How to Download Files From Your Website Using an FTP Client
A quick and easy way for downloading files and folders from your website is to use an FTP software. In this tutorial, I will demonstrate how to download files from your website's server using an FTP client.
You can access the server where your website is hosted on, in a number of ways including via the hosting control panel, if your server has one, or via an FTP client. Accessing your site and uploading or downloading files and folders to or from your site is pretty straightforward if you follow the control panel route. Especially if your hosting plan has cPanel, one of the most popular hosting control panel software that is widely used by most hosting companies.
While the File Manager in the hosting control panel will be preferable to use in some cases, accessing your site to upload, download, edit or delete files might be a lot easier and faster if you use an FTP client, depending on what you need to do.
When talking about FTP software, particularly the free ones, FileZilla comes to our minds as number one due to its simplicity and high popularity. In another post, I talked about how to upload files to your website using an FTP client, in which I demonstrated how to use FileZilla for the upload process.
FileZilla is a free, open source FTP software that is frequently updated and that you can safely use. If you don't have FileZilla yet, you can download and install it from this link by choosing the correct download file depending on your operating system.
Now, I will use FileZilla to show how you can quickly connect to your site and download any files you want easily.
How to Download Files with FileZilla FTP Client
Before we start, make sure that you have noted your FTP login details to your site. The information you need is the FTP Host, Username and password. This information is usually available in the FTP Accounts section of your hosting control panel; if you have difficulty locating it, simple contact your hosting support.
STEP 1: Open FileZilla and connect to your website by entering your FTP login details into the relevant fields on the Quickconnect bar at the top.
If you can't see the Quickconnect bar, go to View on the top menu and enable it.
If the connection is successfully established, you will see the local directory tree and local files on the left side; and the remote directory tree and remote files (your site's files) on the right side.
STEP 2: From the local directory tree on the left, select the folder where you want to download the files to.
STEP 3: From the remote directory tree on the right, select the files and folders on your site that you want to download to your computer. You can use Ctrl + click or Shift + click to quickly select multiple files and folders. Note that if you select a folder, all of its contents will also be downloaded.
TIP: If you want to download your whole site for backup purposes, simply select the domain folder if it is an addon domain, or all the files inside the public_html directory if it is a standalone domain.
STEP 4: Once the selections are ready, right click on the selection that you made in the remote files area (the files that you want to download) and select Download from the dropdown menu.
If you followed the above steps correctly, your files should now be downloaded to your computer at your desired location. You can go to the target download folder and continue working on your site's files and edit them as you wish.
Note that, due to different file types and server settings, sometimes downloaded files may be corrupted, especially image files. If you experience such an issue, make sure to choose the correct file type while downloading (and uploading) files via FileZilla. As a side note, your FTP activitiy in terms of the number of files transferred and the total size of them is stored on the server in a file named as .ftpquota
This is how you can easily download files from your website with an FTP client such as FileZilla. I hope that this tutorial will help you while working on your site.
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