FTP upload tutorial

Using FTP is one of the main points when answering the question How to start a blog.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is used for uploading files to or downloading them from a server.
When you start a blog you will have to use a FTP program in several cases. In this easy tutorial we will teach you in three minutes how to use a free FTP program.
The program we use is called FileZilla but you can also use CoreFTP. Both are free and work very well.

First of all you have to download the program from the official website http://filezilla-project.org/. Make sure to download the “Client” program. Just install and open the program.

How to set up a FTP program

Once you open FileZila use the short key combination “Control + S” or go to the main menu and press on “File” and “Site Manager…”  Now you have to create a “New Site” pressing on the same named button and fill all the fields on the right hand side. The information you have to fill in is the following:
Host:  ftp.yourdomian.com   (ftp. Followed by your domain on the server)
Protocol: FTP – File Transfer Protocol
Encryption: Use plain FTP
Port: 21
Logon type: Normal
User: write your Hostgator username (the one you use for connecting to your cPanel)
Password: Use your cPanel password here.

ftp configuration

If you press on “OK” or “connect” your entries will be saved and you can connect for the first time to you server using FTP.

Connecting to your FTP server

All the FTP programs have more or less the same appearance. At the left side you will find your computer files (Local Site). On the right side you find your server files (Remote Site). On the bottom is a blank field that will be used and explained later. The left and right fields are a kind of file explorer. On any of those sites (computer or server) you can create, delete, rename, etc. all the files and folder you want.

ftp filezilla

Moving or copying files from one site to the other is very easy. You just have to press on the file to move and drag it to the other site. As soon as you release the mouse, you will see at the bottom part of the window that the transmission starts. A status bar will tell you when the file is completely transmitted. This is all. You just transmitted your first file using FTP.

You will use FTP several times when you start a blog. You can use it for example for installing new themes for your blog (check out this tutorial) or for a Google Analytics verification. Once you set everything up, you will probably not use it again as WordPress allows you to upload pictures very easily.
Instead of using FileZila or CoreFTP you can also use the FTP File Manager tool (more graphical interface) if you are using Hostgator, but we recommend that you use a real FTP program.