Tutorial on how to publish a file to your website's web server using FTP
by Christopher Heng, thesitewizard.com
Once logged in, you will be taken to your home directory on your Web server, which you’ll see in the Remote site window in FileZilla. This directory contains (amongst other things) your website directory, which is where you need to upload all your files. FileZilla is typically used for uploading / downloading files between the server and your local computer, but can also be used for editing files. In this tutorial we will show you how to modify a file using the FileZilla FTP client. FileZilla is a free open-sourced FTP client that can be downloaded here. FileZilla is a real nice FTP utility that competes well with WSFTP, CuteFTP and other popular tools. The best part about FileZilla is that it is a free download from Source Forge.
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 supportFTP (short for 'File Transfer Protocol') or SFTP (a secure form of the File Transfer Protocol), you need a programcalled an 'FTP client' to transfer the file.
This tutorial deals with how you can transfer a file to your web server using afree 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 useanother operating system, chances are that it works very similarly.
Download and Install FileZilla
First, go to the FileZilla download page and obtain the appropriateversion for your system. For Windows, get the Setup version; at the time I wrote this, it's the one labelled '(recommended)' under the Windows section.
Once you have downloaded the program, you will have to install it. Go to your desktop and doubleclick the file that you have justdownloaded. Follow the instructions to install it to your hard disk.
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:
- The name of the FTP server for your website. For example, your host may tell you that your FTP hostname is 'ftp.example.com'.
- Your user id or login username for your FTP account.
- Your password for your FTP account.
- The directory where you need to place your files so that they can be seen by a web browser visiting your site. For example, your host maytell you to place the files in a subdirectory called 'www' or 'public_html' or even the default directory that you see when you log intoyour FTP site.
If your web host tells you that you do not have FTP access, you cannot use this tutorial. You will haveto use whatever method the web host has designated for you to upload your files, such as a file manager inyour web hosting account's control panel.
Steps to Uploading or Publishing a File to Your Web Server
For the purpose of this tutorial, I will assume that you wish to upload a file called 'feedback.php'. Everytime you see 'feedback.php'mentioned, you can substitute that name with the name of the file you actually wish to upload. FileZilla does not restrict youto uploading only files of that name. You can upload images (eg, GIF, JPG, PNG, etc), HTML files, video clips, music files(eg MP3 files, WAV files, MIDI files), Perl scripts, PHP scripts, entire directories (ie, folders) containing files,and so on. For the curious: I use 'feedback.php' as the example file because this guide was originally written to helpthose who use my free Feedback Form Wizardto upload the generated form to their website.
If you see a dialog box with the title 'Site Manager' when you start up FileZilla, go to the next step.If not, click the 'File' menu followed by the 'Site Manager' item on that menu. A dialog box will appear.
Click the 'New Site' button. This creates a new item under 'My Sites' (or 'My FTP Sites' dependingon which version of FileZilla you are using) called 'New site' (or 'New FTP site' in older versions)
Rename 'New site' (or whatever the initial name was) to the name of your site. By default, thekeyboard cursor would have been placed in the name portion of 'New site' allowing you to change itimmediately. If you have lost the cursor because you accidentally clicked somewhere else in the dialogbox, 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 changeit to your site's name rather than some random string of characters.
On the right side of the dialog box, under the tab 'General', enter the name of your FTP server in the'Host' input box. For example, if your web host told you that your FTP hostname is 'ftp.example.com',enter 'ftp.example.com' into the space provided.
Leave the 'Port' entry box alone. If your web host tells you to connect using SFTP, click the drop-downbox for the 'Protocol' field, and select 'SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol'. If they tell you to connect with FTP,choose 'FTP - File Transfer Protocol'. If they allow both, select the SFTP entry, because that will encrypt yourconnection, hopefully protecting your password from being intercepted by others.
Use your mouse and select 'Normal' from the drop down list box for 'Logon Type'. This will enable the 'User' and'Password' boxes for the next step.
Enter your user id or your login name (or whatever your web host calls it) into the 'User' input box, and your passwordinto the 'Password' input box. Note that this information is automatically saved onto your computer and will be re-used thenext time you run FileZilla, so you do not have to re-enter them again. (It also means that you should not use FileZillain 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 into your server. If it is successful, you will see adirectory listing of your website's account on the right hand side of the FileZilla window. I shall refer tothis as the Remote Site pane. The left hand side shows the directories and files on your own computer. This isthe Locate Site pane. Eve online mission survival guide.
If your web host told you to only upload in a specific subdirectory on the web server, such as in the 'www' or 'public_html'directory, change to that directory by doubleclicking its name in the folder portion of Remote Site pane.FileZilla will open that folder accordingly and show you its contents.
Next, locate the file that you wish to upload in the Local Site pane. Both window panesbehave mostly like Windows Explorer windows, so navigating them should not be unduly hard. Once you have located thefile you wish to upload, say 'feedback.php', drag that file to the Remote Site pane. Another way is to right-clickthe file (that is, click the right mouse button while the pointer is hovering over the filename) and select 'Upload'.
The file will then be transferred to the folder that is currently open on the Remote Site pane,so make sure you have changed to the appropriate directory before initiating the upload.
If a file of the same name already exists on your web host's computer, FileZilla will pop up a dialog box askingyou what to do. Click the checkbox 'Apply to current queue only' to put a tick in it, followed by the 'OK' button,and the program will proceed to overwrite the existing file. On the other hand, if you realised that you have madea mistake and tried to transfer the wrong file, click the 'Cancel' button to abort the transfer.
Note that you can also upload entire directories (folders) by selecting that folder and dragging it to theRemote site pane. When you do so, FileZilla will automatically transfer the folder and its contents.In addition, if you want to upload everything in the Local site pane, you can avoid the hassle of individuallyuploading them by selecting everything in one go, then right clicking the selection and clicking'Upload'. FileZilla will proceed to tranfer your entire selection, probably a few files at a time.
For those who don't know how to select everything in one go, first click one file or folder in the Local sitepane. Then hold down the Ctrl key (on your keyboard) and type 'a'. This causes everything there tobe selected. (Note that Mac users may have to hold down the Cmd key instead.) You can also select multipleindividual files for uploading by holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while clicking those files with the mouse.(I have no idea what the equivalent for this on a Mac is.)
As FileZilla proceeds to transfer the file or files to your site, you should be able to see the progress inthe bottommost window pane in FileZilla. When the upload has completed, you can disconnect from your website. Dothis by clicking the 'Server' menu followed by the 'Disconnect' item.
Congratulations! You have successfully uploaded one or more files to your website using FileZilla.
Copyright 2005-2020 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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This page was last updated on 19 February 2020.