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Intro to FTP Using WS_FTP


This tutorial created by Lori Davis

This will be a brief intro to how to upload files to your remote server using WS_FTP, from Ipswitch. You can visit Ipswitch at

Note that these instructions are for WS_FTP Pro 4.5. If you have WS_FTP LE, the WS_FTP window will look a little different from the screen prints here, but the basic instructions should work for both the LE and the Pro versions. If you have the newest Explorer-style version of WS_FTP Pro, the window will look quite different and some procedures might also be different from those outlined here.

The Session Properties dialog box will pop up when you first load WS_FTP. If you already have your server info set up, then select the appropriate server from the Profile Name drop-down list and hit OK to dial into yourserver. If you need to set up a new profile for your server, click on the New button and follow the directions in the next paragraph.

Enter whatever label is meaningful for you for the Profile Name -- I used "Geocities" here. For Host Name/Address, enter the appropriate address for your host's FTP server; you can get that info from whoever is hosting your site. Keep Host Type at the default setting: Automatic detect. For User ID enter whatever theFTP server uses to identify you (usually your account login ID), and for Password enter whatever the FTP server uses as your password (usually your account password).

Set your startup folder for your hard drive by clicking on the Startup tab in the Sessions Properties window and filling in the path of your startup folder under Initial Local Directory. Then click OK, and WS_FTP will dial into the FTP server. (You'll want your startup folder to be the main folder in which you store the files you'll be uploading. If you have more than one folder that contains files you'll want to upload, don't worry -- you'll also be able to select other folders after you've dialed into the FTP server.)

You won't need to fill in the Initial Remote Host Directory if the server automatically starts you out in the directory where you want the files to go. If the server doesn't start you out in the right directory automatically, enter the path of the host directory/folder you'd like to start out in.

Next, press OK to connect to the server.

The main WS_FTP window has two panes: The one on the left (labelled Local System) is for listing and managing the files on your local machine, and the one on the right (labelled Remote System) is for listing and managing the files on the host.

Right below those panes are two radio buttons -- one marked ASCI and the other marked Binary -- and a checkbox marked Auto. These determine what protocol is used to upload your files. Usually you'll want to keep this set at either Binary or Auto.

Just below that is a status log area. Here you'll see info on the status of your connection and interactions with the server. If something you want to read scrolls by too quickly, you can use the scroll bar on the right to scroll back in the log.

At the bottom of the window are several control buttons. "Close" closes your connection; you'll press this button when you're done with your session. "Cancel" cancels an operation such as an upload or download. "Exit" exits WS_FTP altogether.

Now for uploading! If the host directory/folder displayed in the drop-down list in the Remote System pane is the right one for your upload, you upload your file by selecting it in the Local System file list (that is, by clicking on its file name) and then pressing the right arrow that is between the two panes. To upload multiple files at once, select multiple files in the Local System file list just as you would in any Win95 file list, then press the right arrow.
What should you do if you have multiple folders on your server and you want to change folders? Notice that your folders are labelled in the Remote System file list just as folders are in any Win95 file list. To change to one of your subfolders, just double-click on the folder's name in the list.
And there you are in the subfolder. Now you can upload files as before. And if you want to return to a higher folder, just press the green bent arrow at the top of the Remote System file list.

Hope that gets you started on your way to painless FTP!

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