaded to your server.
In the next article I’ll talk about getting and installing WordPress. And how you to take the word press files and use your FTP client to upload though WordPress files that you need for your new website onto your server. That’s the next step. So once you finish reading this tutorial and have your FTP client connected, they click on the link to move forward and grabbed word press.
If you have any problems, or something just isn’t working, leave me a comment below and I’ll try to help you out as much as I can. I know sometimes I don’t make things as clear as they can be either. So if you have any suggestions on how to make this post even better, I’d love to hear from you. And as always, if you liked the post, please share it with your friends.