Using Internet Explorer for FTP
Important Update, January 2007
The method described below for uploading web pages with the aid of Internet
Explorer, was devised in the days when the only available FTP programs were
commercial products costing money. The technique works with Internet Explorer
versions 5 and 6, but has been recently been reported not to work with version
7. With several excellent FTP programs now available free, there is no longer
a need for this no-cost alternative. Since a number of people
have reported finding this method useful in the past, I have left
this page in place. However I would not advocate new users trying it. Download a
copy of FileZilla as described at Putting Your Pages onto
the Web and you will find this a much easier approach.
Ways of Uploading Your Pages
After creating your web pages, you need to upload them to your web space
provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). In the Basic Topics, I have
suggested that you use a dedicated FTP program for this. But did you know that
recent versions of the major browsers allow you to do uploads without spending
anything on a dedicated program?
Uploading files is certainly possible with Internet Explorer, Version 5.
However this seems to be quite a well-kept secret. The "help" information
indicates that it is possible, but fails to describe how. I have produced
this page to give you some more clues. (Uploading may also be possible with
earlier versions of Internet Explorer. If you have one of these, try it and
see if it works.)
FTP With IE5
- Adjust the size of your Internet Explorer window, so it fills about half
your screen. Now open a Windows Explorer window and size this to fill the rest
of the screen.
- In the Windows Explorer window, display the contents of the folder where
you keep your web pages. (This will be c:\webpages\ if you have followed the
suggestions in the Basic Topics.)
- In the Internet Explorer window, enter the following line into the address
box, where you would normally put a web site address.
The three items on this line will have been given you by your ISP:
Note the use of the ":" and "@" symbols to separate the parts of the address.
So for example, in my case I would enter the line:
- YourUserName is the user name, which forms part of your email
- YourPassword is the password which you have been given to access
- YourUploadAddress is the FTP address you have been told by your
ISP, to use for uploading web pages.
(Except of course, I would put in my actual password, which I am certainly not
With luck, you should now see your personal home directory in your ISP's web space.
If you have already uploaded some pages to your site, you should see these. If not,
the directory will either be empty, or may contain a single file called
index.htm or index.html, telling the world that you have not yet used
your web space.
- Now to upload your files, all you have to do is to use the standard windows drag and
drop technique. Click on a file, or group of files in the Windows Explorer window
and whilst holding the left mouse button pressed, drag it/them to the Internet Explorer
window. Depending on the size of the files it may take a little time for the transfer
to occur, but eventually you should see the files in the Internet Explorer window.
You may now rejoice!
- Note that because the files are being transfered to a different site, windows
will automatically copy the files, rather than moving them. So you won't lose the
copies on your hard disk.
- If the directory in your web space did indeed contain a "dummy" file, make sure
have over written it with one of the same name, or else erase it deliberately.
(If you end up with one file called index.htm and another called index.html, you
cannot be sure that the user will find the right one).
- Should you want to copy files back from your web site, to your local machine
for any reason, you might expect you could drag them back the opposite way.
For some reason this will not work. However if you Right Click on a file in the
ISP webspace window, you will get a pop-up menu, which includes the option to
copy the file back to your local hard disk.
- When you have files on your web site, and are updating them, it can be useful
to compare the dates on the files. The View menu in the Internet Explorer
window will give you the option of viewing these details, just as you can do in the
Windows Explorer window.
|Copyright © Alan Simpson 2000-2007
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|| Last Updated 2007-01-30