FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a standard way of sending a file from your personal computer, to the internet server that holds your web site. Probably the easiest way to think of it is that it's like copying a file from one disk to another, except the other disk is on another machine.

What do I need?

FTP requires an FTP Program to connect to the server and transfer the files. Newer versions of Internet Explorer have a built in FTP facility, which would meet the needs of most users. Some people however, prefer to use a dedicated ftp program. This guide will show you how to use Internet Explorer for ftp access, and will recommend some of the most popular FTP programs available. For instructions on using the other programs, you should look on the program's web site.

Using Internet Explorer

First of all, load a new Internet Explorer window. on the new window, click on the address bar (the box containing the address of the site you are currently at).

In the address bar, enter the FTP address for your webspace, for example, if you use the subdomain smith.couk.com, you would enter "ftp.smith.couk.com", without the speech marks.

Once you've entered the address, press ENTER, and internet explorer will attempt to connect to the site. When internet explorer connects, it will return an error, stating that anonymous access is not permitted. Click OK on the error box that pops up.

You should now have a blank page displayed, with the ftp site address still in the address bar. Now, you click the File menu button, and then click on the option titled "Login as...".

A box will appear, asking for a username and password, these will be the username and password you requested for the account when it was set up. For example, if your username is john, you enter john in the username box, and enter the password you chose in the password box. Once you have done this, click OK, and you should see the files for your website come up after a short wait.

Once you can see the files, you can just drag and drop files from the ftp site and to the ftp site, just as you would when copying files between folders on your hard disk.

If you have any problems using the FTP service, call our support line on 0115 9110501

What other programs are there?

There are many FTP programs available, most have the same abilities, they just have different ways of presenting the information to you.

Some of the FTP programs we recommend are:

Smartftp - A very popular, easy to use free FTP program.
CuteFTP - Possibly the most popular shareware package. Easy to use, with lots of extra.