Getting Started with FTP
To begin using FTP, you will want to get an FTP program that makes it easy to transfer and rename your files. My suggestion is WS_FTP from Ipswitch. You can download a free trial version at the Ipswitch Home Page.
If you prefer to find one on your own, you can go to ZDnet's Shareware Library and search for "FTP Client" or "FTP program". Of course, your program may have a different appearance than the images here, but you should be able to get the general idea from these tutorials.
Now install the FTP program on your computer using the instructions provided at their site, in a readme file, etc. Once you have the program installed, start it up. If you are using WS_FTP, you will get a screen like the one below. If you don't get this screen, click the "Connect" button. You should now see a window similar to this:
WS_FTP Setup Window
The first thing you will want to do is set up the program so it can connect to your Web host. So, click on the "New" button (there should be something similar in most FTP programs) to begin. You will then be able to fill in the information needed into the the proper fields. Here a list of some of the most common fields, and what you need to place in each one:
Type in a name you can remember later. I usually use my name and the name of the Web server I want to connect to. In this case, I would be connecting to my ISP, which is named Lcc.
This is a very important field. Normally your Web host will tell you the address you need to use to connect to their server using FTP. Most often the address is ftp.servername.com or ftp.servername.net. If you are unsure, contact your Web host to get the proper FTP address.
This can almost always be left on Auto Detect. This will let the program figure it out on the fly, and configure itself accordingly. If this does not work, you will need to find out from your Web host what Host Type they are using.
This is going to be your user name you were given from the Web host to use on their system. In most cases, it is the same user name you use to log into their other services.
This is the password you were given from the Web host to log into their services. You should have received this with your user name. The box will only show the star symbols and not your password itself when you type it in.
This is almost always left blank. I have never had to use it. If you do need it, you will need to contact your host for the information.
You can add your own comments and decriptions here if you wish. It is not a required field.
You will only need to check this box if you are connecting to a host that allows anonymous FTP. In most cases, you will leave this box unchecked. It is usually used if you connect to a site that allows you access to download files only.
Check this box if you want the program to save your password, so you do not need to retype it each time you connect. If you feel safer, uncheck the box so anyone using the program would have to type the correct password to connect to the server.
Finally, hit the "OK" button at the bottom. If everything is correct, you are online, and the server is not too busy, the program will connect to the Web host.
If you are not online, hit "OK", go connect to the Internet, and return to the program. Hit the "Connect" button and you should see your profile window again. If not, use the drop down button to find the Profile Name you entered earlier. When you have your profile window back, hit "OK". Now you should be connected to your server!
Well, that does it for the configuration tutorial. The next section will help you with sending your files to your web host so they can be seen on the Web. So, let's go on to the next section: Sending Files with FTP.