FTP is an abbreviation for file transfer protocol. It facilitates the transfer of data between a client and a server over a computer network. For blog owners, web server is the server where your website is hosted, and a client is your computer.
In this article you will learn:
a) Benefits of FTP
b) List of popular FTP software
c) How to use Filezilla FTP
Benefits of FTP
Although there are some alternatives to FTP, still it is a preferred way of data exchange because of the following benefits:
— It is very easy to use FTP; even non-IT person can use it.
— You configure once, and it will retain the settings.
— Download and upload — both functions are available.
— You can move multiple files and folders with one selection.
— Even if a connection is timed out, progress is not lost.
Note: Plain FTP connection is not secure. Alternately, you can use SFTP or FTPS for a secure connection.
List of Popular FTP Software
1. Filezilla – This FTP client is the best and yet free. It is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. Moreover, it supports FTP, FTPS, and SFTP. It also has important documentation.
2. WinSCP – This client is also free and supports FTP and SFTP. It is available for Windows platform.
3. Cyberduck – It is open source FTP software (free) for Windows and Mac OS. It supports FTP and SFTP.
4. FireFTP – It is a free software add-on for Mozilla browser. This FTP client is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Moreover, it also supports FTP and SFTP.
5. SmartFTP – It is not free software. It is available for Windows and supports FTP, SFTP, and FTPS.
How to use Filezilla FTP
Create an FTP account
By default, every Web host provides an FTP account to its client. If you are not sure you have such an account, then follow the following steps:
1. Log in to Web host account and navigate to cPanel.
2. Under the ‘Files’ bar, you will see an icon for ‘FTP Accounts.’ Click it.
3. ‘FTP Accounts’ window pops up. Scroll down the window; your default FTP account is listed under the heading ‘Special FTP Accounts.’ Under ‘log in’ heading, your FTP username is listed.
This FTP account’s username and password are same as your cPanel credentials.
4. If required, you can create a new FTP account on this screen.
Install and configure Filezilla FTP client software
1. Download Filezilla client for your operating system ( like Windows) from this link: https://filezilla-project.org/download.php
2. Install this software on your system.
3. Launch Filezilla, and you will see a pop-up window like the one below:
4. Now, you need to fill the information in the top row of this window.
5. Against host, enter the IP address of your website. If you don’t know it, you can find it in the cPanel (refer below image).
6. Enter your username and password. For standard FTP connection, the port number is 21. But if you want to use SFTP, the port number should be 22.
7. Click ‘Quickconnect’ button on the ‘Filezilla’ window; you will get connected to the home directory of your website.
Download / Upload files and folders
1. In the FileZilla FTP window, on the left side, you can see files of your computer (local site). Whereas, on the right side, you can see files of your website (remote site).
2. Root directory of your website is public_html.
3. Suppose, you want to download the .htaccess file from the root directory, you need to select this file and then right-click it. Afterwards select download.
4. That file will get downloaded to the current directory on the local site. You can use the same procedure to download a folder with all its files.
5. Similarly, if you want to upload a file or folder from the local site, you need to select it and then right-click and select upload. The selected file/folder will get uploaded to the current folder on the remote site.
Wrapping it up
Using Filezilla FTP client is really easy. Still knowing it is a useful skill that one should possess. It certainly makes your file transfer job easy.
In a situation where you need a particular file or folder from your backup to be restored, you will find this tool handy.
You may like to read: