How to Upload Files to Your Website via FTP

How to upload files to your site via FTP

So you broke your site. Or you’re trying to install a theme or plugin that’s too large to do via the WordPress dashboard. FTP to the rescue! Knowing how to use an FTP client to upload files to your website can be a huge lifesaver. And while it looks complicated, it’s really not. In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to upload files to your site via FTP.

First things first, download and install Filezilla (you can use another FTP client, but in this tutorial I will be using Filezilla).

Once it’s all installed, open it up. At the top of the screen you’ll see some empty boxes that you’ll have to fill out in order to login. When you signed up for hosting, you were more than likely sent information on how to access your FTP account. If not, search through your host’s help articles for more information. For example, BlueHost’s info can be found here. You can also login to your control panel and create a new FTP account.

Note: If you cannot login, search your host’s knowledge base! They should have all the information you’ll need.

Now that you’re logged in, you’ll be presented with a list of folders and files on the right side of the screen. You’ll want to find the folder named public_html. Double click on it. This is your main directory where your website resides. You can upload folders/files directly to this folder, but if you’re using WordPress, odds are you’re better off uploading to other folders. I’m not going to go into specifics because it really depends on what you’re uploading and your preferences.

To upload a file, first locate the directory that you want to upload to. Make sure you’re inside the directory on the right side of the screen. The left side of the screen displays all your local files (i.e. what’s on your computer). Find the file on your computer that you want to upload via the left side of the screen. Now drag the file from the left side of the screen to the right side. The status bar at the bottom of the screen will show that your file is being uploaded. Once it stops, your file is all ready to go!

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    • Allyssa

      The purpose is essentially to upload files to a server. Since your site’s server lives elsewhere, you need a method to get your files there. In most cases, you don’t have to access your site’s folders and files directly, but some instances would require it. For example, if you wanted to use a webfont, you’d have to use FTP to upload your font files to your server for use.

    • Allyssa

      Thanks Noor! It didn’t take too long, but if I didn’t limit it to the general basics it could have taken FOREVER.

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