What is an FTP Client?

What is an FTP Client? Tutorial For Beginners

One of the most asked questions by those who, for the first time, have to deal with a web hosting is “what is an FTP?

The question may seem trivial but for those who begin to be interested in web publishing,

the question may seem far from obvious.

An FTP client is software designed to transfer files between a computer and a server over the Internet. It must be installed on the computer and can only be used with an Internet connection.

So what is FTP for?

How do I upload files and folders via FTP?

How can I manage my site files via FTP?

If you need to perform operations on a website,

you will need to connect to its remote web space (hosting),

through a special software (FTP client),

using the FTP credentials issued by the hosting.

Through the FTP client you will be able to upload the files that make up the website and/or make any changes.

What is an FTP Client?

Can I do without FTP to create and manage my website?

Yes, you can. Using FTP may not be essential when using CMS such as WordPress.

In cases like this, for example,

it may be enough to buy a hosting with WordPress pre-installed (the best choices in this case go to: Bluehost and Siteground)

and then develop the website through the dashboard without having any need to use FTP.

Hosting like Bluehost and SiteGround also offer file management tools (File Manager),

that could be used instead of FTP to perform file operations.

In these circumstances and with these Web Hostings, the use of FTP can be considered unnecessary,

but, you should be aware of this tool if you want to work in the web publishing industry.

What is an FTP Client? What they are and how they work

Through an FTP client, so,

it is possible to perform (in an simple way) all the operations connected to the files,

through actions like those usually performed on common operating systems

the remote server will then be displayed as a set of files and folders on which it will be possible to operate exactly as if they were inside our hard-disk.

How to configure an FTP client?

To set up a remote connection via FTP, proceed by opening the software you have decided to use and click on the button for creating a new connection

At this point a mask should open with a set of information to be entered:

  • Host / Hostname: Enter the FTP address provided by your provider. It can be the same address as the website (www.mysite.com)
    • or a different address (ftp.nameprovider.com) or, an IP address.
  • Port: by default, the FTP port is number 21.
  • Username: enter the username for FTP access communicated by the provider when activating the service.
  • Password: enter the password for FTP access,
    • communicated by the provider during service activation.
What is an FTP Client?
What is an FTP Client? – FTP configuration

Where can I find FTP connection credentials?

The credentials for accessing your web space via FTP are provided by the hosting provider in two ways:

  • By e-mail at the time of purchase or activation of the hosting service.
  • You can independently generate your FTP access credentials through the customer panel provided by the hosting provider.

Access problems?
Some providers, to prevent unauthorized access by third parties,

activate filters that restrict FTP access to specific IP addresses.

In these cases, before establishing a connection, you must make sure that your IP may access via FTP,

How to use an FTP client?

The use is extremely simple. There are various Clients that you can use:

  • Filezilla,
  • CuteFTP,
  • Cyberduck,
  • Transmit,

Independently of the client you will use, the functionality and operations are always the same.

What is an FTP Client?
What is an FTP Client? – How to use an FTP client

Once the remote connection is established, it will open a window divided in two:

on the left side, usually, the files and folders of our computer are displayed,

on the right side the files and folders of the remote server.

To transfer one or more files from local to remote, select,

on the left side, the files you want to upload to the remote server (Right side),

drag and drop the selected files into the part of the window that contains the remote files and folders,

release the files to start the upload.

To download (transfer files from remote to local)

it will be enough to perform the same operations in reverse (from right to left).

What are the best FTP clients?

There are various FTP clients on the Net,

and the choice between one or the other depends on the operating system in use and the webmaster’s preferences.

Below is a small list of the most popular and used free FTP clients on the Net:

best FTP clients


Compatible with all popular OS (Windows, MacOS and Linux)

Filezilla is an excellent open source FTP client that offers, among other things,

Support for the transmission of SSL/TLS or SSH encoded data.

It is an FTP client for Windows with a simple and easy to use interface.


Available for Windows and MacOS,

Cyberduck is a great free FTP client that supports, among other things,

Connections with all major cloud services such as Amazon, S3, Azure or OpenStack.


While it is true that some websites can “live” without FTP,

it is also true that a webmaster cannot not know this fundamental tool. Sooner or later, even if you are used to working with CMS,

You may need to work on your website files and to do so you will need to use FTP.

If you have any doubts or concerns do not hesitate to write to us below in the comments,

Let us know your experience on the article and these three Web Hostings.

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