How To Choose the Right Hosting Company
FTP Access

by Richard Zwicky

All SEO Articles

This article from The Mender (Issue 7),
Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter.


- Part 2 FTP Access -
With so many hosting companies on the market - over 5000 under various guises in North America alone, how do you choose the right one for your needs?

If your provider doesn't offer you FTP access, you'll probably want to find one that does. Without access, you are limited to what you can do to your site. Think you would like to add a really cool graphic? Would you like to add a link to a friends page, or to a new alliance partner? Without FTP access, you cannot do any of this yourself.

FTP access stands for File Transfer Protocol. It's one of the oldest and most popular methods of sending files across the Internet and accessing files on remote systems.

It is also the most efficient means of moving files over the Internet. The login consists of knowing the correct address of the destination, and a username and password. The username and password can be global in nature or with strictly limited rights depending on the set-up. FTP access allows you to access the files which make up your website. This includes your HTML files, as well as your CGI scripts.

Most of us will not want to play around with the cgi scripts, that's for the programmer or webmaster to worry about. However, if you want to change a link or a graphic or make basic changes to the layout or look of your site, you will require FTP access. Without it, you are always dependent on others to do your work for you. You will always paying someone else to maintain parts of your website which you are probably more than capable of working on yourself.

Without FTP access, you can never properly do this work yourself. Without FTP access, you're depending on others to make sure your business, which really is a reflection of yourself, is properly presented.

Another important reason to have FTP access is so you can work on your metatags or have a company like ours optimize them for you. FTP access is like having a key to the door. Would you rent a store in the mall and not ask for the key? If you do not have FTP access to the directory where your website is hosted, change hosts!

Next issue: Part III - Allowing outside access - Who should have access to your files?

Other articles from this issue:
- Web Programming Tip - Vitamin C?
- Functional Web Design

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