LESSON #29: Uploading a Website Using FTP

By | December 14, 2008

In the previous lesson, I showed you how to build a web page using HTML. But that page isn’t going to do you a whole lot of good if it’s not on the web, is it?

So let’s learn how to upload it to the web…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • Control panel “File managers” are not the best way to upload files.

  • FTP = File Transfer Protocol

  • FTP Client = a software program that uses FTP to transfer your files

    You can download a free FTP client at: http://filezilla-project.org

    (see demo on video)

    You can “drag and drop” files directly from your computer onto your website.

  • Advanced tip: You can use FTP to backup important files from your PC. Just create a “storage” folder within the root directory (above public_html) of your website.

    Action step:

    1) Upload at least one page to your site using FTP.

    Note: the file should be named index.html if you want it to appear as the home page of your website. (Or index.htm, index.php, etc)

    In the next lesson I’ll begin showing you some tools you can use to make your website look nice.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 266 thoughts on “LESSON #29: Uploading a Website Using FTP

    1. George

      THANK YOU ERIC for ur lessons online. i have a question not far from this topic, our local church had a website created by one of our member who is now married in US. Every thing was fine until the information went out dated. U know that websites need maintanince and periodical updating. Now our priest wants us to update it. But the problem is we can’t contact the guy who did this and don’t know where this guy has hosted it. All the iformations we could find is that it is hosted in US. Can u tell us a way to figure it out to do the job. and for this reason only i came to ur site and signed up for the lessons. Thank you again and please give us a good idea how 2 find the place of hosting

    2. Eric Post author

      It’s actually pretty easy. If you want to attempt to get control of the hosting account, then you can look at the site’s current DNS settings. You can find the DNS (name servers) on a whois engine such as domaintools.com.

      Often you can determine the host, just from looking at the DNS (for example if the DNS is ns1.hostgator.com then you know it’s hosted by hostgator). But often the name servers are not the same domain as the host. In those cases, look at the IP address of the name server, and you can then do a lookup on domaintools to see who owns the IP.

      However, even if you determine the host, it is quite possible that the host will not just hand over access to the site. In fact you may be out of luck in that regard.

      What’s more important is gaining access to the domain.

      You can also see the domain’s REGISTRAR using any whois engine. The account you need to gain access to is the account for the domain with the registrar.

      If you can do that, then you can get a new hosting account of your choice (see lesson #24 and then point the domain there by changing the DNS from within the domain account.

    3. Claire Bone

      You said “I dragged my index2.html file into the the public_html file ”

      Try this:
      Your front page MUST BE named index.html NOT index2.html
      if you want to know if your upload was successful
      do this. type www dot yourdomainname/index2.html
      and your page will then show up but that is not your first page. If you want it to be your first page change the name of that page to index.html Hope this works for you.
      I am just getting my site up too but have have done this many times before.

    4. George

      well ERIC thanks for the reply but i don’t get that stuff “However, even if you determine the host, it is quite possible that the host will not just hand over access to the site. In fact you may be out of luck in that regard”. What does this mean . because the priest is the owner of the site and we do the work on his behalf how will the host not give the access to the web site.

    5. Eric Post author

      What I mean is the web hosting company will probably only give the username and password of the hosting account to the owner of the account (The person or company whose credit card is on file with them).

      If you want to tell me the domain here in the comments, I can show you how it’s done…

    6. Johnny

      Hello Eric,

      Your tutorial show how to use ftp transfering files between computer and website server. Can files be transfer between two website using Filezilla from our computer?.

    7. Eric Post author

      Currently Filezilla does not offer the ability to transfer server-to-server. However, there are other FTP clients such as SmartFTP which do offer that capability. However, even then it is sometimes not possible, due to server settings by the host.

      If you have your own web servers, then you can always transfer between them via SSH or a utility such as WinSCP.

      If the above isn’t possible, the easy workaround is to simply transfer files to your local computer via FTP (using Filezilla or any FTP client) and then transfer them to the other website.

    8. Don

      This content is very practical and useful. After listening to lessons 29, 33, I downloaded Filezilla and tried to connect my computer to an external server. However, when running the Filezilla test on the config accuracy, the process times out before the test is complete. I think my wireless router may be blocking access to the external server. Any suggestions on how to get around this problem?

    9. Michael M.

      hello Eric,
      First let me thank you so much for the great lessons, I am following your lessons and going with them step by step, today I uploaded my first webpage on the website, but then I thought to check what happens on Google when I search for the website name.
      What happened is that on the google results under my website name it did not quoate any of the things written on the page ,and showed the following:

      “..This page is parked free, courtesy of LIFEDOMAINS.NET .com .info .net .org .biz .ws .us .ca .in .at .be .cc .de .fm .jobs .jp .co.nz .net.nz …
      http://www.mychoicegreen.com/ – Cached ”

      do i need to do anything special or results would change after some time to tell what the website is about?


