Understanding FTP and How to Use it for File Transfer

What is FTP?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and convenient way to transfer files over the Internet. That is why many webmasters use FTP for uploading their websites files on their hosting accounts.

You may also want to read:

Filezilla usability and functionality

 How to Change File Permissions

 How to Fix FTP Connectivity Issues

 How to check the log of an FTP client

How to use FTP for File Transfer?

To transfer files via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), you need to establish an FTP connection. To make an FTP connection you can use a standard Web browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.) or an FTP Client. To transfer a file with FTP you need to have an FTP accounts for the web space you are going to transfer the file to.  FTP hosting account where you plan to upload your files. You can also create additional  for other users.

When using a web browser for an FTP connection, FTP uploads are sometimes very slow, and downloads are not protected (not recommended for uploading or downloading large files).

FTP Client Software.

An FTP Client is a software designed to transfer files back-and-forth between two computers over the Internet. It needs to be installed on your computer and can only be used with a live connection to the Internet.

With an FTP Client (such as FileZilla, CuteFTP or SmartFTP) uploading/downloading a file is really easy. Furthermore, FTP clients have some extra features. For example, you're can resume a download that did not finish successfully. This is a very nice feature for people with slower Internet connections.

FTP clients' interface is usually divided in two - the pane on the left shows the files and folders on your computer (your Desktop, My Documents, etc,) and the pane on the right displays the files on the remote server (if this is your website hosting account, you will see the public_html folder, where the files of your site are stored).

FTP File Transfer.

File transfers are made by simply dragging and dropping files from one pane to the other. Additional features of the FTP Client include: multiple file transfers at a time, auto resuming of the transfer, file queuing and more.

You may also want to read:

Filezilla usability and functionality

 How to Change File Permissions

 How to Fix FTP Connectivity Issues

 How to check the log of an FTP client

How to use FTP for File Transfer?

To transfer files via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), you need to establish an FTP connection. To make an FTP connection you can use a standard Web browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.) or an FTP Client. To transfer a file with FTP you need to have an FTP accounts for the web space you are going to transfer the file to.  FTP hosting account where you plan to upload your files. You can also create additional  for other users.

When using a web browser for an FTP connection, FTP uploads are sometimes very slow, and downloads are not protected (not recommended for uploading or downloading large files).

Transfering Files with Filezilla

Transfering files

After FileZilla establishes a connection between your local computer and the hosting server, you can transfer files. FileZilla has a Local site pane that displays files on your local computer, and a Remote site pane that displays files in your account on the hosting server.

To transfer files using FileZilla, follow these steps:

    You can navigate through folders in the Local site and Remote site panes just as you would in Windows Explorer or the Mac OS X Finder. To open a folder, double-click it.

    To upload a file to the server, drag the file from the Local site pane to the Remote site pane. After the file transfer is complete, the file appears in the Remote site pane.

    To upload a file, you can also double-click it in the Local site pane.

    To download a file to the local computer, drag the file from the Remote site pane to the Local site pane. After the file transfer is complete, the file appears in the Local site pane.

    To download a file, you can also double-click it in the Remote site pane.

    You can also transfer entire folders at once:

        To upload a folder to the server, drag the folder from the Local site pane to the Remote site pane.

        To download a folder to the local computer, drag the folder from the Remote site pane to the Local site pane.

You may also want to read:

Filezilla usability and functionality

 How to Change File Permissions

 How to Fix FTP Connectivity Issues

 How to check the log of an FTP client


How to Add and Remove FTP Accounts

Creating FTP Accounts


This is of general application and not necessarily restricted to todhost account holders. Please read in full before you commence adding an ftp account.

Click on the FTP Accounts icon from the Files box of your cPanel (cPanel is accessible at yourdomain.com/cpanel). On the top of the page you will be prompted for all the necessary details for your new account:

When filling in the details, make sure to pick a strong password for the account. This is important for preventing brute-force attacks. A strong password will contain at least one number and one special character.

One of the boxes is called "Directory". It determines which will be the home directory of the newly created account. Leaving it blank is not recommended as it will allow a full access to your hosting account.

Important: it is recommended that a specific directory be set for each particular user. Leaving the directory space blank will allow your FTP users access the main folder. They will be able to alter the content of your website.

If you are willing to grant such access, you should consider doing this for a limited period of time and then change your password. Otherwise your account could be compromised.

In order to complete the FTP account creation, click on Create at the end of the section.

Removing FTP accounts

FTP accounts can be removed by logging in cPanel and going to FTP accounts. In the Account Management box all FTP accounts will be listed. One of the options in the Functions column is Delete. You can use this functionality to delete an FTP account.


FTP Client Software

An FTP Client is a software designed to transfer files back-and-forth between two computers over the Internet. It needs to be installed on your computer and can only be used with a live connection to the Internet.

With an FTP Client (such as ws-ftp pro(ipswitch), FileZilla, CuteFTP or SmartFTP) uploading/downloading a file is really easy. Furthermore, FTP clients have some extra features. For example, you're can resume a download that did not finish successfully. This is a very nice feature for people with slower Internet connections.

