Once you’ve signed up for web hosting with your provider, you’ll be spending quite a bit of time working within your control panel interface—whether it be cPanel or some customized control panel. You’ll also need to upload, download, and edit files in your website directories. The two methods of processing your files are to use FTP (file transfer protocol) and the File Manager.
With your File Manager and FTP you can upload new files to your website, download files from your site onto your computer, move files between your website directories, set file permissions, and edit your files.
Both the File Manager and FTP basically handle the same tasks. So which one should you use? Is there an advantage to using one or the other? The answer is that sometimes there are advantages to using FTP or your File Manager, but most of the time it’s more a case of your personal preference. Some people say that FTP is faster, but for me that isn’t necessarily the case. I’ve also read that one or the other is more secure, but I haven’t seen any real evidence to support those claims.
Here’s what I can say about using your File Manager and FTP for processing your web files:
The File Manager comes with your web hosting control panel interface, so you have access from anywhere you can connect to your hosting account. To use FTP, you’ll need to download and install a separate client application. Also in order to use file transfer protocol, you need to have your ftp server, username, and password information to log in before using FTP.
Your File Manager will allow you a full range of file processing capabilities. Although this is often also the case with File Transfer Protocol, some FTP clients don’t let you perform certain tasks such as editing unless you purchase a premium version. Fortunately, it’s very easy to find free FTP software such as FileZilla and Classic FTP.
You can upload and download files to your website using either the File Manager or FTP. However, if you need to process multiple files, it’s generally more convenient to use FTP. Personally, I’ve been using FTP for all of my uploading and downloading, while I’ve been using the File Manager more for file editing.
I would encourage you to try out both methods to see which one works best for you.
- Included with your hosting plan
- Available from control panel interface
- Allows full range of capabilities including editing
FTP File Transfer Protocol
- Good for uploading and downloading multiple files
- Requires a separate FTP client application
- Requires separate login
- Some FTP clients don’t allow file editing