- 1 Overview
- 2 FTP Security
- 3 How to obtain your FTP Login Credentials
- 4 FTP Client Software
- 5 How do I show hidden files?
- 6 Where do I put my files once I connect via FTP?
- 7 See Also
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol for you to move data from one computer to another. It is commonly used to transfer website data from your local computer to the remote server. This allows you to develop a website locally and then upload it to the remote server to be published to your domain.
Unfortunately, FTP is not considered a "secure" protocol. This means that incoming/outgoing data is unencrypted and in plain text. Because the data is unencrypted, an exceptionally sneaky person could eavesdrop on what you're sending. When you add a new user in your panel (only while editing or adding a domain), it defaults to SFTP and FTP will be disallowed. You still have the option to uncheck the box 'Disallow FTP?' for the newly created user if you require an FTP connection instead of an encrypted SFTP connection.
You can do that on the (Panel > ‘Users’ > ‘Manage Users’) page by editing the user :
If you have a VPS, you can completely disable FTP to further secure your server.
How to obtain your FTP Login Credentials
You will need the following information to log into your FTP account:
- Server/Host name
- FTP Username
- FTP Password
- FTP Port
The following sections will explain how to obtain each.
Finding your FTP server hostname
If your domain's DNS is setup to point to your hosting here at DreamHost, then you may use your domain's name as the FTP hostname. For example, if your website is named 'http://www.example.com' just use
|Note:||Do not add http://www in front of the domain as that may cause it not to connect.|
If you don't have a domain setup quite yet, you may also use the server's hostname. To find out what server you are on, log into the DreamHost web panel and navigate to (Panel > ‘Billing & Account’ > ‘Manage Account’).
Scroll down to the section titled 'Domains Hosted'. There you will see your domain name. To the right, you will see your user and the server on which it’s setup:
In the above example, the server is named ‘horsetail’. So in this example you could use the hostname
horsetail.dreamhost.com to login.
Locating the correct FTP user
You can find the FTP username that is attached to your domain's hosting in the panel. Just login and navigate to (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’):
Once there, you’ll see the username to the right of the domain under the ‘Web Hosting’ column:
Resetting your FTP user's password
If you don't know your user's password, you can change it in the Panel. Log into the Panel and navigate to (Panel > ‘Users’ > ‘Manage Users’):
- Click the Edit button to the right of your username to edit it. The following page opens:
- On this page, you can change the password. Update it and then click the Save Changes button at the bottom.
|Note:||After you’ve changed your password, please allow up to 20 minutes for it to update in the DreamHost system.|
Choosing the FTP port
To connect, use the following port number setting for your type of user :
- FTP user
- connect with port number 21.
- SFTP or SHELL user
- connect with port number 22.
You can check if your user is an FTP/SFTP/SHELL user in your panel at (Panel > ‘Users’ > ‘Manage Users’).
FTP Client Software
All operating systems come with a built-in FTP client that runs from a command prompt, using the command
You might want to check out the following Wikipedia links for more information:
There are also other fully-featured FTP clients available for various operating systems that support some extra options.
Below is a list of some of these third-party clients.
Mac OS X
Web browser FTP support
Additionally, all modern web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and so on) include a built-in FTP support as well that will do in a pinch. However, you would only be able to download content through the browser.
DreamHost WebFTP support
You can also connect to your site via WebFTP. This isn't intended to be a fully functioning FTP client, but will suffice when you don't have one handy. Uploads are limited to 7MB, but you may find it very useful for features like easily moving files and editing live pages.
Configuring your FTP client to show hidden files is a process that differs significantly between each FTP client. Instructions for doing so using many popular FTP clients are found below:
Filezilla recently made the default encryption set to 'FTP over TLS if available'. As of June 2015 DreamHost does not support this option. So if you're attempting to log into your server using FTP and port 21 you may notice a login failure. To fix this, you must change the encryption type within Filezilla.
- In Filezilla, click the 'File' menu on the top left.
- From the dropdown select 'Site Manager'.
- In the left pane, click the button 'New Site' and add your website.
- In the right pane, add your login information.
- In the encryption dropdown, select 'Only use plain FTP (insecure).
- Save your changes and you will now be able to log into your server with an insecure FTP connection.
View the following forum post for further details:
Using CuteFTP 9.0
- Right-click within the server side window.
- Select the Filter… option
- Under Server side filtering select the Enable server side filtering (server applies filters) check box.
- Type -al in the Remote filter field box.
- Click Apply.
Please see instructions here:
- Upon opening Fetch, you will be presented with the following connection settings screen. Here is an example of connecting with a user named mywikiuser on the server charles-pickney:
- After you login, you'll see the content of your web server:
- Enable hidden files by navigating to 'Fetch > 'Preferences':
- Select the 'Miscellanceous' tab.
- On this page make sure 'Omit hidden items whose names begin with a period' is UN-checked.
- Then check the box for 'Use 'LIST -al' command to reveal hidden items'.
- After making this change be sure to refresh your view by going to 'View > Refresh':
- When you open Transmit, to the right you'll see your connection settings. Below is a screenshot using an FTP user named 'mywikiuser' and a server named 'charles-pickney':
- Once connected, you can enable hidden files by going to the menu at the top and selecting 'View > Show Invisible Files':
Using FTP Voyager
- Select the Site Profiles Manager option at the top left.
- Select Advanced Options on the window that comes up
- Select the Connection tab on the Site Profile Advanced Options window that opens.
- Under the General column, type the following next to the LIST Parameter field:
- Click OK.
Where do I put my files once I connect via FTP?
Once you’ve connected to your web server via FTP, you’ll most likely see two windows in your FTP client. The following example shows the main screen in FileZilla:
- On the left, you’ll see your home computer. You must navigate to the folder on your computer where your files are stored.
- On the right, you'll see your DreamHost web server.
- You can see that the ‘Remote site’ is pointed at your users directory which is ‘/home/dhwikiuser’. (Please note that different clients may not refer to this as Remote site. The important thing is that you're in your user's directory.)
- If you look at the window below that, you’ll see the files and folders within that directory.
In the example above, you would click into the directory named dhwiki.dreamhosters.com. Once it's open, you can right click files or folders in the left window (your computer) to upload to the right window (your server). Once you see the files and folders in the right window, you can confirm that they have been uploaded to the web server.