Using FTP Commands

using ftp commands

Some pointers about using ftp using commands.

File Transfer Protocol (ftp for short) is a method of transferring files from one computer to another over the TCP/IP network. There are some software tools like FileZilla which is a nice front end used to manage ftp communications using a nice user friendly user interface.

This post discusses using ftp commands directly without using tools like FileZilla.

FileZilla is a great interface, however …

ftp commands

FileZilla is a great interface. If you use ftp on any sort of regular basis, you may find it of use to use a ftp tool like FileZilla. There are other ftp tools available, however FileZilla is the one I am familiar with and use on a regular basis.

If you only use ftp on a very irregular basis, like once or twice a month or less, and you only want to transfer a few files, then maybe using ftp commands directly may be the route to go.

At this stage, I prefer to use FileZilla myself in these cases. I very seldom now, if ever, revert back to the ftp command line interface.

Get your ftp access information to access your website

Your hosting provider should be able to provide ftp access to your site. You need to get an ftp user name and associated password. This is usually not the same as your other passwords and should not be. This of course is for good security reasons.

Using ftp commands

get command line

On your PC get to a command line. Different PCs have different ways of getting to a command line.

On my machine it used to be:- it is Start, All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt

Now it is Right Click Once on the Windows ICON at the bottom left of the screen, then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.

Once you have the PC’s command line, then enter the following commands:
ftp your domain name and Press ENTER

Assuming your PC has ftp installed, the ftp prompt is displayed. This is a ftp prompt.

Prompted for user: Enter your ftp user name and Press ENTER
Note that ftp user Name may be case sensitive, for example David is not the same as DAvid

Prompted for password: Enter the required password (which is usually case sensitive) and Press ENTER

The ftp prompt is displayed
Use the ftp help function for additional information
Enter help in lower case and Press Enter
See a list of ftp commands
Enter help ftp command that you require more information on and Press ENTER
help rename (provides more information on the rename command)
help dir (provides more information on the directory command)
Enter dir in lower case and Press ENTER
Enter cd applicable name folder and Press ENTER
Use the ftp rename command to rename the files
Use the dir command to check that the rename worked
When done, use the ftp bye command to exit ftp

One reason why you need to use FTP is to upload or download files to your website.

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Hi, I'm David. I write articles such as this one. Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Using FTP Commands”

  1. Coolio. I didn’t even know I had this facility on my PC. Yeah, it’ll be definitely worth checking out because I can think of several uses for it. Will you be doing more stuff like this?
    I’m looking forward to your next piece. Cheers

    • Hi Eoin,

      Thanks for the feedback and for dropping by.

      Yes, I will be doing more stuff like this. If you have any similar questions, let me know and I see if I can write anything about it. Not promising anything, however if I can answer your question in a post, I will give it a go.

      Kind Regards,

  2. Hi David. Thanks for that. I don’t have anything specific to ask you right now, but I’ll definitely check in now and then for info, and if I do have any questions I’ll get back to you.

    • Hi Eoin,

      Thanks for dropping by my website again and thanks for your feedback.



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