FTP quick guide: Useful Tips and Common Errors

This quick guide provides pointers on file and directory naming conventions using FTP to upload to our servers.

For more detail on how to upload your website, refer to our in-depth article: How to Upload a Website using FTP

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  • Your default view is of the root (home) directory. Do not upload your website files directly to the home directory
  • Instead, all files intended for public viewing must be placed inside public_html
  • Name your main page one of the below options
    • index.html
    • index.htm
    • index.php
    • home.html
    • welcome.html
  • UNIX is case sensitive, so INDEX.html is not the same as index.html. To prevent errors, we recommend naming all files in lowercase and sticking to this as a convention.
  • There are 2 types of file transfer modes. Failure to properly select ASCII or Binary is a common cause of broken images and inoperative image maps and CGI scripts.
    • Binary transfer mode is used to transfer image files (eg .gif, .jpeg) and
    • ASCII mode should be used to transfer files that are readable as normal text (eg. html, cgi).
  • Incorrect link references will result in a ‘File Not Found’ error. This applies to directory names as well.
  • Apart from the underscore character (‘_’), spaces and special control characters (! @ # $ % ^ & ; * : ’ ~ [ ]) are not permitted.
  • public_html is a symbolic link and should not be deleted as this will prevent you from accessing the contents of your web site. If you are not able to see the ‘public_html’ link, please contact us to recreate it.