FTP: The File Transfer Protocol

Tutorial for the easiest way to upload files and keep your web site up to date.

Transferring files from your computer to the web is simple. You already have the necessary tools. Here's how.

  1. Open the folder on your hard drive where you saved your website, for example, c:\Website. Click on My Computer, then the C: drive, and go to your folder. This is referred to as the "local" location because it is local to your computer.


  2. Next we will open the "remote" location. It is called remote because it is not your computer. This location is on a webserver connected to the Internet.
  3. To do this, open Internet Explorer, and type your website's FTP address into the location bar. You may need to contact your web host for their FTP address. It could look like this: ftp://ftp.YourDomainName.com. Click Go or press enter. Sometimes, you may receive an error message that you do not have permission to view this folder. That's OK.


  4. Next, login to your account so that you can access the location. Logging in allows you to view change and upload the folder's contents.
    Login by clicking in the Internet Explorer menu, File > Login As...
    You are now prompted to enter your account name or user name and password.


  5. If you have both folders, the local and remote, open on your computer screen, you can simply click and drag files from one folder to the next.
  6. To upload, drag files from your local folder (where you saved your website) to the remote folder. If that file already exists, you will be asked if you want to overwrite the file. this means it will erase the file that is presently there and replace it with the new one you dragged there.
  7. To download files from the remote folder, perhaps to make a back up or to work on your website from a different computer, drag a file from the remote folder to the local folder. That file will probably exist, and you will be asked if you want to overwrite the file.
  8. Final note: The speed of the upload is determined by your connectino speed to the Internet, only slightly slower. If you have a 56k conection, the large image files will take a while, but you are given a meter that shows the progress of the file transfer and approximates how long until it is finishes.
  9. Once your files have been transferred, visit your web page to make sure all of the images load properly.

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Contact the author, Nicholas Ward

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