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Step-by-step to upload files using FileZilla FTP and SFTP

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Step 1 - Installing FileZilla

FileZilla is a popular open source FTP/SFTP client with versions for Windows, Mac OSX and many desktop distributions of Linux.

To get your copy, pop along to the FileZilla project at https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?show_all=1 and look for the Download or Download FileZilla Client links.

Download the appropriate file for your operating system. The screenshots in this guide are from the Windows version, but the Mac version is essentially identical.


Step 2 - Setting up FileZilla to connect to your account

From Filezilla's File menu, select Site Manager...


This will open the Site Manager window. The Site Manager is where you can configure and save profiles for each of your websites. A new installation of FileZilla will look a bit empty.


Let's add your first website. Click the New Site button and type in a name for your new Site. Don't worry if you make a mistake, you can always change it later. In the example below we added a Site called My Krystal Account.

Then, on the General Tab enter:

  • Host - either your domain name or your Home Server name.
  • Port - 722
  • Protocol - you can use FTP or SFTP. We strongly recommend you choose SFTP because, unlike FTP, all usernames, passwords and data are encrypted.
  • Logon Type - Normal
  • User - your cPanel username
  • Password - your cPanel password

Without clicking on anything else, click on the Advanced tab:

  • Defult local directory - Browse to where you keep the website files for this project. FileZilla will automatically show you this directory when it connects to your site.
  • Default remote directory - This should be in the form /home/username/public_html/ (replacing 'username' with your cPanel username.)

Without clicking on anything else, click on the Transfer Settings tab:

  • Limit number of simultaneous connections - Tick this box
  • Maximum number of connections - 10

We don't need to meddle with the Charset tab, so now you can now click OK


Step 3 - Avoiding an instant firewall lockout

FTP came into being when the internet was still a bit hit and miss, so most FTP clients can be configured to retry a connection if it cannot connect the first time. FileZilla is no different.

However, if you have accidentally configured an incorrect username/password combination, then FileZilla will happily hammer away, trying to reconnect automatically again and again. This will usually end up getting your IP address blocked. So let's turn off this "feature".

Go to the Edit menu, and choose Settings...


Then, in the Connection page, set the Maximum number of retries to 0 (zero), and then click OK.