Uploading your website to the internet
Understanding file transfer protocolFTP stands for "file transfer protocol" and it is a means of transferring files between two computers. FTP allows you to transfer files between the directory of a server that is connected to the Web and your computer. By this means you are able to upload and download your website content to your web host for publishing to the Internet.
Sharing resources through FTPThe Internet is just a large network of computers. One of the primary purposes of a network is to allow different computers on the network to share resources. The FTP process provides a way of connecting your computer to your web host's server so that files can be shared.
Files can be either downloaded or uploaded through the FTP process. See diagram below. "Downloading," refers to transferring a file from a remote computer to your computer. "Uploading" refers to a transfer of a file from your computer to a remote computer. This is the method by which you publish your website files to the Internet. Also, FTP is an information service accessible by any Internet user and is available just like the Web and e-mail.
Simplified diagram of the FTP (file transfer protocol) process
Uploading and downloading your website contentFTP allows you to create a directory of files on your web host's server and transfer those files to or from your computer. See the FTP transfer diagram above. In order to upload or download a file by FTP, you need to do four things:
Work with your web hosting company. Your web host probably already has programs set up for transferring your pages. In fact some will provide a program that organizes the files in your website structure, prepares them for upload and then publishes them to the Web. Follow their instructions to the letter. Each web host has different and/or unique set ups and recommendations for upload organization to their servers. Check their website first and see what they recommend. Needless to say, follow their upload instructions over mine.
- Establish an account with a reputable web hosting company..
- Acquire a username and a password to gain access to your web host's server.
- Create a directory, on their server, that will contain the files you wish to download or upload.
- Transfer the files on your computer to the directory you created on your web host's server.
FTP programsThere are many FTP software programs available for the webmaster. Two of the most commonly used FTP programs are:
- WS_FTP LE - For Windows
WS_FTP is the smarter way to transfer files because it makes sharing files secure, reliable, efficient, and easy for windows systems.
- Fetch - For the Mac
Fetch is an easy-to-use, full-featured FTP client for the Apple systems.