FTP, How To Set It Up
|First posted Jan 2004|
Last update Jan 8, 2009
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FTP (File Transfer Protocol) has been around for a long time, in fact it was in use before we had a world wide web.
If you have a website that you upload files to using FTP then you are already well on your way to understanding this stuff. If on the other hand you have never worked with FTP then the initial problems you may encounter can seem insurmountable.
To be able to upload images from your webcam you must first have a web site that allows FTP. Virtually all web hosting company's that you pay for have FTP available. Many of the free hosting services such as Geocities or Anglefire will allow FTP to the site. If you have an Internet provider that gives you web space, then you can most likely FTP to that account.
When you first set up a web site, you are usually given the settings you would need to FTP files to that site. This includes 3 prices of information.
The FTP address is sometimes the same as your website. For example
AOL also allows FTP to personal sites but their setup is a bit different. First you have to be logged into your AOL account before you can gain access through an FTP client.
It is usually best to use an FTP client to connect to your site but you don't have to have one. In fact even Windows Explorer will work. In the address bar type ftp://YourAddress.com (substituting your correct address)
My favorite FTP client is called FileZilla. This is a free program that is open source software. It's constantly being updated and improved.
It doesn't work, now what?
Incorrect Address, username or password. The number one reason for trouble.
If you are having problems with your application connecting to an FTP site you can use a command or DOS prompt to test your settings.
Note: Be careful what you type in this window. Unless you are well versed in using FTP, use this procedure only to check for problems. Type in or delete the wrong thing and you could screw up your account.
Wrong directory. The number two reason for problems.
If you appear to be uploading a file, but then can't find it, make sure you are looking in the right place. Many times the directory you are placed into when you log in via FTP, is not the same directory you first encounter when you open your website from a web browser.
Using the command prompt method described above, try getting a directory listing. Or use the FTP function in Windows Explorer as described above. If the file you just uploaded shows in the directory listing but not on your website, you probably are not in the correct directory. Adjust your webcam software to include the correct directory and try again. The specific method varies with the webcam software brand so you have to read the instructions.
Write access. The number three reason for problems.
A common problem many people have when trying to upload a page or picture is that even though you appear to be logged in properly, when you try to upload the image, either nothing happens, or it appears to work but then you can't locate the file on the website.
Make sure you have write permission to the directory you are trying to upload the image to.
For example when I log into my FTP account on my website, I am placed into a root directory one level above my actual website's location. I don't have write access to that directory so nothing will upload to it. I have to upload to my html directory to be able to store a file.
Jan 8, 2009