You should think of a web host as some guy who is renting you space and bandwidth on his computer. You are allowed to use this space to upload a website of yours and your host promises to keep the computer on all the time, so that when someone wants to access your site from their browsers, the data will be sent to them immediately. In fact, if you so wish, you can use your own home computer to host your sites! The disadvantages of doing this are that you need to be technically skilled and have your computer on all the day. If you don’t know what you are doing, expect to be hacked and there will be a high cost to pay in electricity bills too. So, traditional web hosting is the best solution in my opinion, especially when you consider that you can get a state of the art service from companies such as Site5 for as little as $4.95 a month! Having an ftp account with your host makes things even easier. Many starters get scared when they hear the acronym “ftp” and immediately associate it with of some complicated application, that is difficult to configure and frustrating to use. Not at all! Ftp stands for file transfer protocol and all it means is “how do we send files from our personal home computer to the computer that our host rented us“. This is done by means of an ftp client. My favorite ftp client is Filezilla, a 100% free tool. If you are familiar with Windows Exlporer, you will have no issue using Filezilla, since it can be considered to be two Window Explorers in one. Instead of showing only the files stored on your home computer, like Windows Explorer does, Filezilla shows both those on your computer and those stored on the host’s server. In this way, you can easily transfer files from one to the other, just like you would move files around from one folder to another in Windows Explorer. It’s really as easy as that! The only catch is that you have to configure your client to connect to the host first. That is easier done than said. Let’s go!
1. Go to http://filezilla-project.org and click on “Download FileZilla Client“. If prompted to choose a download location pick the one that is nearest to you.
2. Click on Save File to save the installer to your computer. Notice that I am using Firefox. If you’re using a different browser (you shouldn’t because Firefox is the best), the procedure may be slightly different.
3. While waiting for Filezilla to download, go to Site5 and log in to the Client Area. Once in the backstage, click on “Select” from Site Admin: and then click on your domain name. If you have the Turbo plan and are hosting multiple domains, click on the domain for which you are setting up the ftp. If you are hosting your website with a different host provider, other than Site5, just follow the instructions that your web host sent you in their welcome email to connect to their cpanel. While I am using Site5 as an example for this tutorial, the instructions can be applied to most hosting providers.
4. Find the section named “Files” in your cpanel and click on FTP Accounts.
6. That’s all we needed from Site5. Hopefully Filezilla has been downloaded to your computer, by now. Open the file installer and shortly the install procedure should begin. (1) Hit Next (2) Click on Decline. You may wish to install the software being advertised instead. Just be careful that it’s not some spyware. I have no clue what it does or what it is. (3) (4) and (5) Hit Next three times (unless you want to change the installation location or customize the installation). (6) Finally click on Install.