Knowledge Base
Hosting Ad
 Up to 70% off  on  WordPress  hosting for WordPress Websites and Stores!

What is FTP? An Introduction to File Transfer Protocol


FTP, which stands for File Transfer Protocol, is a commonly used protocol for transferring files. Web admins, developers, and system administrators widely use this protocol to transfer large files, such as website files, images, and videos, between their local computers and hosting accounts.

If you don't know how to use FTP, don't worry. We're here to help you.

What is FTP?

Transferring files and folders to and from your hosting account is essential for any website owner. With the vast array of options available, deciding which method to use can be challenging. However, if you're the account owner and need to upload files quickly and securely, we highly recommend using SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol).

Unlike traditional FTP (File Transfer Protocol), SFTP encrypts all data transferred between your computer and the hosting server, ensuring your files remain secure and protected from prying eyes. Additionally, SFTP supports larger file sizes, making it an ideal choice for transferring large files, such as videos or high-resolution images.

 Please see Recommended FTP Applications for more information.

Secure FTP (SFTP)

Secure FTP (SFTP) is only available by the Bluehost hosting account username. It's usually used when uploading or downloading content.

SFTP is more secure than regular FTP, since data is encrypted while transmitted over the internet and safeguards all vulnerabilities throughout the file transfer. SFTP supports large file transfers effortlessly and efficiently. Due to this, multiple files can be transferred in one shot, which saves a lot of time! Also, SFTP allows you to resume interrupted uploads, which is important if you upload large files or folders. Please see FTP Setup Using Secure FTP (SFTP) for more information.

Establishing an FTP Connection (FTP Settings)

Like any other solution, FTP has drawbacks and benefits. Unlike SFTP, FTP isn't a very secure way to transfer data. When files are sent using the FTP protocol, the data, username, and password are transferred in plain text. FTP is recommended for designers and developers, and as the Bluehost account owner, you create multiple FTP accounts.

This is useful when working with developers, as it provides them access to only the sites they are working on. Just like SFTP, FTP facilitates large file transfers. If your file transfer is interrupted, you can resume the interrupted file transfer if your connection is lost. Please see General FTP Settings for more information.

Adding and Managing FTP Accounts

Here are some additional guides to demonstrate how to create FTP accounts, FTP accounts for Addons and Subdomains, and editing FTP passwords.

How to Migrate a WordPress Site

Bluehost offers Free WordPress Migration for qualifying WordPress websites within the first 30 days after signup. The offer includes the transfer of one WordPress website. Once the migration is complete, customers can review and approve the site before it goes live. Please see the WordPress manual Migration for WordPress migrations outside of the 30-day signup for more information.

Recommended FTP Applications

To learn how to set up a particular program, click the program's link below:



Linux Based


FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol that transfers files from one host to another over the Internet. It is commonly used by website owners, developers, and system administrators to upload or download files from their FTP servers. However, FTP transfers are not secure by default, and hackers or malicious actors can intercept the data transmitted over the network. To ensure secure file transfers, it is recommended to use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), which encrypts the data and adds an extra layer of security to the file transfer process.

SFTP is an extension of the SSH (Secure Shell) protocol, and it provides an extra layer of security for file transfers by encrypting the data transmitted between the two hosts. With SFTP, you can be sure that your files are transmitted securely and aren't susceptible to interception or tampering.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

Did you find this article helpful?

* Your feedback is too short