Do not be afraid to learn a few more technical terms when you are just starting out as a web administrator. All of the things that are labeled in your dashboard are there to help you manage your site. Some things are meant to handle your email settings, create email accounts and adjust your spam filters. Then there are other tools that help you create your web pages and there are others that help you monitor your page visits and stats.
While setting up your website, one of the first few things you need to do is to transfer files from your computer to your web host. For those with old web hosting accounts, sometimes they transfer files from one web host to the other.
For smaller files, this can be quick and easy – sometimes you can just reupload them from your email. But if you are talking about lots of files or organized folders of photos, videos and applications, there is a more efficient way to do this. This is where FTP access comes in.
First of all, what is FTP? FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. What does this mean? This means that you are using a specific method of transferring your files from one point to the other. A protocol can be like a highway that is specifically built to carry files alone. It is not meant to send email, instant messages or other types of contents. It is just a very efficient way optimized to move one file from its old destination to the new one.
Since you will be doing massive transfer of files, most of the time, you will need several steps before you gain access to an FTP connection. This is for the security of the files you host and the files you are about to transfer. More levels of security means less chances of your file storage to be mistakenly accessed by someone else.
Here is a short list of typical files sent via FTP:
- HTML pages for your websites
- Photos and images, even heavy ones that are more than 2 MB per file
- Videos in various file types and formats
- Applications and installation kits like the WordPress kit
Yes, there are alternatives to FTP but it all boils down to how you want the file transfer to be done. For example, for small scale file transfer and storage, Google Docs and Google Drive does a good job of holding your files for free. With the new addition, Google Sites, you can create your own wiki pages that store particular files and can be shared to a private team.
Another alternative is is WinSCP, but this is also more on the technical side. Like FTP, it also needs to grant its users SSH access (secure shell) in order for you to upload and download files in a particular storage. Done on Windows machines, WinSCP uses several layers of protection and security, too.
Other tools that you can get when you go with an FatCow hosting account are:
- FrontPage extensions to further customize the webpages that you created
- SEO tips and tools to increase your search engine ranking
- Marketing credits from Google, Bing, Facebook and Yahoo
- vDeck control panel for easy management of your hosting duties
- Spam filters with customizable settings for email management.