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From Your Computer To Your Webspace

Install an FTP client

In this task you're going to install an FTP client. It should take you about five minutes.

Before you can put your first page live on the web you're going to need some means of transferring it from your computer to your webspace. There are many methods of doing this but by far the most popular solution is to use either FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or preferably SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) if your web host supports it. Either way you'll use a FTP client to transfer files back and forth.
There are many pieces of FTP software and just like text editors some are free and some are paid for.  If you're using Windows or a Mac then two popular (and free) choices are Filezilla and Cyberduck. It's up to you which one you choose, it will largely be a matter of personal taste.
When you've downloaded and installed one of the above FTP clients you're ready to set it up to connect to your webspace. The exact settings you'll need will depend on the web host that you're using but it's common to enter a server address (probably or a username and a password. If all goes according to plan then you should be able to connect to your web space and see all of the files or folders in your web space.
The files and folders that you see will depend on your web host but you should see a folder called webroot or public_html. Anything you place in these folders will be available to the world. This is exactly what you're going to do in the next challenge. Whatever the folder is called we're going to refer it  as your root folder.

Task Discussion

  • Patchy said:

    took me like an hour or so to download filezilla... bad day to download apps when a new distro is hot from the oven...

    on April 28, 2012, 3:59 p.m.
  • eshu9e said:

    i use xftp :)

    on April 13, 2012, 1:40 p.m.
  • bamajr said:

    I use FireFTP and have use BulletProof FTP in the past.

    Also, I know many times, especially on Micro$lop Windoz systems, the integration of Windoz explorer will allow for an FTP connection within Internet Explorer. This worked up to Windoz XP SP3, after that, I couldn't tell you.

    Quite honestly, I don't have to use FTP a lot. Most  web-base CMS offer browser and/or flash uploads, so the need for FTP is reduced, when using these systems. This is definately the case with WordPress.

    on Feb. 7, 2012, 5:17 p.m.
  • jamesweaver said:

    I use fireFTP with Mozilla Firefox. Works great and you can set it up as a secure connection.

    on Feb. 1, 2012, 10 p.m.
  • Ken Doman said:

    I'm using FileZilla, mostly because my provider recommended it. Unfortunately, they don't offer help on how to configure it, so I had to figure that out on my own.

    on Jan. 27, 2012, 10:56 a.m.
  • Vladimir Támara Patiño said:

    I don't recommend FTP since the password are transmitted plain, so when you transmit a file your password can be seen in your local network, in your provider network, in the provider of your hosting service and in the local network of you hosting service.

    Prefer SFTP and ask your host provider to implement it.

    For simple editions I just login with ssh and then use vim.  To transfer files I usually use scp that is a standard tool of ssh in Unix style hosts, for example to transfer index.html:

    scp index.html

    To the people that prefers a graphical solution I recommend Ubuntu and the functionality "Connect to server" of the standard file browser, it allows to see the remote folder as a local folder.

    on Jan. 11, 2012, 9:38 a.m.
  • Brylie Oxley said:

    I use Nautilus file manager SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) functionality or the SFTP command from the Bourne Again Shell (BASH).

    on Dec. 15, 2011, 10:57 p.m.
  • kaizer1v said:

    I am currently uing Filezilla. Also, the fastest way to trasfer is via the terminal (Linux) or Putty (Windows). Try and make use of the ssh service provided by the web hosting service. It is far more secure obviously.

    on Nov. 23, 2011, 5:35 a.m.