    10. Eric Post author

      the results will change. The quickest way to get it updated is to get the search engine bot to visit your site again. You could do that by “blogging and pinging” or simply by getting a link to your site from another site (ideally a blog that is frequently visited by the SE bots).

    11. Eric Post author

      That would be fairly unusual, unless you’ve got a firewall or some policy in place that prevents such connections. I would try temporalily disabling any firewall, or try connecting thru your modem instead of the wireless router if possible… just to diagnose whether that is indeed the problem. Also make sure your login info is correct. Try using your site’s IP address as the host.

    12. fidel pavot


    13. Carl

      Thanks easy to follow steps, can you please explain us how to upload softwares or scripts, how to do download pages or thanks pages.


    14. Debra

      Hi Eric,

      I’ve been using frontpage with WS_FTP for 10 years. I recently uploaded files but perhaps uploaded them into the wrong directory. I’ve made that mistake before and removed the offending files and all was well. However, this time I cannot understand when I re-upload a file it uploads as ‘0’ file size. What did I do wrong and can you suggest how I might solve the issue – my entire website is no longer online. I appreciate any help you can offer.

    15. Eric Post author

      I would suggest deleting those files. Then make sure your FTP software is set to “Passive” mode, then try again. If that doesn’t work, try another FTP client such as Filezilla. If that doesn’t work, make sure there are no firewalls hindering it on your computer. If that doesn’t work, I would suggest asking your web host, to make sure it’s not a problem on their end. Other possibilties could include port settings on the web server, or your hosting account not having enough disk space allocated.

    16. Eric Post author

      You can upload scripts using FTP like I showed in this lesson for HTML files. However, you would need to refer to the script’s installation instructions for configuration details.

      I cover download/thank-you pages in lesson #54

    17. Nicolas Tan

      Hi Arlan,

      I’m trying to visit your website but can’t get through.

    18. Mona


      Should my website be all in the same font style (Arial, Old English, etc.) or does it matter?

    19. Michael McCallum

      Thank you, again! I haven’t had time to implement much since around Lesson 16 – been very busy. But I am viewing the lessons and saving them. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to try the web site lessons.

    20. Micah

      Hello Mona,

      It’s a good idea to use a few different styles, to highlight portions of your sales page/website you want to stand out!

    21. jefvz

      I am now looking for a way to make a litle money even $1 a day, could you please advise what product or course I can go for it ? since I dont have any idea how to start just making a few buck now. Thanks you Eric, as ussual, your lesson a valuable while some gurus out there just give as a little and then charge us for the rest.best wishes . Jefvz

    22. James at Mobile Local Formula

      FTP is easier than it looks. The program looks complicated but it’s deceptive. Just take it step by step.

      Firefox users might find the add on tool fireFTP even easier than Filezilla

      With WordPress you can avoid all the FTP steps and start building your blog right away. That’s what I recommend.

    23. Terry P Mielcarek

      Hello- I have a question and have looked on google for this answer- I have hosting and sub domians. How do I keep my different website file seperate so when I want to change a site I know what files are associated with that site and not mess up the other sites.

    24. Chuck

      PS. Eric. This is the first time that I have been successfull in doing FTP. Thank you. If you can tell me the above, Thank You again.


    25. Berend de Groot

      O.K. I have also just built a new website. I know perhaps it’s not quite complete, but it’s a start. Tips are welcome. It’s an affiliate website, most links connect to Amazon. Don’t know if people will like it. So I would like to know what I can add or remove. It’s a site with Flash content. It doesn’t fill the whole screen, and I want to solve this. Does anyone know how to do that? Thanks for reading this. Bye, Berend de Groot.

    26. Berend de Groot

      By the way: I created this website with A4DeskPro. No much HTML writing is needed, you just have to recognize the links if you want to add or replace them. I just wanted a little extra with moving images, and this is a good start, I guess. But I hope you can give me some improvement tips. This website came up all of a sudden, next time I want to take more time to work out plans, but this time I just HAD to create it!

      p.s. thanks Eric for your encouraging tips. I have a feeling they do help me get along.
      I hope we all wil one day succeed in creating an online income, so we will never fall short of money ever again. Good luck to all readers….!

    27. Micah

      Hello Chuck,

      It’s likely that your PLR materials are still on your site.

      To access them, you would need to visit the correct link. We recommend that you open your FTP software again, and click through the folders to see where your PLR materials were uploaded.

      Then, make note of the folder they are in.

      As an example, let’s say that you placed a .pdf file named “ChucksTips” in a folder called “PLR” on your website.

