This is going to be a quick guide for our customers who are looking to utilise FTP to upload and manage their content. If you’re not already a customer and are interested in learning more about our various CDN solutions, you can find contact details at the bottom of this article.
For those who’ve never used it, FTP uploading could seem like a daunting task but in reality it’s actually very straight forward and offers you a more effective way to manage your content. There are a few things you need to do before you can start uploading but we will cover these in a step by step fashion below. Firstly however, I will give you a brief description of how FTP works.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a means of sending files over the internet for storage at a remote location. It shares similarities with HTTP which is the protocol for which content and websites are delivered from a server to a web browser – however, FTP is only utilised for the transferring of files.
A great way to visualise how FTP works is to look at your ‘My Documents’ folder on your computer. If you access your ‘My Documents’ folder, you will find numerous files and folders which were all saved locally by you on your machine. FTP is a solution that allows you to utilise the internet to view and interact with storage folders much like your ‘My Documents’ folder but in other remote locations. In this case you will be using FTP to access your folder which is located on the Limelight CDN. When you connect to the folder, you create a direct link from your local machine to the CDN so files can be transferred over the internet for remote storage.
So moving forward, here are the steps you need to take to get uploading.
Step 1 – Download an FTP client.
An FTP client is a piece of software that allows you to interact with the files stored on the remote folder. It works much like Windows Explorer – Windows Explorer being the utility that you use to navigate your files on your PC.
All you have to do is give the FTP client some connection details and it will connect to your remote folder so you can chose files from your local machine to upload. You can also use the FTP client to create additional folders and generally manage your files.
There are a number of different FTP clients you can use but for this guide, we are going to use FileZilla which is a free, simple to use, open source FTP client. You can start the download by clicking this link: http://player.mydeo.com/filezilla.exe – when installing, please beware of the options you’re clicking as to avoid any unwanted bloat ware. Follow the instructions and install the FTP client.
Once you’ve installed, open your FTP client and you should see something that resembles this:
Step 2 – Connecting and managing your FTP folder
You should have received from us a welcome letter introducing you to your new FTP credentials. You will now need these credentials to connect to the FTP folder. You need three things: Host address, Username and Password. Towards the top of the FileZilla windows, you should see some boxes where you can enter information. These boxes are labelled: Host, Username and Password – Place the information you have in your welcome letter into the respective fields and then click the button labelled ‘Quickconnect’ – you don’t need to worry about the ‘Port’ field. Assuming the connection was successful and you entered your details correctly, your FTP folder and its contents should appear on the right hand side. See below:
As you can see, we only have one file stored in our FTP folder called ‘welcome.txt’. This serves as a test file which we will come onto later. Looking again at the image above, on the left you can see files on my local machine. In this particular folder I only have a singular files called ‘aFile.txt’. If I wanted to upload that file, I could either drag and drop or right-click and state upload. After a few second, the file would appear in the right had box (my remote FTP folder). So always remember, your local items are on the left and your items stored in the remote FTP folder are on the right.
If you want to create folders to separate your content, you can simply right-click in the white space of your remote FTP folder and select ‘Create directory’. A new folder will show up which you can rename as normal. We find that our customers utilise different folders for different projects or clients because it’s much easier to manage than having just a long list of files.
Step 3 – Creating the URL for delivery over the CDN.
Once you’ve uploaded a file to the FTP folder, it is immediately available for super-fast CDN delivery but you need to create the URL first. This is actually easier than it sounds and involves using your Prepend URL found in your welcome letter. The Prepend URL is linked directly to your master FTP folder. If you have a file in your master folder, this will be accessible via the Prepend URL followed by a ‘/’ and then the full filename and extension as it appears in your FTP client. Remember the welcome.txt test file we mentioned before? Well this file is found in the master folder of HTTP11 which is one of our test FTP folders. The Prepend URL for HTTP11 is: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11 – to access welcome.txt, we simply have to add a ‘/’ to the Prepend URL along with the full file name and extension. The full URL will therefore be this: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11/welcome.txt. Feel free to copy this into your browser and test.
If your content resides within a folder that’s in your master folder, you simply have to add a reference to the folder in the URL… Imagine welcome.txt was actually found in a folder called ‘testFolder’. The URL would need to reference ‘testFolder’ between two ‘/’ before the file and extension. Here is an example: http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/http11/testFolder/welcome.txt – for your benefit, I created ‘testFolder’ in the HTTP11 directory, feel free to test the URL above. In my FTP client it looks like this:
And that’s it! Once you’ve uploaded a few files and created some new directories (folders) you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
If you’re having any problems at all, please do not hesitate to contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.