FTP File Transfers

Getting your site on the Internet – ftp

OK, you have a Domain Name and a Web Hosting Service, Now it’s time to take a look at how you get your website uploaded via ftp to the web host.

When you sign up with a web hosting company, you will receive an email with your login details. In it are parts that you need to have handy during the steps we are about to take to upload your site. The important details you will need for this article should look similar to this:

Login URL: http://server212.webhostingpad.com/cpanel
Username: joeb8783
Password: GLSUDWau

SFTP Host:
Username: joeb8783
Password: GLSUDWau
Directory/Path: public_html

There are several approaches you can use to upload files/folders to your web host. Depending on what web site authoring software you are using to build your site, you may be able to upload them to your web host from within the software. Some web site software offer this feature, and some do not. If you have this feature in your software, then use the “Secure FTP INFORMATION” that is in the email you received from your web host company. If your software does not have this feature, then you should have saved the finished web site in a folder on your computer.

First, let’s take a look at using the C-Panel. C-Panel is your control panel to your web hosting server. You can do uploads using C-Panel however it is not very good for uploading a main folder which then contains files and sub folders. You would have to create all the folder structure on the web host first and then one by one upload all the files into the folders where they belong. Not only is this tedious, it also makes it very easy to put files in the wrong folders so your website will not function the way you want it to.

The simple (less prone to mistakes) method is to use a piece of FTP Software. The FTP software I like to use are FileZilla for Windows and Secure FTP for Mac. I also use Cyberduck on the Mac because it supports WebDav which is what Apple’s Mobile Me requires for uploads and downloads. It’s great to have if you have been using iWeb to build your web pages because with it you can pull down entire websites from Mobile Me and they will then be on your computer ready to transfer to your new web host using FTP. They all operate in a similar manner, they just have different looks to each of them. We will use FileZilla for this example. We will assume we are working with a folder on your computer called “mywebsite”.

Open FileZilla and in the top left corner click on the Site Manager button (or click File then select Site Manger). In the resulting window enter the FTP information you received in the web host’s email (Host, FTP, Require explicit FTP over TLS, Username and Password)

FileZilla FTP Server Screen

Now in FileZilla’s main screen you see two half’s. The left half is your computers folders and files, and the right half shows the files and folders on your web hosting server

You want to put your web site in the Public HTML folder, so in the right side window double-click the Public HTML folder. OK we are half way there, now we need to navigate to the “mywebsite” folder on your computer. Do that in the left half window of FileZilla.

FileZilla File List before Upload

Next right-click on the “mywebsite” folder in the left window and select Upload. The upload will begin immediately and you can follow it’s progress in the window at the bottom of FileZilla.

Upload Progress Window

When the upload is complete, check the right side window and your site’s folder should show up on the web host server.

FileZilla File List after Upload

That’s it! Everything uploaded and you website is on the internet!

Last, test your website by entering your domain name in a web browser.


Links to where you can download the FTP programs mentioned above are in the column on the right side of this web page under “Web Site Tools”.

What’s Next?

In a previous article we mentioned that when you setup your web-hosting account it comes with email. Why would you want another email address? In the next article we will go over all the in’s and out’s of setting up your new email accounts and what the benefits are of having of a personal or business email that is tied to your domain name.

1 thought on “FTP File Transfers

  1. Pingback: Getting Your Web Site on the Internet (Part 3 – FTP File Transfers) | imagineprosperity

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