FTP clients' interface is usually divided in two - the pane on the left shows the files and folders on your computer (your Desktop, My Documents, etc,) and the pane on the right displays the files on the remote server (if this is your website hosting account, you will see the public_html folder, where the files of your site are stored).

FTP File Transfer

File transfers are made by simply dragging and dropping files from one pane to the other. Additional features of the FTP Client include: multiple file transfers at a time, auto resuming of the transfer, file queuing and more.

You may also want to read:

Filezilla usability and functionality

 How to Change File Permissions

 How to Fix FTP Connectivity Issues

 How to check the log of an FTP client

Simple guide to uploading with FTP

FTP can be used to upload your files to websites hosted by Todhost.com. There are several different FTP software packages available, but the more common ones include WS_FTP, CuteFTP and CyberDuck (Mac OS X).

Before you begin uploading your files, you will need to configure your FTP software to work with Network Solutions Hosting. You will need the following information, available in the FTP Accounts section, to configure the FTP client:

    Host Name/ Address – This can be either your domain name, such as yourdomain.com or an IP address
    Host type – Always select auto-detect
    Username / UserID – This is your FTP username as assigned in the FTP Accounts section
    Password – This is your FTP password as assigned in the FTP Accounts section.  Once your FTP password has been set you will be unable to view your password, please commit your password to memory.

For instructions setting up your specific FTP client, please reference the help section of your FTP Software or their Internet Web sites. We’ve provided some useful links below:

FileZilla: http://wiki.filezilla-project.org/Documentation

CuteFTP: http://help.globalscape.com/help/cuteftp6

WSFTP:  http://support.ipswitch.com/kb/

AbsoluteFTP:  http://www.vandyke.com

CyberDuck (Mac OS X): http://cyberduck.ch/

Note If you upload files that have the same name as files already on the server, the files on the server will be overwritten.

Files are active as soon as you upload them to the Network Solutions Server.

How to Transfer Multiple Files Using FTP

Select the files you want to transfer (use SHIFT plus mouse clicks to select a range of files or CTRL plus mouse clicks to select individual files) then hit the transfer button, or transfer the selected files the same way you would transfer a single file.

Note Depending on the FTP software you are using, some like WS_FTP does support drag and drop. You can select a file or a group of files and "drag" them to the other window (or to another application that supports drag and drop).

Recommended Settings in Filezilla

These recommended settings for Filezilla ftp software will help you resolve issues if you experience any issues when uploading/downloading files with FileZilla. You will need to follow the guide to fix any configurations issues.

1. From Edit -> Settings -> Connection -> FTP -> tick Passive (recommended).

2. From Edit -> Settings -> Connection -> FTP -> tick Allow fall back to other transfer mode on failure.

3. From Edit -> Settings -> Connection -> FTP -> tick Send FTP keep-alive commands.

4. Restrict the number of simultaneous connections and transfers.

How to Create an Additional FTP Account in CPanel

An FTP account is used to upload and manage files on your web site. You can give different people different levels of access by assigning them to a specific directory. You must create an FTP account for each user to do so.

Note: By default, you already have a single default FTP account. Use your cPanel username and password to log into it. Creating new FTP accounts can be done to give access to other people without giving them your cPanel login credentials.

Note: Your control panel may look slightly different depending on the theme you are using, however the steps will be the same for all themes based off of the X3 theme.

To create an FTP account, please do the following:
    Login to cPanel and go to the Files section.
    Optional step: If you are using the X theme, click FTP Manager.
    Click FTP Accounts.
    Optional step: If you are using the X theme, click Add FTP Account.
    To the right of "Login:", type the name of the FTP user. Please note, a full FTP user name will always be formatted as user@primarydomain.tld. You cannot create an FTP account without your domain name in it, regardless of the publish destination.
    To the right of "Password:", please provide a password which will be used to authenticate this FTP account.
    To the right of "Quota", please provide the maximum amount of bandwidth this FTP user may use. Please note, if you leave the quota at unlimited, then the FTP user will have the ability to use the total amount of bandwidth for the cPanel account.
    To the right of "Directory: /", cPanel will guess the directory you want; however, it is usually wrong. This is because cPanel will guess the directory name is exactly the same as the FTP username, but that normally is not the case. So, I recommend erasing everything after "public_html/".
    To the right of "Directory: /public_html/", please provide a directory for which you would like the user to access.
    This is the step where you determine the level of access. Whatever directory you specify, the FTP user will not be able to navigate outside of that folder. However, they will be able to access all files and subfolders inside that folder.
    Click Create

You have now just set up an FTP account.

Hint: For the Directory, if you erase everything and type a single "/", then the user will have access to your home directory (anything outside of the public_html folder).
Notice: An FTP account is created automatically when you: sign up for hosting, create a cPanel, create an addon domain, create a subdomain name, or enable anonymous FTP.
  • 1 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

How to Change File Permissions

Understanding the cPanel File managerLet us begin with an introduction to cPanel's File Manager,...

How to Fix FTP Connectivity Issues

FTP issues could arise due to different reasons. The likely causes are incorrect login details,...

Filezilla usability and functionality

Filezilla usability and functionality. FileZilla has various options which eases its usage and...

How to check the log of an FTP client

How to check the log of your favourite FTP client:The FTP log can be very useful when you...

Powered by WHMCompleteSolution