Understanding FTP File Transfer Protocol
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is one of the earliest and best methods of transferring information around the Internet. Most FTP files are stored in “anonymous FTP” directories where anyone has access to them without needing to log in with a username and password.
A protocol is a language that enables computers to speak to one another.
FTP is used to make files and folders publicly available for transfer over the Internet. In some cases you may need to get permission from the network computer’s administrator to log on and gain access to files on the computer. But often you’ll find that you can use FTP to gain access to certain networks or servers without having an account, or being an official password holder, with that computer.
These “anonymous” FTP servers can contain a broad range of data that is publicly available through FTP.
The Internet address (URL) for an FTP server looks slightly different from the URL you use for a typical Web page. For example, Microsoft has an “anonymous” FTP server at ftp://ftp.microsoft.com, where you can download files ranging from product fixes, updated drivers, and utilities, to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles and other documentation.
How much access you have to files and folders on FTP servers depends on whether you gain access to the servers through a CERN proxy server or directly, and what kind of permissions you have with the FTP server.
For the Website Designer the FTP software is a great way to manage your Website. Some FTP software is free and some can be purchased on the web its self. Most of the software products do exactly the same, simply because the ftp action for computers is very simple.
Once you have obtained your software and installed it you will be able to log in to your website upload and download files and web pages and then log out.
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Website Hosting Explained
For a web site to be made available on the Internet, it has to be hosted on a ‘web server’ this is a computer that is constantly connected to the Internet and can accept incoming connections from other computers. It’s just like renting property, because you rent space on the web server from the company that own it. Many companies spend thousands of pounds a year on web hosting for their business critical systems and applications.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is a name or phrase that is associated to your business that will make your website and e-mail address easy to recognise and remember. For example, If my company name was Elizabeth Jordan, the company domain name could be www.magpieimage.co.uk and your e-mail could be firstname.lastname@example.org
What does it do?
Basically a domain name is a pointer, this means that when a domain name is typed into a browser the domain name points to the web server (host) that the Website is located on. It helps people to identify with your company name or product just by looking at your domain name. When they want to browse your website on-line they will type in your domain name and this will locate your website quickly. It is far easy to remember a domain name than it is to remember a number (IP Address).
Why do I need one?
Every website needs a domain name. If you are a business, you ideally need your own domain name, but if you are working on a personal homepage a domain name isn’t quite as important. Having your own personal domain name is a very professional look and it is also best to be kept short so that your customers and potential customers are not typing in long addresses when they want to contact you. It is also far easier to remember. A domain name on a business card looks much better than a long drawn out name that would be used with just your ISP
Domain Name = www.magpieimage.co.uk
ISP Name = http://www.globalnet.co.uk/users/~ magpieimage/index.html
What’s the most popular type of hosting plan?
Virtual hosting like Magpie Image’s hosting solutions is the most common plan. It allows people starting a serious business or money making website to get online at a low cost to begin with and as their website grows they can increase the services they require.
What hosting plan do I need?
Before choosing your hosting package, you should identify what your needs are. Make sure you focus on the essentials that are required to launch your website. You may want all the nice extras but will you use them? It’s also a good idea to try and pick a host that will allow you to expand and increase your plan as and when your website grows like Magpie Image.
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