What Is FTP?
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. If you own a WordPress blog, it comes in handy to understand the basics. This is an introduction to FTP. It is used to transfer files between computers on a network. You can use FTP to exchange files between computer accounts, transfer files between an account and a desktop computer, or access online software archives. I recommend downloading FireFTP which is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP/SFTP client which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP/SFTP servers. It is available for almost every browser.
I think understanding the basics of FTP is a skill that is easy to learn and gives you more control of your files if and when you need to transfer files to your domain. Even if do not download the add on, this tutorial shows how your blog is housed on the server.
What is the purpose of FTP?
You may wonder, what would I use this for? Here is an example. I attempted to upload a theme and WordPress would not complete the action. I was able to download the zip file on my hard drive, then transfer it directly into my blog directory manually. Another example is transferring larger files, such as a folder containing large graphic files, as demonstrated in the tutorial.
This is part 1, and I will present part 2 in my next post. This tutorial demonstrates a transfer of a folder containing a URL capture page along with its large graphic files. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. This is a little techy, but a basic skill which you may need once in a while.
Editorial Review of FireFTP
FireFTP turns Firefox into an impromptu and speedy two-way FTP application. Once installed, FireFTP appears in the Tools menu. You click it and a new FTP tab opens up, offering a simple two-pane system that lets you easily copy files between your desktop and your remote site.
Note: Once you’ve downloaded this zipped archive, you’ll need to uncompress it and open the .xpi file in Firefox to install the plug-in. Launch Firefox and select File, Open File, then navigate to the downloaded file and click Open. Click Install Now to install FireFTP. It’s well worth the minor hassle.
–Chris Null and Kim Saccio-Kent
If you do not use Mozilla Firefox, there are hundreds of FTP clients you can use and most are free downloads. Some however are cumbersome and require downloading additional software to run.