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FTP is a process used to move files from one place to another. Most commonly, files are moved from a disk or a computer's hard drive to a server, which make files available for others to see on the World Wide Web. SmartFTP is a good way to transfer files because it makes sharing files reliable, efficient, and easy. This section of the FTP manual will guide you through transferring a file to the Internet using SmartFTP.


Configuring SmartFTP

  1. Open up SmartFTP on your computer.
  2. Click File from the top menu bar.
  3. Click New Remote Browser from the File drop down menu. This will open up the New Remote Browser dialogue box.
  4. Now you will need to enter in your Site details:
    • Protocol: You will need to make sure that this is set to Normal FTP from the drop down menu.
    • Host: This will be your actual domain name (e.g. yourdomain.com)
      IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a dedicated IP address, you may enter that in for your Host, or if you have a shared IP address, or name based account, you can enter in your temporary domain name (e.g. yourdomain.com.whsites.net). This is useful if you are waiting for your domain name to propagate, but in most cases, you will just use your actual domain name as your Host.
    • Port: This will usually be left as the default 21 unless you have a router or firewall that requires a different setting.
    • Path: This is the starting directory you would like to view when connecting through this FTP profile. This can be set to anything you wish, but if you would like to view the main web accessible folder of your account after connecting, you would type /var/www/html/ for your Path.
    • Username: This will be the username for the Host domain that was supplied above (e.g. yourdomain@yourdomain.com)
    • Password: Your password for this user.
    • That covers all of the basic FTP settings, and all of the required ones for connecting. There are more advanced options and settings in the Properties section, but for our tutorial, we will not cover those.
  5. Once you are satisfied with your information, click OK to connect to your account.
Configuring SmartFTP Video Tutorial

We have created a step-by-step video tutorial on uploading your Web site with SmartFTP.

View Video Tutorial

Using SmartFTP

If you have questions about SmartFTP and its use, we would recommend you refer to help resources at http://www.smartftp.com/support/.

We want to make sure that your experience with us is as good as it possibly can be. With that in mind, we hope you understand that we also have limitations in resources that prevents us from being able to support third party software as well as you may need it to be. This is why we ask you to use the above reference for troubleshooting any problems you may have and then, if appropriate, contact us for help in fixing the problem.

Important FTP Server Disconnect Information

Properly disconnecting from your FTP server is critical to maintaining the availability of your FTP server. To better understand why it is important you should have a little knowledge of how an FTP server operates. Initially when you connect to your FTP server, a single FTP process is spawned. This process is spawned to manage the connection but does not manage transferring your data itself. Once you begin to transfer files across the connection additional processes will be spawned to handle the transfer up to FTP process limit imposed by your hosting provider. As you can see, generally speaking, successful use of an FTP server will use more than one process. Your FTP client does control the number of processes that are spawned and when those processes will die off after the transfer is complete.

Now that we have a simplistic description of what is happening we can also establish why proper use of your FTP client is important to maintaining server availability. As you can see there is some responsibility placed on your FTP client to manage the FTP connection and processes. If a disconnection is handled improperly, your FTP client isn't given the opportunity to clean up after itself and can potentially leave FTP processes running on your server indefinitely. This only becomes a problem when you try to establish a connection to your FTP server and the FTP processes left running from improper disconnects are equal to or higher than your FTP process limit.

To allow your FTP client to properly close the connection you should find and utilize the disconnect function if your client supports the functionality. You should avoid simply closing the application unless this is the only option that your client supports.