One of the most essential tools you will need to get started with PrestaShop is an FTP program. One of my favorites is FileZilla, although, there are others to choose from that do a great job as well. I like FileZilla for a few reasons:
- cheap (free, actually)
- easy to download and set up (as long as you have your hosting information)
- it’s everywhere (lot’s of support in various Forums if you need it)
FileZilla is an open source program that you can find at http://filezilla-project.org/. When you get to this page, you will notice there are two download options. One option is for a “client” and the other option is for a “server.”
Unless you know that you need the server version, chances are that the client version will work just fine for you. I use the client version in all the videos you watch on this website.
The purpose of FileZilla is to allow you to transfer files from your computer to your web host and vice versa. Let’s say that you’ve just downloaded a shiny new version of PrestaShop and you want to start installing it. Well, the first thing you need to do is upload it to your web host.
With all the web hosts I’ve seen and used, it is typical that you can upload files from your computer to the host. However, it can be quite difficult to do that depending on the FTP system that the host uses.
I use Bluehost for my web host and I can tell you from experience that I do not like their FTP system. They have a very typical C-panel interface in their back office, which leads you to a FTP program. Most of the time, there is something that just doesn’t work well. And, I have found that dealing with permission settings is much more difficult with their FTP setup than it is with FileZilla.
When I initially opened my Bluehost account, I was glad to have a way to move files. But ever since I found FileZilla, things have been so much easier and I will never use a web host’s FTP system again, unless I’m forced to for some reason.
Above, I noted that FileZilla is easy to download and setup. That is true as long as you have all your web host account information. That means you need your primary domain for your hosting account. This would be the domain you first registered with your account.
You also need your username and password. These should be the username and password that you use to log in to your C-panel (web host admin area).
If you do not have this info, go back and find your e-mail confirmations that you received when you set up your account. If you don’t have that, call your host and try to get the info from them. They will most likely need some kind of verification to prove that you are the account holder and it is unlikely they will give you your password.
All you typically need, though is your username. If you have that, most hosts will allow you to reset your password and then e-mail you a new one.
To make things as easy as possible, I’ve created a video that will walk you through the download, install, and setup process for FileZilla. I believe it should answer most of the common issues. If you have additional questions, please leave a comment below.