FTP - or file transfer protocol, is the language used by your computer to access your web site space on your Internet Service Provider's server. FTP is a program language that is included with Windows 95, and is accessable from the DOS prompt.

To upload a web file it needs to have an extension - htm, html, or shtml. First access the DOS prompt from the desktop, 'Start', 'Programs', 'MS DOS Prompt', then at the C:\ prompt type - ftp website address and wait. You will be asked for your user name and password, and then you are ready to upload.

Dial-up Accounts

For Dial-up accounts, the first file you upload must be named 'index', plus one of the extensions listed above, other files linked to it you can call what you like. Most ISP servers are Unix based, and you need to know that unlike DOS based servers, they are case sensitive, therefore there is a common tendency to always use lower case for file names, as these systems don't like upper case, so call your file 'index.htm' not 'Index.htm', or 'INDEX.HTM' else you might get into trouble with the latter two.

To upload a file, you first need to address the directory from which the file is to be taken from your own computer. Type - 'lcd C:\myfiles', given that your files are in the director 'myfiles'. Then type - 'put index.htm index.htm'. The command 'put' is the unix command for uploading, while 'get' is the command for downloading. You are repeating the file name because you are first indicating the name of the file you want to upload, and then you are telling the Server what the file is to be called on the Server. If you don't repeat the name of the file, you will still upload it, but you are not in control of what the Server will call it, and it will probably call it 'Index.htm' or something else you don't need.

To upload 'gif' or 'jpg' picture files, you may have to transfer to another directory on the server for dial up accounts called 'bin'. Do this after you have uploaded your 'htm' files and type - 'bin'. The Server will thereby change the destination directory for you and you can now type - 'put picture.gif picture.gif', and repeat until you are done.

To finish your uploading session, type - 'quit' and that's it. You are disconnected, and so type 'exit' at the DOS prompt and you are back on your desktop.

Commercial Accounts

If you are going to FTP to commercial accounts, the rules are similar except that the origin directory will be called 'docs' and your picture files can be placed in the same directory as the page files. There are added complications when you start to use cgi scripts which have to be put into a 'cgi-bin' directory, but to make a script active, you will need to change the file attributes with a command 'chmod', and Windows 95 FTP hasn't got this in its vocabulary. You will need an FTP program such as 'Cute-FTP' to do this. If you do not have this program available, you may download it by pressing (HERE). They will probably give you a months free trial, and then you will have to register with them.

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Last updated: February 27th, 2000.
Published by: Lichfield Data Base