Version 17 (modified by Ross, 11 years ago) (diff)


How do I copy files to and from my server? How do I use FTP/SFTP?

Copying files from your computer to your web site (and vice versa) allows you to add or modify or backup content on your web site.

In order to copy these files, you will need a user account that has been granted "Server Access" via the Members Control Panel. Every member at May First/People Link is automatically provided with such a user account - so you should not need to create a new one. If you are not sure what your username is, please post a ticket asking what the username for your web site is (please include the web address of your web site in the ticket request). If you do not know your password, you can reset it.

In addition, you will need a special program installed on your computer.

We recommend using one of the following free programs (see below), however, May First will work with any program that uses the secure copy/secure FTP protocol.

A note on fingerprints

You will be asked with "host" or "server" you would like to connect to. Although you can use your domain name (such as, we recommend that you specify your Primary host instead (such as,, etc.). You can find your primary host by logging into the Members Control Panel and looking in the top right corner.

The first time you connect to one of our servers, your Secure FTP program should warn you that you are connecting to a server that you have never connected to before. This warning is important! You do not want to risk connecting to the wrong server, because you will essentially be handing this server your username and password.

Please review our fingerprints page to ensure that the fingerprint that is being reported matches the fingerprint of the server you are connecting to.

Recommended Software

Windows: FileZilla

The FileZilla download page gives the option to choose from a "setup" or "zip" version or a few others. If you are not sure, choose "setup" - that package will guide you through a familiar install process to get the program properly installed on your computer. Here's a short how to for using FileZilla.

Macintosh OS X: Cyberduck or Fugu (note: staff has been able to get Fugu working, however, several members have had problems with it - #2071 and #1992).

Linux: GFTP

How do I find my files?

Using the sftp program, begin a session with the hostname, username and password we've sent you. You will see a directory listing that includes a folder with the same name as your web site domain. Click on that folder and then open the sub-directory called "web". You can upload and manage your site files in that directory.

If you are using the proprietary Dreamweaver client, the folder named after your web site domain might be displayed as a file, rather than a folder, which will make it impossible to enter the folder and upload your content to the correct location. To work around this limitation, specify the full path to your web directory in the Dreamweaver connection screen's "Host directory" field. Your full path will be a variation of: /home/members/GROUPNAME/sites/DOMAINNAME/web. If you are not sure what your path is, leave it blank and connect. You should see the path in to top right corner in the "Files" windows under "Remote site."

But why can't I use FTP?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an older method for copying files from your computer to a web server. Unfortunately, FTP sends your password over the Internet in plain text, which is not considered a good idea. The secure copy programs mentioned above work very similarly to the way FTP programs work, except that they encrypt your password and all the information you copy back and forth.