What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and it's just yet another technical term that you may find frequently in The Internet or every time you deal with website publishing or updates. The practical purpose of FTP is to give you access to your own website content directory (web root directory) on the web server, where you could manipulate all files and directories at your will. In other words FTP gives you remote access to the directories and files on the server.

OK, at this point you may be asking, how do I use FTP?

Well FTP is really old communication protocol and due to this all modern operating systems are having native tools to deal with it. Unfortunately most of those tools are command line tools, which means you will have to write cryptic commands, but don't worry in our days there are a lot third party tools with graphical interfaces (like FileZilla Client, WinSCP etc.) which are a lot more easy to use.

How about security and FTP?

FTP is insecure protocol, what I refer by saying insecure is according to our days standards. To establish successful FTP session between your computer and the remote server in most cases FTP will ask you to authenticate with user name and password. Unfortunately your credentials will be transmitted in plain text over The Internet which allow to be intercepted relatively easy. For this reason the protocol was enforced with additional layer of security called SSL (security socket layer) or in other words encrypted connection between your computer and the server. This protocol is abbreviated as FTPS. In conclusion FTP/FTPS is essential communication protocol with you will need often when dealing with website content, files and servers, so if you are doing all the jobs by yourself you will have to get more familiar with it. I am leaving you more detailed information here.


Last update: 06/03/2018 (UTC)