Using SFTP

You may have heard of FTP—File Transfer Protocol. FTP moves files from your local computer to your website. However, FTP is not a secure file transfer method. Malicious attacks often target FTP.

SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is a secure file transfer protocol similar to FTP. SFTP performs the same functions as FTP over a Secure Shell (SSH) connection. This gives you an added level of security while managing your site's files. Just like FTP, you can use SFTP with a desktop FTP client. Most FTP clients, like Filezilla, CoreFTP, and Cyberduck support SFTP. We recommend you use SFTP with iThemes Hosting by connecting via port 22.

Downloading Your SFTP Client

To upload files to your domain, you need to securely connect your local computer to your iThemes Hosting account. You do this by downloading an FTP client. You can choose any FTP client you'd like, some common programs include Filezilla, CoreFTP, and Cyberduck. If you have never used FTP before, using one of these clients will make the setup easier.

Every client has different download and installation instructions. Follow your normal process for downloading and installing software to your computer.

Configuring Your FTP Client

When you connect to your FTP client, you'll need your domain's FTP server information and your FTP username and password. You can locate this information from your iThemes Hosting Sync Panel. It will be under the FTP information section.


If you haven't already done so you may need to edit the FTP Password. This is randomly generated when you first create the account and so you will not have this initially. Once you reset that password you can then use it to login in along with the Server and Username.

Now that you have your FTP username, password and server, open the FTP program of your choice. In this example, we'll be using Filezilla, which has a quick connect option. Enter your FTP server address, your FTP username, password and designate port 22 as the connection port. Then click QuickConnect to start your FTP session.


Uploading Files

Once you've opened an FTP connection to your server, you're all set to start uploading the files you need. We'll be using Filezilla to demonstrate this, but most FTP clients are simple drag and drop interfaces. In this example, we'll upload files to the web/content directory, but you can upload files to any directory you need and have access to.

  1. On one side of your screen, you'll see a listing of directories and files on your local computer. On the other side of your screen, you'll see a list of directories and files for your iThemes Hosting.
  2. Locate the files on your local computer that you want to move to your website. Then click and drag the files to the web folder on your server. Depending on how large your files are, it may take a little bit of time to transfer the files.
  3. When you are done uploading files, disconnect from your server. 


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