The best way to transfer files into your web site is via FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FTP is a method we use to upload and download files directly from web servers.
Using FTP involves three steps
- Installing free FTP software on your computer
- Unlocking your FTP account
- Connecting via FTP and uploading and downloading
1. Installing FTP software
To use FTP, you’ll need to install some software on your computer. There are lots of FTP programs out there. We recommend FileZilla – it’s a great piece of free software that you can download for Windows or Mac. Download Filezilla for Windows here.
If you don’t like Filezilla, you can find lots of free FTP software at Download.com.
2. Unlocking FTP
You will likely need to unlock your FTP service before you can connect. FTP Locking is used to protect your website from hackers. If FTP is locked, hackers cannot use FTP to damage your site. To minimise the risk, we lock FTP accounts by default and they need to be unlocked prior to use.
You can unlock your FTP account for 1 hour, 4 hours, 1 day, 7 days or 28 days. We recommend you use the shortest possible time. After that time, FTP will lock again automatically, so you don’t have to remember to lock your FTP account yourself.
To unlock your FTP account:
- Log into your web hosting control panel – the login details will have been sent to you by email on completion of your web hosting setup
- On the right-hand toolbar, in the “Unlock FTP” panel, choose the time you want to unlock for
- Click “Unlock”
You can now use your FTP software to connect and upload and download files.
3. Connecting to your web site
When you’ve purchased your web hosting account, we’ll send you the login details for your FTP account. These include three important pieces of information:
You’ll need these to set up your FTP program and begin uploading your site. The setup process is quite straightforward and only needs to be done once.
Once you’ve installed Filezilla, you can simply use the QuickConnect toolbar to make a quick connection to your web site to upload files. Type in the hostname, username and password we sent you. That should be enough to get you into your site. If you see any error messages, contact us and we’ll help you configure your software correctly.
Uploading files to the right place
All web hosting accounts have at least one folder set up automatically. These include folders to host both publicly-viewable files and private files.
To ensure your files are visible from the web, you need to upload your files to the public_html folder in your web site. If you upload them anywhere else, you won’t be able to see them on the web.
There’s one web page which is treated as your “home page” in your hosting account. Any file called “default.htm”, “index.htm”, “default.html”, “index.html” will be treated as a home page. This means that this page will appear when you browse to your web site directly.
For example if your domain is mydomain.co.uk, and you upload a page called “default.htm”, then this page will be visible when you browse directly to http://www.mydomain.co.uk. It can also be accessed by it’s full URL which would be http://www.mydomain.co.uk/default.htm
Viewing your files on the web
Once you’ve uploaded your files, you can now view via a web browser. If you uploaded a file called “default.htm” you’ll be able to see it by browsing to the address http://www.yourdomain.com/default.htm.