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» FAQs: Using FTP software to transfer files to your website


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  What is FTP?

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol." It is software that allows you to copy files from your own computer to the server where your website resides, quickly and easily. If you can move files from one directory on your computer to another, you can use FTP. An FTP program never actually deletes or moves files from your computer. Instead, it copies them. That way you always have a copy on your own computer as a backup.
  What are the advantages to using FTP?

FTP is best for:

  • Large files (over 5 MB)
  • Multiple files (which can be moved all at once instead of one at a time. cPanel limits you to 12 files at a time.)
  • Custom sites not created with BEACON or NE1
  • File formats not recognized by BEACON or NE1 such as Word documents or PDF files.
  Can you recommend a free FTP program?

Free FTP programs are scarce these days but we have found one that we can recommend. It's called Core FTP LE and it has proven to be a good, solid application. You can read more about it and download the free version by visiting the Core FTP website.

OurChurch.Com previously recommended FTP Commander, which is also a good program but not quite as robust as Core FTP. For example, FTP Commander only permits you to upload one file at a time and it does not allow you to change file permissions, or "chmod," an advanced feature that some Perl, CGI and PHP script files require. You may wish to compare the two programs and see which one you prefer.

Another great free FTP program is called FileZilla. You can get information on this as well as download a copy by going here.

You can also do a search for FTP programs and read what users say about them by visiting download.com.(If you find that Core FTP or FTP Commander are no longer free or if you find a program that you can recommend as well, please let us know by visiting our forums. Thanks.)
  How do I use FTP?

It is important to note that OurChurch.com uses a "secure" FTP format. This means that required hostnames in your FTP application will usually have a format like ftpes://yourdomainname.com. Other settings would be standard FTP settings, though if there is an option for Passive Mode, it should be chosen. Of course, you should consult with your FTP program's instructions. The Core FTP website has a help page with tutorials available. The FTP Commander website has a User's Guide.

When uploading media files like audio, video or graphics, be sure to upload to the /view/uploads/ folder. After you connect to the server with the FTP software, double click the "public_html" folder. Then double click the "View" folder and then double click the "Uploads" folder.
  I've successfully used FTP to get to my site. How do I navigate to my website files?

On the server side (right window) you should see a list of folders. Look for the one that says public_html and double-click on it. Your index.php file (BEACON or NE1 home page) is located there. Please do not change it. If you are over-riding BEACON, you can upload an index.html file to this directory which will then show up instead of the index.php file. For graphics, BEACON and NE1 store all of your uploaded files to view/uploads/ so now double-click on the "view" directory and then double-click on the "uploads" directory if you need to get to those files.
  How do I navigate to the files on my own computer?

You should see the files on your own computer listed in the left window. For more details, please refer to instructions provided by your FTP program provider.
  How do I transfer files created in FrontPage®?

After verifying that FrontPage extensions have been installed on your website's server, go under File -> Publish in FrontPage. When asked the publishing destination, use the URL of your site (such as http://www.yoursite.com) and use the Site Administrator (cPanel) username and password. (NOTE: FrontPage has been discontinued and Microsoft no longer supports the extensions. OurChurch.com cannot guarantee performance for Front Page sites.


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