The files that store the content of your website are kept on your website hosts’ servers. These servers hum along and help deliver content to users that visit your site. A typical conversation goes like this:
User: *Slurping coffee* [clicks on website link]
Host Server: Hmmm… Ok, here [sends content to the users computer]
This all happens instantly, delivering a joyous experience for your website users. This is great. It’s how the Internet was suppose to run.
Most of the time you don’t need to ‘pop the hood’ of your website and directly view the files. Most tasks can be performed by logging on as an administrator to the backend of your website.
However, there are some instances where you do need to pop the hood of your website and get down and dirty with your core website files. This is usually the case if you want to upload a new header, favicon or perform a comprehensive backup. If you want to pop the hood, you need a program that allows you to view your website files.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. Which essentially means – moving files. To view your core website files you need an FTP manager. By installing an FTP manager and entering your cPanel username and password, you are able to navigate all the files in your website and move, add or delete files where necessary.
Why Do I Need an FTP Manager?
As indicated earlier, most tasks can be performed without an FTP manager, however an FTP manager can make it easier to perform the following:
- Update a website header
- Update a website favicon
- Backup the files of a website (but not the databases)
- Delete files from a website
- Upload a batch of files
- Upload a large file
What’s a Good FTP Manager?
I recommend using Filezilla and FireFTP. Filezilla is my first choice. It’s a stand alone application that has all the bells and whistles you need. You can drag and drop whole folders easily and open up multiple windows at the same time. Highly recommended.
My second choice is FireFTP. This is a plugin that is compatible with Firefox browsers. This is a simpler FTP program that’s suited towards smaller tasks such as adding or deleting a small number of files. You can’t drag and drop whole folders easily, which is a significant limitation.
Both FTP managers are free to download and use.
How Do I Setup and Use Filezilla?
Time for some YouTube action. Below is an overview of how to setup and use Filezilla once you have downloaded it
Hope that whetted your FTP appetite.
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