How To FTP Website Documents Up to a Server

An FTP Tutorial

When you download or upload a file on the Internet, you are actually using FTP.

The URL syntax is different than what you normally see in your web browser’s address window. Instead of, an FTP URL looks like this: FTP://

Step 1

Get an FTP software client. Internet explorer 7 has an FTP option and the latest Firefox has an FTP tool that you can download as a separate plugin. Both are free, but many website owners opt to spend a few bucks and buy a dedicated FTP program like Cute FTP or WS FTP which are more secure and have more features and tools for better file management.

Step 2

Learn how to navigate the FTP program interface. FTP program interfaces simply display a split screen on the desktop. The left side of the split displays your computer’s files. The right side of the screen displays the files of the web server. When you want to upload a file or folder to the server, navigate the server side of the screen to the target folder. On the desktop side of the screen, drag and drop the file or folder to the target folder on the server.

To download a file from the server to your computer, navigate your desktop screen side to the target folder. Then double click on the server side file or folder. A copy of the file or folder from the server will be copied to your computer.

Step 3

Transfer your website files up to your hosting account. Your hosting account will have a main folder named for your domain. Double click on the folder at the server and find the “doc” folder in your hosting account. Transfer the files up to the docs folder from your computer exactly the way they are structured from the PC.

A basic site will have most of the files in the root directory, with the images going into a separate folder named “images”. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Punch in the URL of your website to display the site online and test the functionality.

If you find that there are problems, double check that your files are in the correct folders and that your domain name settings are correct.

It's fairly easy to FTP your website documents up to your hosting account, but pay attention to the details of transferring files in and out of your account. And always keep back-up copies of your files.

Rick Contrata is a Certified SEO Professional, owns a domain registration website and owns or markets a number of other sites and businesses.

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