Using FTP software (Cute FTP) for uploading files to your Web host.

FTP Software

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What does FTP stand for?

After creating your website on your hard disk, you need to transfer it to the live Web host. You can do this by using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Some Web hosts don't require you to use FTP software to publish your files. Instead, they have an upload via Web browser function. This is useful to send perhaps one or two files, but it can be tedious to send multiple files.

FTP is the easiest way to upload and download files between you and your Web hosting provider. To use it you need to have an FTP software. One of the most powerful and easy to use FTP programs is...

Cute FTP for Windows and Mac.

Cute FTP You can buy a boxed copy of Cute FTP from Amazon.com.

Main features of Cute FTP...

  • Connection wizard
    A built-in connection wizard helps you quickly setup a new FTP connection with a simple step-by-step approach.
  • Full drag & drop support
    You can transfer files between your local PC and remote computer simply by dragging and dropping files from one side of your screen to the other. You can also drag & drop files within panes, and from your desktop.
  • Site manager
    Cute FTP's site manager provides an easy way to store multiple FTP site addresses, usernames and passwords.
  • Site to site transfers
    You can also transfer files from one remote server to another, vastly increasing the file transfer speed by bypassing your computer altogether.
  • Resume transfers
    Cute FTP can resume downloading of incomplete files (for example, after a power outage). This works with all FTP sites that support this feature.
  • Folder comparison
    You can easily synchronize two folders. Local and remote folder contents can be compared based on case, name, date, or size. Files that are different from each other are highlighted and Cute FTP can download or upload them all at once.
  • Remote file editing
    Cute FTP includes a full copy of CuteHTML LE, a text-based HTML editor. You can use this tool to make quick edits to any local or remote HTML page.
  • File finder
    An integrated file searcher allows you to search the Internet for music, video, software or image files using multiple 3rd party FTP search engines.

Note: If you use Microsoft Frontpage to build your website, you should never use regular FTP software to transfer your files as it can damage the FrontPage extensions.

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 ftp.domain.com or www.domain.com, but it can vary.

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).

Here are the brief instructions for the most basic operations...

Uploading files with Cute FTP

1) When this FTP software program is loaded the first time, a panel titled Site Manager will be displayed.

2) Click the Add site button and type any name into the Site Label entry box at the top of the Add Host panel.

3) Enter the appropriate information into the following entry boxes: Host Address, User ID, Password. Make sure Login type is Normal. Leave the other entry fields blank.

4) Click on the OK button to close the Add Host panel.

5) Click on the Connect button. Cute FTP will connect to your Web host. The window on the left will contain the folders and files on your computer. The window on the right will contain the folders and files contained within your home directory.

6) Highlight a file (or files) from your computer in the left window, drag them and drop into the appropriate directory in the right window. Your file uploading starts.

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 very important to transfer images 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 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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