Using FTP to Upload

The way that you get your graphic or text files from your harddrive to your hosting directory is via software known as "FTP" (file transport protocol). If you are working on a Mac then a program called "Fetch" is very good -- it will run about $25.

If you are working on a Windows computer, then one of the more popular programs is "WS_FTP LE". Older versions of this software are free, so you could try that first (see "download" link below). If that doesn't work on your machine, you can purchase a current copy of "WS_FTP Home" from Ipswitch.com (about $35). You can also try a free program such as FTP Surfer, however we did not find any online tutorials for this software (the developer does have an online FAQ).

Here is the process for WS_FTP:

[1] First, [download] and install the program.

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[2] Get the login (username) and password that your website's hosting service provided when you signed up with them -- keep that info in a safe place.
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[3] I would also strongly recommend that you study this [WS_FTP tutorial]  and carefully read your FTP program's "help manual"  prior to attempting to upload a file for the first time!!

Important!  Any FTP program will be very powerful and should be utilized only after you are confident that you know what you are doing. The reason is simple -- you can accidentally overwrite a document in your web hosting directory if you are not paying attention.

For example, your home page is probably index.html. If you had an old version of that on your computer and you mistakenly uploaded it to the top level of your hosting directory, then you would overwrite the new version that is viewed by the public.

Therefore, it is always wise to have backup copies of all your essential website files. Put those backup's in a separate folder where they will be safe. If you then make a mistake, all you have to do is to upload the archived version and within seconds you'd be OK again.

That being said, millions of people use FTP every day, so it is not rocket science. Study the tutorial, read the program's help files, and have backup copies of your files -- if you do that, then it will work out fine...

(If any link above does not work or is taken
off the web, please ... thanks).

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