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 Assignment One: FTP
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Next Assignment: The Basic Web Code

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
One of the first steps in developing a webpage/website is having a place to store the pages. In the computer field this is called being a host . Since most of us can not afford the large price tag to buy a server (the computer that runs websites) or for the 24 hours access the phone company would need to give you (around $1,000 a month), we rely on companies who already have the servers and 24 hour access to host our pages for us.

This has advantages for both sides:

    • This approach makes money for the company since they can host 100's of customers on a single computer and thus being able to pay the large price tag and still make a profit.
    • The customer (you) is able to have their web pages stored on a fast computer that is usually backed up for security and has 24 hour access, all at a very reasonable cost (some as low as $5 dollars a month or FREE).

So this first section is dedicated to getting you familiar with the process of sending/receiving your files to/from a host site. I know you want to get into the nitty/gritty of developing, but believe me, the proper use of transferring files will save you large headaches in the future.

The Assignment

At the end of this assignment you should be able to...

(1) Understand What FTP Represents And Why We Need It
    FTP stands for FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL . Anytime you see the word protocol in the computer field, it is another way of saying language. Computer have many different ways they can talk to each other (languages/protocols) and one of them is FTP . With FTP, computers have a standard language to tell each other what they are sending or what they want.
    To let your computer talk to another computer (host site) for transferring files using FTP you need a program that does that talking for you. These are called FTP programs (could you guess?). By using a FTP program you only have to click on things you want done (like you do in windows) and the program handles all the FTP talking for you. When your computer receives a file, this is called DOWNLOADING .When your computer sends a file, this is called UPLOADING .

(2) Start A FTP Program
    The first thing you need to do is put a FTP program on your computer. You can get one from the Internet, I recommend using 'wsftp'. Just do a search on for WSFTP.
    From the table of FREE programs, you will want to choose the FTP program. The link says WS_FTP . Just click on the link and it will save the program to your computer. If the computer asks you whether you want to OPEN or SAVE, choose SAVE.

    The computer will then ask where you want it saved. You can choose any location you prefer. If you want a suggestion, I would put it in MY DOCUMENTS or MY DESKTOP. Just remember where you placed it so that you can install it when it has finished downloading to your computer.
    The next paragraph deals with unzipping the file that you have downloaded. Click on me if you want more explanation on UNZIP'ing files.

    Once the program has finished downloading, go to that location on your computer.

    • If you did not save it to MYDESKTOP; double click on the icon called MY COMPUTER and locate your file, then double click on the downloaded file.
    • If you did save it to MYDESKTOP, locate the icon on your desktop (your main screen), then double click that icon.
    This will place (UNZIP) the files for your FTP program into the location you desire. I would suggest typing in c:\wsftp .

(3) Send/Receive Files From A Host Site
    The basic rule with FTP'ing file back and forth between your computer and another is to remember where you are placing files on your computer and where you are placing files on the other computer. Remember you have many directories on your computer that files can reside. And choose which files you want sent/received. Then click on the button on your FTP program to send/receive the files...and your done! (yeahh)
    If I were going to develop a website and transfer files back and forth, I would first create a place (directory) on my computer that I would store the files so I could keep them organized.
    Note! The following instructions for setting up an FTP account are purely for your information. I have not created an FTP account for you on this server. Use the following steps when you get to the point in the course where you want to connect to your Internet Provider's server and transferyour well designed and graphically pleasing page.

    For example:

      I will use the program listed above as an example of FTP'ing. The first thing is to make sure you have an internet connection (just like you have to do before you see web pages) and then start the FTP program. The program divides itself into two sections, LEFT and RIGHT. The LEFT side of the window is what the program sees on your computer. The RIGHT side is what it sees on the other computer (host). You will notice the RIGHT side is blank because you have not yet connected to another computer.

      You need to first tell the FTP program some information about the computer you are connecting to. To do this:

        • click on the lower left button marked CONNECT.
        • click in the empty box to the right of PROFILE NAME
        • type in a name you want to title the connection. This allows the program to remember the settings you are going to enter for the other computer so you only have to enter them once. The next time you want to connect to the other computer you just choose the profile name you assigned.
        • click in the empty box to the right of HOST NAME
        • type in the other computers internet address.
        • make sure the host type in AUTOMATIC DETECT
        • click in the empty box to the right of USER ID
        • enter the USER ID you were given by the company who owns the other computer.
        • click in the empty box to the right of PASSWORD
        • type in the password you were given by the company who owns the other computer.
        • click on the OK button in the top right.

      You should now be connected the other computer as well as yours. Both the LEFT and RIGHT sides have a top and bottom window. The top windows are how you move around each computer (directories). The bottom windows are the actual files residing in those directories. Once you are in the right location on each computer, select the file(s) you want sent/received and either click on the arrow pointing RIGHT to UPLOAD (send) files to the computer, or click on the arrow pointing LEFT to DOWNLOAD (receive) files.

    Here are a few tips when selecting files:
      • click once on a file to select it for sending/receiving
      • if you want a range of files (i.e. they are listed in order), click on the top of the range of files and then hold down your SHIFT key, while holding the SHIFT key, click on the last file in the range and then let go of the SHIFT key. Click to send/receive. The program will send/receive all the files in the range.
      • if you want to send/receive multiple files but they are not all grouped together, hold down your CTRL key, while holding down the CTRL key, click on each individual file you wish. Once you have selected all the files you want,let go of the CTRL key and send/receive them. The program will only send/receive the files you selected.

And now that you have learned all about FTP'ing, here is the Good News - You can create/edit pages on your computer without FTP'ing. You only need to use the FTP process when you are ready to send your files to a host.

 Assignment One: FTP
Next Assignment: The Basic Web Code