The commonly known FTP, which stands for File Transfer Protocol is used for transfering files to and from your server or web host. But FTP isn't secure. There are more secure alternatives such as SFTP and FTPS. That's because plain FTP doesn't encypt the data you're transfering. If your data is compromised en route to its destination, your credentials (username and password) and your data can be easily read.

I choose to work with FileZilla because it supports SFTP which is SHH Transfer Protocol. Also it's available on all operating systems. It doesn't matter if you are working on Mac or forced to use Windows. And after all it's free. The programs helps you create a mirror of your site on your computer system. This can be very beneficial when you need to recover from file corruption thanks to malware attacks. Essentially, you can create a backup copy by downloading all of the files from your website.

There is a feature called Quickconnect that lets you quickly access your website files. When you login in your cPanel you have to find the section FTP Accounts. Find the one that you need. If you don’t have one specifically for the website you wish to access, you may have to create an account. Take note of the username, server and port under manual settings. You can also download the FTP configuration file specifically for FileZilla if you’re using Windows. If you download the FTP configuration file from cPanel, you can set up FileZilla automatically. Or you can just input this information into FileZilla. Remember that 'Host' and 'Server' are one in the same in FileZilla. Once you have the fields in FileZilla filled out, click the 'Quickconnect' button. You now have access to all files within your website.

Don't forget that it is a good idea to save the original copies of your files in an archive folder in the event of something going wrong. Also be careful when you set permissions. If these are set incorrectly, you could inadvertently give public access to your website which could lead to compromising your webpages or be one of the reasons why your website becomes hacked.

When you learn how to use FileZilla, you open the doors to gaining more control over your website. From your desktop computer or laptop, you can make direct changes to the site or back up all of your files with this software. When you need a stable system that gives you access to your online files, consider what FileZilla can do for you.

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V. Stefanova

Engineer Front-end developer