What is FTP?

FTP is a horrible acronym for an even more horrible phrase “File Transfer Protocol”.

File Transfer Protocol is really an internet standard for sending a file from one computer to another. When you need to send a file to another computer the receiving computer needs to know a number of features about the file in order to process it correctly. For example, how big it is.

What FTP does is send information in a standard format that tells the receiving computer some key information about the file that is going to be sent and it then chops up the file to be sent into small packets of data and transmits them over the internet. Each packet contains information that tells the receiving computer how big the packet is and this allows the receiving computer to send a message back to the sending computer saying that the packet was received correctly or not. If a packet is not received correctly, i.e. the size of the packet was different from the expected size, then the receiving computer sends a message back to the transmitting computer saying “Send that packet again”.

In this way, any noise or transmission errors get corrected automatically.

This type of arrangement is called a “protocol” in computer jargon.

Internet Marketers use FTP to upload websites to the internet: they design their web pages on their own computer using programs like FrontPage, Dreamweaver or XSitePro and then send the web pages to their hosting company using FTP.

A number of FTP programs are available free on the internet and if you are going to get involved in publishing your own website you will probably need to get one.

Examples of FTP software include CuteFTP and SmartFTP. FTP software is a fairly mandatory requirement for an internet marketer simply because it lets you make changes to your website fast and easily.