Copy Your Web Site Using FTP

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Why Use FTP?

You may need to copy your Web site for several reasons. Maybe you need to move your Web site to another hosting service. Maybe you just want to have your Web site backed up in case the server crashes. FTP is one way you can copy your Web site.

Copying your site using FTP is the easiest and most accurate way to copy your site. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and simply transfers files from one computer to another. In this case, you are going to transfer your Web site files from your Web site's server to your computer.

First, choose an FTP program. Some are free, some are not, many have trial versions so you can try them first.

Before you download and install an FTP program for this purpose, make sure your hosting service offers FTP. Many free hosting services do not. As a matter of fact, the only free hosting service I could find that offered FTP when researching for this article was Tripod by Lycos.

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Using FTP

Empty FTP Screens
Empty FTP Screens. Linda Roeder

Once you have downloaded and installed your FTP program you are ready to set it up. You will need several things from your hosting service.

Find the FTP instructions from your hosting service. You will need to know their Host Name or Host Address. You also need to find out if they have a Remote Host Directory, many don't. The other things you will need are the Username and Password you use to log into your hosting service. One more thing you may want to do is create a folder on your computer specifically for putting your files into and enter this into the ​Local Directory line (it looks something like c:\myfolder).

After you've gathered all this information open your FTP program and enter the information you've gathered into it.

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Transferring

Highlighted FTP Files
Highlighted FTP Files. Linda Roeder

After logging into your hosting services server using your FTP program you will see a list of files that belong to your Web site on one side and the file you want to copy the Web pages into on the other side.

Highlight the files you want to copy by clicking on the or by clicking on one and, while still holding the mouse button down, drag your cursor down until you've highlighted all the files you want to copy. You can also click on one file, hold down the shift button and click on the last one, or click on one file, hold down the ctrl button and click on the other files you want to copy.

Once all the files are highlighted that you want to copy click on the transfer files button, it may look like an arrow. They will then copy to your computer while you sit back and relax. hint: Don't do too many files at a time because if it times out you will need to start over.