If you have a website, you may already know that FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, which is the method by which your files are posted to the Internet. Generally, we use a special program like WS_FTP to do this, but the job can also be done through Internet Explorer. Although FTP sites can be accessed using any browser, only Internet Explorer allows you to upload or rename files or directories (to the best of my knowledge). To access your site’s FTP, just type one of the following into your browser’s address bar:
- ftp://yourdomain.com then enter username and password
- ftp://firstname.lastname@example.org then enter password
Which method you use doesn’t matter; the result will be the same. Your site will open up to you just as if you opened a folder on your hard drive, with the following differences:
- File names will be given complete with extensions; you can rename files, but be sure to include the proper extension if you do!
- You cannot open a file on the server, modify it, and save it in the normal manner, because the file you save will be in your Temporary Internet Files! Instead, copy the file to your hard drive, modify it, then upload it via copy-and-paste or drag-and-drop.
I just learned this on January 3, 2003, after using WS_FTP for nearly three years. I doubt that I will use this method regularly; I am used to my old method and am quite comfortable with it. But if I am ever away from home for any reason and want to post something to my website, it’s good to know that all I have to do is find a computer with Internet Explorer and of course, a connection to the Internet! Since I hand-code all of my HTML in Windows Notepad, preparing a page to publish would be no problem.