This section covers where and how visitors can view your site when you are ready to go live.
Uploading Files via FTP
FTP is a network protocol that allows you to transfer files from your computer to your website hosting provider or vice versa. There is more than one way to FTP your files to your web host.
There are many third-party FTP programs (also called clients) available. Some options include FileZilla, WinSCP, Transmit, or even FireFTP – a FireFox extension that integrates FTP directly into the FireFox browser. For our purposes, we are using an open source FTP client, FileZilla as an example.
Setting Up the FTP Client
After obtaining the FTP client, you must set it up with basic information such as your host name, user name, and password. You can get this information by logging into your web hosting account. Please note that you cannot upload files to your web host until you have you have your FTP information. Since every host is different, be sure to check with your web host provider for instructions on setting up or obtaining your FTP information.
Please refer to the specific FTP client’s help file or help documentation online for instructions as this varies across different clients.
Uploading Files to Your Server
Once you have configured the FTP client with your host name, user name, password, and protocol (you will use FTP as the protocol), you are now ready to upload your files to your server. Here, we are using FileZilla as an example, but general instructions of transferring files from your computer to the Internet will be similar across different clients.
Step 1: Launch the FTP client
Once you have the FTP client downloaded and activated on your computer, launch the program to get started.
Step 2: Connect to your web host
Click the applicable menu icon to connect remotely to your host.
- If you receive a connection error while FTPing to your host, please check to see if your host name, user name, and password are correct. These are the usual culprits if you cannot connect to your site remotely.
- Sometimes you will receive connection failures even if your FTP configuration in the FTP client is correct. Your web host or Internet provider may be having a problem. Simply try again, and if you are still receiving connection failures, just try again later.
- There is a folder directory structure, similar to what you will see in Mac Finder or Windows Explorer. Typically, your local site folder structure is on the left panel. Your site (on the Internet) folder structure is on the right panel.
Step 3: Locate the local folder
Step 4: Transfer files to web host
Select your site’s files in the local folder and drag across to your host’s server.
- If you are storing your site’s files in the top most level of your domain (i.e. yourdomain.com), drag and drop your files (from the left panel) to the right panel where your host stores your files.
- If you are storing your site’s files in a folder/directory in your domain (i.e. yourdomain.com/portfolio), drag and drop your files (from the left panel) to the right panel inside of that folder on your host’s server.
Step 5: Wait and view your site live
Wait for the files to transfer – which means it is placing a copy – of your site to your host. Depending on how large and how many files there are, transferring a copy from your computer to your host’s server could take several minutes.
Once you have your site uploaded, open your web browser and type your domain to view it online. If you stored your site in a folder/directory, be sure to include the name in the domain name (i.e. yourdomain.com/portfolio).
If search engines indexed your site before you were ready to go live, you can often remove this information using Google Search Console. We are unable to assist with this process. Visit Google’s documentation for more information.