Accessing your Files through FTP

Accessing your Files through FTP

The process by which files are transferred to the web server is called “FTP” (File Transfer Protocol). You have unlimited access to your account by both SSH (only some web hosts) and FTP 24 hours a day.

Online services which offer an Internet gateway, such as AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy may have a built-in FTP interface. If you have a PPP Internet account, you need an FTP “client” (a software program that performs the FTP function.)

Two of the most popular FTP clients for Windows machines are CuteFTP and WS_FTP (Update: FileZilla seems to be the most popular nowadays). For Mac users, Fetch FTP seems to be the standard.

Can’t I use my Frontpage to upload my site?

Yes, you can. Please review the information on the “Using Frontpage” page.

IMPORTANT:If you have requested FrontPage extensions on your account, you should NEVER use regular FTP to upload your files. This will damage the extensions. Stick with one or the other all the time.

FTP Client Configuration

We recommend using CuteFTP, although you’re free to use the FTP client of your choice. All FTP clients require the same 3 basic pieces of information in order to establish a connection. This information was provided to you in your account “welcome” e-mail.

  • FTP HostName: Generally, this is your domain name and/or IP number;
  • FTP Username: Often, but not always, your domain name without the TLD extension (e.g., if your domain name is, your username is probably fred.)
  • FTP Password: The password associated with your username.

Your login type should be normal, and the FTP port should be 21.

Usually, that information is all that’s necessary to configure your FTP client to connect successfully to your account. If you have problems connecting, check the following:

  • If you’re attempting to use your domain as the FTP Host Address, make sure that your domain name is resolving to the correct domain nameservers (DNS). If it’s not, try connecting to your IP number, instead.
  • Try changing your Passive (PASV) mode and/or Firewall settings (e.g., if PASV is set to ON, switch it to off; if it’s off, change it on; etc.)

Uploading Your Web Site

When you first connect via FTP, you will be in your account’s home directory. All of your web files must be uploaded into your www directory. Depending upon your account type, this directory will be named either www or mainwebsite_html.

With most FTP clients, you just need to double-click on the directory name to navigate into it.

As soon as a file is uploaded to the web server, it is available for all to see. If, after uploading a file, you are still unable to see the updated file, you may need to hit your browser’s Refresh button and/or delete your temporary internet files.