How To Upload Files Using FTP

by Jeff Turner on September 24, 2007

I wrote a post a few days ago entitled, A Closer Look At Google Presentations. In that post, I included some very general instructions on hosting your own presentations, Google or otherwise, that included the comment, “download the Google Presentation to a zip file, unzip it and load those files to your own server using FTP.” I then said, “If you don’t know how to do this, let me know and I’ll prepare a separate post about uploading files via ftp.” I received several emails as a result.

Several readers wanted to know more about how to FTP.

So, I thought a video on how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) applications was in order. In addition, I’ve also tried to explain how URL’s work, so you can properly name and structure your files on your web server. In the simplest of terms, the “slashes” in web addresses are basically saying “then go here.” The graphic below illustrates how this works. The files for this demonstration were uploaded to our server at and placed in the “presentations” folder, then in another folder named “googleftp” and then, ultimately, pointing to a file in that folder named “index.html.”

google ftp illustration

As you can see, the URL is made up of parts. Each part is referencing a different “folder” on the web server. When you upload your files using FTP, what you are doing is creating a file structure not unlike what you do on your own hard drive. You name files and place them into folders to make them easy to find. Web URL’s are really just short hand for how to find them.

Before you will be able to get started, you’ll need to know your FTP address, username and password. Your web host can provide this information for you. You will enter this information into the appropriate fields provided by the FTP software of your choice. Save the information in your favorites and you’ll never need to do it again. It will look something like this:

ftp address username password

Here is a video which takes our Google Presentation from being hosted on Google’s servers to being hosted on our own servers. I apologize if this goes further than those who requested it might have like, but it wasn’t possible to explain FTP without explaining a few other things as well. I did not attempt to cover what FTP software is available, since they all work basically the same. I use Transmit on the Mac, but it’s simply a personal preference.

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