What Is FTP And How To Use It

Step by step FTP guide from creating an FTP account to using FTP software and transferring files.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to transfer files from your computer to your web storage and how to use Filezilla (FTP Software) for that purpose.

To upload your created webpages the following requirements have to be met:

1. First, you need to have a hosting at one of the web hosting companies and FTP credentials/login information. ( see these articles for the reviews of global web hosting companies and Malaysian web hosting companies if you still need web hosting).

2. Install an FTP software such as FileZilla

What is FTP?

FTP is the abbreviation for the File Transfer Protocol. With this protocol, it is possible to transfer data between your local computer and the web storage space. The FTP is independent of the operating system used and the type of connection. In addition to being able to transfer data via the FTP protocol, it also allows you to see the directories, to edit them or to change the restriction of rights.

In short,  FTP program allows you to upload the files for your files to your webspace. You can also create a backup of the website with FTP in which case you copy the data, which are present on the webspace, locally to your computer.

With an FTP software you can also delete files and/or entire directories. If you delete all content, no content will be shown to the visitor to your website.

Simply mark the content you do not want and click on it with the right mouse button. If you select the option Delete, the content will be deleted from the webspace after a confirmation prompt.

1. Find your FTP Details

In our example we will be using Hostinger’s web hosting since we are using it as well.

Even if you have not yet registered a domain in your package, the internet storage space of your package is already available to you. So you can already transfer data to it. For this, you need the FTP Hostname, FTP Username, FTP Password, and FTP Port.

To find these details, log in to your C-panel, click on hosting and scroll down and click the “FTP Accounts” button. Write these down since you will need all these details later.

find ftp login credentials


If you forgot FTP Password, just reset by pressing “Change account password” button.

change FTP password

In addition to the default FTP access, you can set up additional FTP accesses for your developer or friends. It may be useful to create multiple FTP accounts, for example, if you want to give third parties the right to upload content to your storage space. You can also restrict access to selected directories here.

The default startup directory (also called root or root directory) is “/”, which is the top level of the directory structure If you want to restrict the rights to FTP access, you can select a directory of storage locations, all above the selected directory folders and files can not then be viewed, which may be useful, for example, if you want to give your pages a look in external hands and protect private content from being edited.

Once you have completed the entries and confirmed by clicking Save, you will receive a confirmation with the information entered in the next step.


2. Connect to the server by using FTP software (Filezilla)

Uploading the most commonly used form via FTP is the use of FTP software. In principle, some browsers also offer a possibility of uploading / downloading files via FTP, which is often restricted. The use of a standalone software solution is preferable because the handling is easier and more comfortable.

FTP programs are often available as a so-called open-source solution and thus available for free from the Internet.
Popular programs are FileZilla, WS_FTP, SmartFTP or CuteFTP, available for Windows and for MacOS operating systems.

Some browser versions allow the FTP connection directly through the browser. For the Firefox browser is also an extension (add-on) with the name “fireFTP” available for free.

For this tutorial we will be using a free FTP software Filezilla.

After you have installed Filezilla, you will find an overview with several partially empty windows. Basically, you can adjust the size of each window to your needs. To do this, drag the edge of a window to the desired position while holding down the mouse button. You can also use the View menu item of Filezilla to hide and show windows.


On the left side you will see the directory structure of your computer. This hierarchical tree may already be familiar to you from Windows Explorer. To connect to FileZilla at your Internet storage, you must log in to the storage space. For this, you need the information you received in the first step.

Usually, Quickconnect option will do the job after you insert your Hostname, Username, Password, and Port.

If Quickconnect doesn’t work, try to add a site to Site Manager. To do that,  press “File” in the top left corner, then  “New Site” and fill in the required details as displayed in the image below.

Filezilla site manager

connecting to FTP server with Filezilla


3. Connecting to FTP server

After you connect to the server check out the middle part of the Filezilla screen which shows directory structure of your computer to the left and / storage space of your Hosting package to the right.
In this window you can see the directory structure of your local computer. You can open and close the directory tree in this area by clicking on the + and – signs. In the Local field, the directory you have just selected is displayed (example drive F:, directory Hostinger)

If you have selected the local file or directory that you want to upload to your storage space, it is now important to select the directory on your Internet storage space in which the file should be uploaded.

So you have to expand the directory tree in the right pane (server) of Filezilla and select the desired subdirectory.

In our example, we have selected a file on the local desktop and want to upload it to the directory / cgi-data / photos/ images of the storage location.

Double-click on the file to start the transfer. Alternatively, you can right-click the file and select Upload.

The file is now in your storage space and can be called by specifying your domain name.

Note: The file permissions of the cgi-data folder may need to be adjusted before the address is publicly available.

4. Transfers and Queue

In the bottom box, you can see if the transfers are successful or if errors have occurred. This window gives you a history of all transfers during your session.

You can also add files to the queue if you want to upload or download many files. Thus, the available bandwidth of transmission capacity can be better utilized. The queued files are processed following transfers that you have prioritized. You will be informed by a traffic light signal how many transmissions are currently in the queue.


Alex D,

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