Step by Step Instructions to Upload a File to your Website using the FileZilla FTP Client

The process of transferring a file from your computer to your website is often referred to as "uploading" that file or "publishing" it. For web hosts that support FTP, or the File Transfer Protocol, you need a program called an "FTP client" to transfer the file. You can find a free FTP clients at

http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type=client

 

This tutorial only deals with how you can transfer a file to your web server using a free FTP client known as FileZilla. Versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X are available. I will describe the Windows version of this program, but if you use another operating system, chances are that it will work very similarly.

Before you can upload any file to your site, you will also need some information from your web host. In particular, you will need to find out the following:

 

  1. The name of the FTP server for your website. For example, "ftp.example.com".
  2. Encryption type "expilict FTP over TLS".
  3. Your user id or login username for your FTP account.
  4. Your password for your FTP account.
  5. The directory where you need to place your files so that they can be seen by a web browser visiting your site. For example, "public_html".

 

Click the "File" menu followed by the "Site Manager" item on that menu. A dialog box will appear.


Click the "New Site" button on that dialog box. This creates a new item under "My FTP Sites" called "New FTP site". Rename "New FTP site" to the name of your site if you wish. By default, the keyboard cursor would have been placed in the name portion of "New FTP site" allowing you to change the name immediately. If you have lost the cursor because you accidentally clicked somewhere else in the dialog box, you can get it back by simply clicking once on the name. Note that this name can be anything you wish - it is not required for accessing your site. However, you will probably make your life easier if you change the name to that of your site rather than the cryptic "New FTP site".

Under the tab "General", enter the name of your FTP server in the "Host" input box. For example, "ftp.example.com", enter "ftp.example.com" into the space provided.

Leave the "Port" and the "Servertype" entry boxes alone. Use your mouse and select "Normal" from the drop down list box for "Logontype". This will enable the "User" and "Password" boxes for the next step.


Enter your user id or your login name into the "User" input box. Likewise, enter your password into the "Password" input box. Note that this information is automatically saved onto your computer and will be re-used the next time you run FileZilla, so you do not have to re-enter them again. (It also means that you should not use FileZilla in this way on computers that others may have access to, such as those found in an Internet cafe or a public library.


Click the "Connect" button. FileZilla will proceed to log you into your server. If it is successful, you will see a directory listing of your website's account in the right hand side of the FileZilla window. The left hand side of the FileZilla window shows the directories and files on your own computer.


Please Note that you must only upload files in a specific subdirectory on the web server, i.e. "public_html" directory, change to that directory by doubleclicking its name in the folder portion of the right window pane (the "Remote Site" window pane). FileZilla will open that folder and show you its contents in the files portion of the Remote Site window pane.


Next, locate the file that you wish to upload in the left window pane (the "Local Site" pane). Both window panes behave mostly like a Windows Explorer windows, so navigating them should not be unduly hard. Once you have located the file you wish to upload, say "feedback.php", doubleclick it to upload it to your website. Alternatively, you can drag that file from the left window pane to the right window pane. The file will be uploaded to the folder that is currently open on the right window pane, so make sure you have changed to the directory you want before dragging the file there.


As FileZilla proceeds to upload your file to your site, you should be able to see the upload progress in the bottommost window pane in FileZilla. When the upload has completed, you can disconnect from your website. Do this by clicking the "Server" menu followed by the "Disconnect" item.


Congratulations! You have successfully uploaded a file to your website using an FTP client, FileZilla.

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