Getting Started with FileZilla

FileZilla is a free program that is used to transfer files and photos from your computer to your website server.

Download from and install on your computer.

XP Note! FileZilla version and above are not compatible with some XP configurations. XP users may want to install an older version 3.5.3 or

Open the program and notice that the screen is divided into several areas that we have marked with different colors.

For simple file transfers, we are only concerned with three general areas:

  1. We must fill in the 3 red slots at the top.
  2. Files on the computer will display on the yellow left side after we browse to the correct folder.
  3. Files on the website server will display on the right blue side after we have made a connection.

Making a connection

Start by filling in the three slots. The Host is "ftp" plus your website domain name, as shown in the sample below.

Click the Quick Connect button to see if you can connect to your website server. You will see the communications between FileZilla and the server take place in the top green window. If there are any errors, they will display red. Otherwise, the files on your website will display in the right windows.

Save the Settings

If your connection was successful, save the settings. From the top File menu, select "Copy current connection to Site Manager".

The connection settings will be saved (yellow slots) and you should give a name to your connection on the left (where we entered "imagehost").

To access that connection at a later date, click the drop list arrow beside the Site Manager icon on the left and select your saved connection, or you can use the drop list arrow to the right of the QuickConnect button and click your recent connection on the history list. Alternatively, select "File > Site Manager" from the top menu bar to re-open the Site Manager window and connect from there.

View Files on Website Server

After connecting to the server, you will be able to click files and folders to navigate your server in the same way you navigate your computer. The server has two windows for files and folders. The top window shows the directory tree where you can select a folder, and the bottom window displays the contents of that selected folder.

When moving files between computer and server, you will be selecting and replacing files from within the bottom window. So the top window is for show, and the bottom window is for work.

View Files on Computer

Now that we have successfully connected to the server, let's go back and find files on the computer, using the windows on the left.

Use the top left window to navigate the directory tree on your computer to locate the folder with your photos. The droplist on the "Local Site" slot will remember your most recently selected folders. Select your picture folder and the files will display in the bottom window.

When moving files between computer and server, you will be selecting and replacing files from within the bottom window. So the top window is for show, and the bottom window is for work.

If you want to move a whole folder to your server, then navigate the directory so that your folder is displaying in the bottom window. That way you can drag and drop the folder and all its contents onto the desired location on the server.

Transferring a file

So once you have connected to your server, have your computer folder and files displaying on the left, and have navigated to the correct folder on your server on your right, you are ready to move a file.

You can drag and drop the file from your computer on the left to the server folder on the right and a duplicate of your file will be copied to the server. The original on your computer will remain in place.

Transferring a file from File Explorer

But if you already have your picture files open on your computer and don't want to navigate to them within FileZilla, or if you don't really understand your computer's directory tree, you can simply drag the photos from your open folder onto the server folder on FileZilla.

As your files are copied from your computer folder to the website server, you will see the status window at the bottom display the results.

FileZilla can copy in both directions, so you can also copy a file or folder from your website server to your computer. Just be careful that you don't overwrite any originals.

Deleting and Renaming Files

You may want to occasionally rename or delete files on your website server. To delete a file, locate it in the bottom right window and click it to highlight. Then either right-click-delete or press the delete button on your keyboard. To rename a file on your server, select the file and right-click-rename or click on the name until an editing box appears. You can rename or delete files on your computer using the same method in the left window.

Remembering folders

Your Filezilla connection can open the same folders on your server and on your computer each time you connect. That will put you exactly where you want to be without having to browse. Go to "File > Site Manager" on the menu, and click the advanced tab. There are two slots where you can enter either your computer path or your server path, or both.