File Transfer Program Tutorial

Welcome to a very simple tutorial run-down of how to FTP! This is mostly a walk-through of what is already available on the internet if you just look up "How do I use FTP?" but I like to think this will be an easy access tutorial for people who are unfamiliar with FTP.

Please keep in mind: If you are applying for hosting, this tutorial is a guide and not an invitation to ask me to help you "run" your site aka upload for you. Please only apply if you are willing to learn and do things on your own - far too many people assume a kind e-mail means you can badger me for the next six months. I am happy to help but please don't ask me to do everything for you. :D A friendly disclaimer is nobody's friend!

Small disclaimer: This tutorial was created using my premade layouts as a basis for the coding - so it might get confusing in places I didn't clarify. If you have questions, please let me know or if you have things you think would sound better than the way I have them written here, let me know! :)

Alrighty then! Here we go!

First off, check out this page. This has the information for FileZilla and how you will use it when you get into the program. It's what I use and it's really easy once you get the hang of it.

(Information for those applying for a subdomain:
As of early 2013, my server has made it mandatory to use a secure setting when uploading anything via FTP. The only thing you need to do is change a simple setting and everything else in this tutorial will be the same. You can can change that setting following the steps here for FileZilla. If you do not follow these steps, you won't be able to access your subdomain on

Here is the information you will need when logging into FTP:


Username: ????? (Your username)

Password: ?????

Port: This will remain empty.

Once you've logged in once, you should be able to click on the little arrow next to Quickconnect to bring up your information so you don't have to constantly enter that whenever you want to access your site.

For the sake of this tutorial, I'll be using Lea's subdomain (llstewart) as an example.

As you can see, logging into the llstewart subdomain has given me access to ONLY that subdomain, which is all you'll be able to see when you log into your specific subdomain.

Your directory will be what your subdomain is and that is what your subdomain is named. So when people type in "" it will automatically be directed to ""

The current directories I have listed for this example are "layout" and "nav" <-- Respectfully, they house exactly that. The layout folder is all of the images that your layout uses and the nav folder holds the main navigation for your site (header.php and footer.php). (This is, of course, for the purpose of this tutorial - you'll likely use your own organization.)

You can create your own directories under your subdomain by right clicking on Panel 2.

As you can see, I created a directory titled "temp" for the purpose of this tutorial.

You have access to all of your directories through FTP - if you double click on any single one of them, they will open into that directory. An example for my directories is:

As you can see, I keep my art in one, my fiction, etc. When I click on "fiction" I get:

You can have as much crap on here as you want! :P I just suggest using the directories wisely to keep your site clean - otherwise you'll have everything in one directory (i.e. under your subdomain) and it will get messy and annoying to control. I only say this from my personal experience.

Next is adding the actual files to your site - this includes your art, your fiction as well as the generic pages that you will need for any information you intend to house on the site (i.e. an About page, a Contact page, etc).

I would suggest you create a folder on your computer that is a mirror image of your remote site. That way, just in case, you always have the information backed up. My site has never crashed (KNOCK ON WOOD! :P) in the nine years that I've had it but you just never know!

It will also be good to begin with until you're comfortable uploading new files.

So, going along with that, go into your FTP control panel. Like it said before, the left panel is what is on your computer and the right panel is what is on your site. As you can see here, I dragged the "home.php" to the left panel, so it is now on my computer as well.

KEEP IN MIND! Everything you drag, from either panel, is just duplicated - nothing is removed or deleted unless you specifically tell it you want to delete it. You can do this by right clicking on anything in the left/right panel. You can also use this to rename the file if you so wish.

To create your own .php files, use Notepad (my preferred program for any manual coding). You can right click on the "home.php" in the left panel and select open to open that file.

Voila! There is the coding for your home page.

Once you have made your changes to your home.php file, hit save. Then go to your FTP control panel, drag the "home.php" file to the right panel and DONE! It's been updated on your site - LIVE!

To create a new page (for example, "archive.php"), use Notepad for the manual code (remember that Notepad saves everything with .txt at the end - you will need to delete that - i.e. "archive.php.txt" is how it will save. Just rename it in your folder to "archive.php" and you're good to go). Save it as "archive.php" in the folder on your computer that you are using for your site files and then drag it over to the right panel and it will be on the site!

Sometimes, when you upload new things (remember, you can upload multiple things at the same time by highlighting everything you want in the left panel and dragging it over into the right panel) they don't appear right away. Just right click and select "Refresh."

I am always available if you have questions or need some help or clarification. This just a "rough course" for using FTP for the first time and trust me, it's really, really easy to use. :)

Remember! Experimentation is your best friend when it comes to anything site-related! Don't be afraid to get crazy! :D