Backup with FTP

Website Backup with FTP.

Backup with FTP is a very simple way of backing up your website files.
FTP stands for – File Transfer Protocol; which is an easy way to transfer files from a localfilezillacomputer (usually your own) to a live server (web hosting).

To backup with FTP you will need to download and install a FTP software program.  We recommend a program called FileZilla.  FileZilla is free software and has a great reputation, I have been using it for years!!

How to install FileZilla

  • Go to
  • Go to Quick download links
  • Click on Download FileZilla Client – see image to the right download-filezilla
  • Click on Windows (recommended) or your Mac version
  • Once the download has finished
  • Click Run
  • Follow the prompts to install it and don’t change any of the default settings
  • Select the box for the desktop icon
  • Installation should open FileZilla automatically
  • If FileZilla doesn’t open automatically > go to All Programs or Applications to open
  • Once FileZilla is open
    • You will see your local computer on the left side
    • The hosting server on the right side
    • The login details in the top tab  – see red areas below

Image below – The FileZilla Interface

  • Left side – your local computer
  • Right side – the web hosting server (remote)

FTP Backup

FTP Login

Firstly, we need to access the hosting server by entering in our FTP login details. The FTP login details will be sent to you via an email once you have paid for your website hosting package.

  • Open the email received with the FTP details and copy and paste the following details into the corresponding text fields
    • The host name  – this is usually the website URL/address without the www for e.g.
    • The username – in the email from the hosting company
    • The password – in the email from the hosting company
  • Leave the port blank, it will pick up the default port for your computer
  • Click on QuickConnect
  • You should see several folders appear on the hosting side – the right panel in FileZilla
  • If notning happens or an error occurs – check your FTP details and try again
  • If you still can’t connect you will need to contact your hosting company and check that your  FTP details are correct
  • By default the main folder where all your WordPress or website files are stored is called www folder
  • This is the main directory of your website – called the root directory
  • Sometimes the root folder may be called public_html 
  • Ask your Hosting Company if you are not sure
  • Once you have located the root or main directory
  • These are the files you want to copy over to your computer as a backup

The steps to Backup with FTP

Now we will backup with FTP and make a copy all the files in your website to your computer.

  • Double click the www folder open
  • You should see all the wp folders, php pages etc
  • Go to the left side of the screen (your local computer)
  • Navigate to the Desktop
  • Right click create a folder to store your backup of your website – “mywebsite”
  • Open this empty folder
  • Go back to the hosting server side (right)
  • Select all the files Control A
  • Or
  • Click on the last file > hold the shift key down > and select the first folder or file from the top (exclude the one with the 2 dots)
  • Once all the files and folders are selected
  • Drag all the files from the right side to the left side into your empty folder
  • This will automatically start copying all the files across from the hosting server to your computer – this may take about 5-10 minutes depending on your Internet connection
  • You now have a backup of your entire website files (excluding the database)
  • Perform this backup with FTP before or after any major change or update to your website


Original content written by Jodi Allbon 2013

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