This post isn’t for advanced users. It’s a basic overview of FTP (file transfer protocol).

FTP was originally created in 1971 – before the birth of the World Wide Web–as a command-line interface (text-based, relying on specific commands). From inception, it was built to transfer files from one host computer to another.

In the past 43 years, there have been many additions to its core including:

  • Allowing encrypted transfer (coded to prevent hacker interference).
  • Client programs built to make the experience easier to manage.

Used widely in web development, FTP fits perfectly in this analogy I use with clients…

Rusty gate with gauze and ropes in a green meadow on a sunny day in the summer season.

Imagine your “new home builder” showing up to your property, and seeing this…

If your domain name ( is like your physical street address, your web site hosting package is your land. Your house/building on that land is your web site. FTP is a way to get past the gate that blocks the property from being accessed.

Although there are ways to get “around” the gate, FTP allows for the easiest way to access the hosting to be available.  Sort of like your driveway being blocked by a gate.  You could climb the fence, you could parachute to the property – but the easiest (and correct) way to get to the web site’s contents – you’ll use FTP.

Using the driveway, your web site developer is allowed to use that driveway to bring in truckloads of useful materials – to help them build an incredible site for your business, organization or simply to boast about your personal achievements.

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