FileZilla Tutorial - How to Upload Your Site with FileZilla

In this simple FileZilla tutorial, learn how to use FileZilla to upload your website files to your Web server.

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In this tutorial you learn how to upload your website using FileZilla, the popular free FTP application. FileZilla is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. This tutorial features Mac screenshots, but the techniques also apply if you're running FileZilla on Windows or Linux.

Connecting to your Web server

The first thing you need to do is connect to your Web server. The easiest way to do this is to use the Quickconnect bar at the top of the FileZilla window:

Quickconnect bar
Enter your server details in the Quickconnect bar, then click Quickconnect to connect to the server.

If you don't see the Quickconnect bar choose View > Quickconnect bar.

Enter your Web server's name in the Host box, your login name in the Username box, and your login password in the Password box. Then click Quickconnect to connect to your server.

You may be behind a proxy server, especially if you're trying this from work. If so, you will need to get your proxy server details from your IT support people. To configure FileZilla to work through an FTP proxy server, choose Edit > Settings (FileZilla > Preferences on a Mac), then click the FTP > FTP Proxy option and select your FTP proxy type.

Your home directory

Once logged in, you will be taken to your home directory on your Web server, which you'll see in the Remote site window in FileZilla. This directory contains (amongst other things) your website directory, which is where you need to upload all your files:

Home directory
Your home directory on the server contains your website directory (highlighted), which is where the website's files go.

Double-click your website directory - in the above screenshot - to browse its contents.

Your document root

The top level folder of your website is often called the document root. This is where you will place your first website files. The document root is often named htdocs or public_html, and is usually inside your website directory.

Document root directory
Your website directory contains htdocs, your document root directory - the top level of your website.

If you like, you can double-click your document root folder — htdocs in the above screenshot — to browse its contents.

Uploading a Web page

Once you've found your document root, you're now ready to upload your website. Here, you're going to upload your first page, index.html, which should be the name of the main page of your website.

Use the Local site window to browse to your website folder on your hard disk. You can then upload your index.html file to the server by dragging it from the Local site window to the document root folder in the Remote site window:

Uploading a file
Uploading the website's index page file by dragging it from the "Local site" window to the "Remote site" window.

You'll see the file briefly appear in the Transfer queue window (the window at the bottom of the FileZilla window) as FileZilla uploads the file to your Web server. When it is finished, double-click your document root folder in the Remote site window to view its contents. You should see a copy of your file. Congratulations — you've just uploaded your Web page!

Upload complete
The website's index page is now uploaded to the Web server.

If you now open up a Web browser and go to your website's URL, you should see your Web page on the Internet. Well done! :)

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You can also upload files and folders by dragging them straight from Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder into the Remote site window.

Other stuff


If you need to download a Web page from your site again (for example, you lost the original on your PC), simply drag and drop your page the other way, from the Remote site window to the Local site window (or to your Desktop).


After you've finished uploading stuff, choose Server > Disconnect to disconnect from your Web server. Or simply close down FileZilla.

Deleting files

To delete a file that you have uploaded to your server, click on the file in the Remote site window to select it, and press the Delete key on your keyboard.

Doing other stuff to files

Right-click on a file in the Remote site window and you will see all sorts of things you can do to it, such as renaming it and editing it.

This basic FileZilla tutorial has shown you how to upload your website files with FileZilla. To learn more about about using FileZilla, take a look at the FileZilla documentation. Have fun!

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