FTP is a fast and easy way to upload files to your server and manage files on your website. FTP service is usually enabled instantly when you sign up for hosting and the primary FTP account will be automatically created at the same time. For example, your cPanel login is also your first FTP account. You can use it to access your hosting account from the web using any web browser. Meanwhile you can use it to connect your server using a FTP client on your computer.
Since the primary FTP account user is also your hosting control panel user, if you want to restrict the access of an FTP user to a specific directory, limit its FTP quota, you need to create additional FTP accounts. If you need to give your web developer or anyone else the access to your server, you should configure extra accounts.
cPanel is the most popular hosting control panel for Apache servers or Linux hosting. This article discusses how to setup an FTP account in cPanel. We’ll use Hostgator web hosting in the demo. The steps will be almost the same for other web hosts who also support cPanel.
Create FTP account in cPanel
Log into your cPanel using your username and password, scroll down until you are at the Files section. Find and click FTP accounts. A new page opens where you can add and configure new FTP accounts in cPanel to get your website on the internet fast at the upper section of this page. In the lower section, you can find and edit all existing FTP accounts associated with your FTP server.
Type in the FTP username in the Log in field. Note that the full FTP username will formatted as firstname.lastname@example.org. For example if your FTP user is joe and your domain is example.com, then your full FTP username would email@example.com.
Select a domain or site in the Domain drop-down menu to create an FTP account and associate the FTP account with it. This can be useful when you have multiple domains and websites hosted on the same server.
Manually type the same password twice in the Password and Password (Again) fields. Use Password Generator to automatically generate a strong password for you. Make sure to write down or copy the password somewhere for reference in the future.
Directory for FTP account is to determine the level of access of it. If you set it to blank, the FTP account will have access to your root directory. If you set it to “public_html/“, then the new FTP account will only be able to access this folder, it can’t navigate outside of this specific directory. Generally speaking all files for your primary site should be uploaded to this public_html folder. If you have extra sites hosted on the same account, you may create sub-folders for them. Do not put files for different sites in the same location or folder.
By default the quota is set to unlimited, the maximum amount of bandwidth the FTP user or the cPanel account may use. You can however set it to 2000MB or else according to your preference.
Finally hit the Create FTP Account button to setup a new FTP account in cPanel.
Connect to server through FTP
Find the FTP account in the lower section of the FTP accounts page in cPanel, click the Configure FTP Client button, you will then see the Manual Settings and Configuration Files. There are different ways or tools you can use to access FTP server. For example, you can even connect FTP server using File Manager on Windows PC. We recommend an FTP client, such as FileZilla, to connect your server through FTP to upload and manage your site files.
To manually add a site to FTP program, what you need is site IP or FTP server address, FTP username and password. See how you can find server IP in cPanel here. Once you have the FTP server address or site IP, you can follow these steps to connect to server using FileZilla, an open source and free FTP solution.