      The link your customers will use to download the materials would be: http://www.2fastcatsaffiliates.com/PLR/ChucksTips.pdf

    28. Micah

      Hello Terry,

      Every site, even if it is a subdomain will be in its own unique folder. Unless you are using a special script or web service, Subdomains are automatically kept separate, so you can change sites, without needing to worry about affecting your other sites.

    29. Jeff Cruz

      Hello Eric,
      Long time reader first time poster. My website link is http://www.hotpotatomillionaire.com and it aims at creating a new charity to fit our social charity needs. Is there anything I should look out for in doing this all differently as I’m making a charity and not selling a product or info?


    30. Micah

      Hello Jeff,

      We recommend that you still frequent the lessons, as many of the concepts will still apply to you, even if your site is not a normal sales page.

      For instance, you will still need to get traffic to your page, maintain an active list, engage your contacts, etc!

    31. Eduardo Alvarez

      Hi Eric, totally frustrated, downloaded filezilla and after writing the Domain name, user, password I get this message:
      Command: USER ejalvarez
      Response: 331 User ejalvarez OK. Password required
      Command: PASS ***********
      Response: 530 Login authentication failed
      Error: Critical error
      Error: Could not connect to server

    32. Eric Post author

      I’m assuming you hosted the domain, such as with Hostgator?

      If so, it can take 24 hours for the domain to propagate, AFTER you change the DNS to your name servers, as assigned to you when you signed up with Hostgator.

      Sometimes there is DNS caching issues, where it may take longer on your ISP and/or computer. So you may need to refresh.

      In the mean time, try using the IP address in place of the domain in Filezilla. (You will have the IP address in your welcome email from Hostgator).

    33. cleaff

      Good Day Eric,
      I really need your help concerning the uploading of my website using FillZilla,the uploading was successful but i type-in my domain in a web browser i got this information”HTTP Error 403.14 – Forbidden
      The Web server is configured to not list the contents of this directory”, so i was confused, please, you check it yourself, my domain name is:www.everything4every1.com I am a newbie.
      I can happily supply you with the ftp host name,ftp username,ftp password and the port number which is normally(21) for you to assists me in uploading my first website in LIFE

    34. Micah

      Hello Cleaff,

      We were able to access your page without any problems just now. Is it currently working for you?

    35. Ruth

      Yes!! It worked. There is nothing there but the word “test”…without the quotes. But it’s online. Great. Thanks from a newbie.

    36. Philip

      Thank you so much for that valuable information,
      I will tell you about my site site when it is up and running

    37. Mary Cruze

      I would like for you to wait a week before you send me any more lessons, could you do that? I really need to study more from what you have sent me. There is a lot to know. Enjoyed what you have sent me, though.

    38. Micah

      Hello Mary,

      Unfortunately, the rate at which you receive the lessons is automated from your sign up date.

      We recommend that you put them in a separate email folder, so you can view them at your own pace.

    39. Gerty Hattingh

      Hi Eric.

      When i download filezilla, the software “Audio Performer Setup.exe” is downloaded. I guess this is the name of the software to use. When i try to install it, it keeps running for between 10 and 20 minute, and then throws out the error message ” installer not available in your country”. Is there a other software program that you would recommend. (I live in South Africa)
      Thanx for all the information, you make it so much easier for us!

    40. Gerty Hattingh

      Thanx for your reply.

      I actually struggled until i decided to delete everything i downloaded yesterday, and i changed my default browser from firefox to internet explorer. Then i downloaded filezilla again, and this time it worked. I have antoher problem, however. Firstly i c that there is a file with my domain name in the public_html file. I followed the instructions exactly as Eric showed in the video,just drag & drop my index.html in public_html file. But when i go to my browser, and type in the domain, it sends me to http://www.hgsitebuilder.com/. What did i do wrong?

    41. Marvin

      I did the example from lesson 28 and when I right click on the desktop icon and select open with Inertnet Explorer it looks the same as when I open it in wordpad. What did I do wrong?

      Thanks, Marvin

    42. Gerty Hattingh

      I decided to go the easier road and just upgrade to reseller 🙂

      Will be on track as soon as hostgator has set it up for me.

      Thanx for a wonderful learning opportunity

    43. Micah

      Hello Gerty,

      Did you upload the index.html file shortly after setting up the domain at your host?

      It typically takes the Domain Name Servers 24 hours to go to work, before you will be able to visit your site. After the Domain information has propagated through the internet, successive changes should be immediate.

      Another potential problem, is if it is still a .txt file, but named index.html.

      It might appear as index.html, with the actual extension not being visible:

      If you right-click the file, you can view its properties to be sure it is the right file type.

      If it is incorrect, just be sure to choose “Save As” and select “Hypertext Markup Language” from the drop-down menu.


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