FTP For Beginners

FTP is an abbreviation for “File Transfer Protocol”.

It is used to upload and download files to an online server. Even if you’re not aware of it, probably you utilize FTP on a regular basis. A typical application is downloading online files and when you download large video or music files. Also, people who design web pages will find it indispensable.

FTP addresses resemble website addresses closely, with the exception of the inclusion of ftp:// rather than http:// in the address.

Servers are sometimes dedicated for receipt of FTP connections. This is called an FTP server or site since it is only used to upload or download files; this is similar to a web server which is a computer whose primary purpose is to host web pages.

An FTP Client (Software)

This is an elaborate title for software that is created to move files back and forth through a network.

In reality, the Internet is a very large “wide area” network (WAN).

Clients may also include the following features: create folders on the remote server, change permissions (CHMOD), rename files, delete files, transfer multiple files, etc.

Where can I get software from?

Anyone planning on transmitting multiple files should consider investing in a quality professional client such as WS-FTP Pro.
It is possible to use Windows Explorer, but many people find it difficult to use.
One effective and free client is Filezilla.
If you only want to upload a few files, or if you just want to try the program out, normally it is possible to obtain a free trial version of some clients.

Prior to uploading files, you will need:

The “Host” (Server), usually ftp.somewebsite.tld, or simply an IP address
The Username
The Password
Use Passive FTP? (Typically “Yes”)
Connect Through Secure (SFTP)? (Ordinarily “No”)
The server port (Typically 21)
Almost never will you be able to upload to the initial folder you are connected to when the host connects. Typically web contents are placed in a folder called /public_html or /www or /httpdocs depending upon which operating system is used. In order to publish a website, you must know this. In addition, you must know the name of the main page. (Normally index.htm or index.html, or home.htm) if publishing a website.