1. Sanity Check: Do you have web hosting?
The first thing you need is A PLACE TO PUT THOSE FILES. Where is that place? BlueHost is great for hosting. It’s cheap, and their support is pretty good for the price.
Ok, so we have a host. We did that. What’s next? Your host sent you a “Welcome” email. In that email there is a username, password, and a bunch of other details. SAVE THAT EMAIL.
2. Download and Install CyberDuck (or any FTP client)
I recommend Cyberduck — it’s free, friendly and easy to get started. If you want a more user-friendly option? Transmit is beautiful, but is a paid software application.
3. How to Use Cyberduck
You need to add: username, password, domain name. Where do I get that? It’s in your hosting email (see step #1 above)
Here’s how FTP setup looks in Cyberduck:
Here’s how FTP setup looks in Transmit (the same concept as above, but in a different program)
4. Transfer Files From Your Computer to the Server
Below is a simple example screenshot using Transmit. It’s pretty much the same with any FTP client. Alternatively, you should be able to drag files right from your desktop (or the Finder) onto the server. Dragging the opposite way? Yes, that will download the files.
Q: I used Cyberduck.
A: That’s not a question. But if you chose Cyberduck do yourself a favor…
Go to “PREFERENCES -> TRANSFERS -> PERMISSIONS” and uncheck the “Change Permissions” boxes.
Explanation why you are doing this: By default Cyberduck changes your permissions and you’ll have an error uploading PNGS. So, save yourself the trouble later on and make it look like this…
Q: I get FTP. What is SFTP?
A: It’s just “secure” FTP. You know, just like “http://” and “https://”. If you choose to setup SFTP with your hosting provider, make sure you also chose that setting in your FTP client. It doesn’t cost anything extra to setup SFTP… so I say, sure why not do it.
Q: Thanks Chris, but, but, but… can I use GIT instead?
A: Sure, but FTP is great for beginners. Git is probably unnecessary if you’re just starting out. And besides, I still use FTP for small projects and for throwing files on the Web quickly.