What is FTP?
An ftp client is simply an app (software) that transfers files from your computer to a server, or vice versa.
What is it used for?
If you want to create a blog, or a webiste, ftp clients are most likely necessary.
You might have pictures, files, pdfs, software etc… on your computer, and you want to get it to the server where your blog or website is hosted.
FTP clients make it easy to get the files to the server.
Alternatively, you might want to create a backup of your site, and keep a copy on your computer for safekeeping. You can easily move files from the server to your computer with an ftp client.
Where do I get an ftp client?
There are lots of good ftp clients available, but I like to use the free ones.
There is no need to spend money when two of the best ones are free.
Depending on your computer’s operating system I’ll recommend one for Windows and one for the Mac.
Remember there are several out there, and, of course you can buy one if you must.
But unless you need a professional grade ftp client with support, I’d recommend going with the free ones.
For Windows, I recommend Core FTP. Click Here to download Core FTP.
For Mac, I recommend Cyberduck. Click Here to download Cyberduck.
Click on the appropriate link to download either of them.
Cyberduck is also on the App Store for Mac, and costs around $23 or so.
But if you go to their website, it’s free.
When you first use it, it’ll show a ‘please donate’ box, but it goes away after a certain number of uses.
It really is a good ftp client. I can’t think of a better one for the Mac.
Both Cyberduck and Core FTP do the same thing.
Their presentation is a little different, but who cares?
With Core FTP when you open the app, it’ll show you a left hand panel and a right hand panel.
The left side shows up automatically with your computer’s folders, as if it were like Windows explorer.
In order to see the right hand panel, you need to log in to the server.
You’ll need to know your server name or address, your username and your password. You can find all of this info in your hosting cpanel.
This is the same info you’ll need if you’re using Cyberduck too.
Where do I find my FTP Client login info?
In your hosting cpanel.
In the cpanel, look for an icon called FTP accounts
Then ‘Add’ a new ftp account
Choose a login ‘name’ (username). Then create a password. Then remove the public_html/xxxx that it will default for you. You don’t want this.
Make a note of your new password. You’ll need it in a few minutes.
Click ‘Create FTP Account’, and then scroll lower, find the new ftp account you just created, and click on
‘Configure FTP Client’.
Once you click on that, you’ll see all the info you need to set up your FTP client… the username, the server name, and the port number. The only thing you won’t see is the password you used.
Anyway, go back to your ftp client, and input this information into your ftp client. (in Cyberduck, click on ‘Open Connection’)
My tutorial for using an ftp client is mainly for using Cyberduck, since that is what I use. However, if you have windows, here is an excellent tutorial for how to use Core FTP.
They look confusing if you aren’t used to them, and there are a lot of technicalilties that are scary sounding, but the truth is you really only need to know a few pieces of information in order to use them.
Once you’ve input the server, username and password, click connect.
In a few seconds, it should connect and then you can see the folders (directory structure) on the server. If you want to upload something to your blog, you will need to navigate to the correct folder.
All of your blogs or websites are in a folder called /public_html
If you navigate to that folder, you’ll see subfolders that are the domain names you have on your server (your hosting account).
Although I’ve talked mostly about Cyberduck (since I use a Mac), Core FTP is identical in function. Just drag files from your folder on your computer to the folder on the server and then they will start to upload.