What is FTP? FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and it's generally used as a means of uploading files to web sites. There are many different FTP clients (programs) on the market and it's very much up to personal preference which one you choose.
If you're still using Microsoft FrontPage, please see our guide to uploading your FrontPage site.
Using Windows Explorer to upload your website
The easiest way to get your site uploaded without paying extra money for an FTP client is to use Microsoft Windows Explorer. You would typically enter a URL in the format of ftp://Username:Password@Host/directory/ into the address bar. It's then possible to drag and drop any files you want to upload into this window. For example...
We find that many of our customers use programs such as SmartFTP, WS_FTP or CuteFTP . Whichever package you use, there are a few fields that need to be completed in order for you to upload your website.
|Site Label or site name||Anything you want here - it's for your records only.|
|Host address or name/IP address||Use the hostname you have been given. Do not put anything else in apart from this. When the domain propagates you can insert the domain name here instead although it doesn't really matter as it points to the same web space. Please don't put http:// or www in this field as it won't work if you do.|
|UserID||This is your FTP username which you have been given. In some cases, this may be the first part of your domain name or it may be something like email@example.com.|
|Password||Which you will have been given. Please be careful as it's case sensitive.|
Once you have connected, you will see a directory called 'public_html', 'mainwebsite_html' or 'html'. Some FTP clients may show this as a file which should be double-clicked or opened. This is where your web pages will be served from and where you should put all your pages. Having a separate directory or folder for this is more secure and allows password files to be stored in the home directory away from prying eyes.
If you want your ftp program to bypass this directory, on WS_FTP, you will need to click 'properties' followed by the 'startup' tab. You should then enter public_html/ in the 'Remote Site Folder' field. On cuteFTP, this is refered to as the 'Initial Remote Directory'. Leave all the other fields at their default settings and you've successfully configured your ftp program to upload files to your webspace.
Using Dreamweaver to upload
If you're planning to use Dreamweaver to upload your site, here is an example of how you would fill the fields in...