ftp made simple


FTP, which stands for File Transfer Protocol, is a means of transferring files directly between computers on the internet -- usually between desktops and servers. One of the most common uses for FTP is to upload the files that comprise a web site to a public web server, though it can also be useful for passing around files that are too large for email. FTP is one of the internet's oldest and simplest protocols, and pre-dates HTTP (which drives the world wide web) by decades.

In this tutorial we'll show you how to "bookmark" an FTP server, make the connection, then upload files from your computer to a web server.

This tutorial also includes a video screencast, demonstrating how the FTP process works. If you're a visually oriented person, you might want to watch that instead of or addition to reading through the tutorial.


An FTP client is a desktop application you run on your own computer that lets you drag and drop files from your computer to a remote server.

Secure FTP is a variant of FTP that does the same thing without transmitting passwords in clear text. SFTP is highly recommended over FTP. In fact, the entire University of California system completely bans the use of non-secure FTP. Contact your web host to see about having SSH/SFTP connections enabled. All instructions in this tutorial should work identically whether you're using FTP or SFTP.

Filed under: Web Development