Guide to using ftp
FTP Info

A quick guide to using ftp.

To use it you need to have an FTP software, a FTP client.

An FTP Client is software that is designed to transfer files back-and-forth between two computers over the Internet.
It needs to be installed on your computer and can only be used with a live connection to the Internet.

The standard ftp program is the original ftp client.
This is a console program, so you better download an ftp client.
There are commercial ftp clients.

In order to start using your FTP program, you need the following information which is included
in your Web hosting account activation notice…

  • Username
  • Password
  • Hostname – usually something like or, but it can vary.
  • Port

Your FTP software allows you to…

  • upload files and directories to your remote Web host
  • download files and directories from your Web host
  • delete files and directories from your Web host
  • create directories
  • rename files and directories
  • change read, write, and execute permissions for files and directories (chmod).

Basic FTP operations

Binary, ASCII or Auto

You may see a selection in your FTP software (Cute FTP or other FTP programs) for ASCII mode,
Binary mode, and Auto mode.
It’s important to transfer images and soundfiles in Binary mode.
HTML documents, CGI scripts etc. should be transferred using ASCII mode.
If you fail to set this correctly your files may not appear as they should.
If you don’t know for sure, use Binary.

If you select Auto, your FTP program will automatically apply the correct setting,
either Binary or ASCII, to the files you are transferring based on their extensions.

Chmoding files and directories

Chmod is a simple term used on the Internet. It’s short for change the mode of a file.
When you change the mode of a file (chmod a file), your FTP software makes that file only
readable, only writeable, only executable or all of those.

To chmod a file or directory you have to highlight it, right click and select Chmod
(Cute FTP).

All of the buttons clicked would be a chmod 777. A chmod 774 would be all of Owner and Group
selected and only read selected in Other. A chmod 644 would be Read and Write selected for Owner,
and read selected for Group and Other.

When using the numeric system, the code for permissions is as follows:
r (read access) = 4
w (write access) = 2
x (execute access) = 1
rwx (read, write and execute access) = 7

Some scripts will tell you to chmod 775 (for example). The first 7 of our chmod 775 tells
to change the user’s permissions to rwx (because r=4 + w=2 + x=1 adds up to 7).
The second 7 (rwx) applies to the group, and the last number 5 (rx), refers to others.

See your Web host for instructions or a FAQ if you have further questions on using
FTP software or are running into difficulties.

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