FTP - File Transfer Protocal

You can not use FTP to upload files to a free GeoCities home page. You have to use EASY UPLOAD. If you are not familiar with this please see EASY UPLOAD

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Anyone who has a web page needs to

  1. Upload files, i.e. transfer files from their PC to a host computer, so that surfers can see their work

  2. Download files from the web, either for backup purposes or for getting software

If you are paying for one of GeoCities' Premium Services (which I don't recommend - see Comparison Of Hosts) you can upload files to your home page using one of the two methods below. If you have a host that only supports FTP then use the 2nd method, FTP.

If you are a free member of GeoCities, you can not download your files from your free account. Rather you will have to either (a) go to each page and use FILE > SAVE AS or (b) use the free program, Quadsucker, to download your entire site.

FTP can sometimes be faster than using EASY UPLOAD/UPLOAD FILE for a paid GeoCities account. An FTP program runs outside of your browser and allows you to transfer larger numbers of files and large size files than EASY UPLOAD. If you have any files that are larger than 500K bytes, it is recommended that you use a FTP program.


There are many FTP programs available.

  1. FREE WSFTP-LE www.faithfuldesigns.com - I have not checked out this free download of the excellent but old FTP program.
  2. FREE Coffee Cup - see my write up at Free Coffee Cup. I recommend this free version.
  3. WS-FTP HOME - Trial version download.
  4. WS_FTP PRO for $39.95 (online purchase).
  5. You can purchase CuteFTP, for $34.95.
  6. Other FTP programs can be found at download.com.
  7. Finally, you can check out FTP Explorer. I have not tried this program so I can't recommend it. It appear to have some excellent features but it may be "like a trial version" as they request you to purchase a "regular copy". Also I have had some people tell me the program is good and others that is is bad.

    When you get to this page click fill in the information and click on NEXT which will then display where you select the nearest download site. The download zipped file is approximately 1.1MB.

NOTE: you will need an 'zip' like PKZIP to unzip the file. To obtain a FREE copy of PKZIP go HERE.


The following directions are for setting up the WS_FTP LE free client. You can use these directions for just about any FTP program. The only difference will be the actual windows that are used. Also see my write up on the Free Coffee Cup.

Once WS_FTP is installed, put a shortcut to it on your desktop. You can run WS_FTP once you have logged onto the web or double click on the shortcut to log onto the web and start the program. When you are logged onto the web you will see something like this:

You will have to initialize a new SESSION PROPERTIES by:

Clicking on NEW (blue rectangle). Then enter these four items (see RED numbers above):
  1. PROFILE NAME - any name you wish but should represent the ftp account you are logging into.
  2. HOST/NAME/ADDRESS - for a domain name use ftp.your-domain-name. For a GeoPlus account use ftp.geocities.com.
  3. USER ID - For a domain name use your hosting account membername. For a GeoPro account use Yahoo ID.domain-name. For GeoPlus use Yahoo ID
  4. PASSWORD - your hosting account password. For GeoPro or GeoPlus account use your Yahoo ID password.
Then check the SAVE PWD ( red rectangle).

You can leave the HOST TYPE as shown, i.e. Automatic Detect.

Now click on the Startup to get this screen:

Enter the specific directory on your host in the Initial Remote Site Folder. Your host should give you this information. You can not use FTP to a free GeoCities' site.

Enter the directory on your C Drive where your files are located, i.e. C:\directory\subdirectory, in the Initial Local Folder. As you can see, I keep my page files in the directory (folder) named homepage and in the sub-directory (sub-folder) named wise old man

The next tab, Advanced, can be left alone.

If your computer is behind a company firewall then you should select the Firewall and check the use Firewall box. Then select the proper "Firwall type" radio button.


Connect to your host, which in my case looks like this:

Once the connection is establish you can begin transferring the files from your PC to your host. HighlightSelect a file on the left by clicking on it. You can select multiple files in two way:

  1. Select A Block Of Files - Select/Click on either the top or bottom file. Them move to the other end of the block, hold down the SHIFT KEY and click on the file at the other end.

  2. Left click on any file. Then move to any other file, hold down the CRTL KEY and left click on it. This file will then be highlighted too. You can select any number of files not adjacent to each other in the list.

Once all the files you want to upload are selected, click on the right arrow, -->, (RED RECTANGLE above) to begin the transfer.

Note the two up arrows circled in blue on each side of the final FTP screen. If you click on these they will take you up one directory

NOTE: by clicking on the Date bar you can list the files in order from most recently modified to the oldest modified file. This is important if you, like me, have lots of files and you just modified one or two. Listing by date will allow you to easily find the files that you just changed as they will appear at the top of the list after clicking on the Date bar.

You will have full access to your files, i.e you can delete or rename them. Use the --> (upload from your PC to your file manager) and <-- (download from your file manger to your PC), between the two file boxes, to transfer a highlighted file. Both non-html and html files can be transferred in Binary Mode.

To DELETE A FILE in your file manager (the right side of the FTP client screen), click on the specific file and then on the DELETE BUTTON.

NOTE: Use FTP to back up your files! This is easily done by using the <-- and selecting multiple files from your file manager (in the right hand list of files, use CTRL + LEFT MOUSE BUTTON to highlight the files to be transferred).

IMPORTANT NOTE 1: You can not upload files that have spaces or odd characters like )(*&^%$#@M in the name. In addition, the total file size of files upload at one time should be less then 5MB. I recommend that any graphic file size be less then 100KB as a visitor to your page will experience unduly long wait times while the file(s) are loading.

I also recommend that you do not put a large number of graphics on your pages (unless you warn your visitor first about possible long load times).

IMPORTANT NOTE 2: The best time to upload/download files to any site is from 5AM-10AM Eastern Time, USA. Few people will be using the host's FTP server and the upload/download will take a short time. The worst time to upload/download is in the evening hours, after 5PM and weekends.

A direct quote from Geocities:

"Beginning April 2, 2002, we will no longer provide FTP access as part of our free home page service.

Please note that Premium Members will not be affected by this change in service. Free members interested in continuing their FTP service are encouraged to consider our premium packages. All packages include FTP access, remote loading of images, ad-free pages, and much more. Packages start at just $4.95/month (plus a one-time setup fee).

If you decide not to upgrade your GeoCities web site, you can still upload files using the Easy Upload tool which is accessible within File Manager."

GeoCities' GeoPlus service ($4.95/month) allows you some additional space and freedom from the Ad Square, which in my opinion is not worth $4.95/month. Especially when you can get your own domain name and host with more space, unlimited data transfer, and more for $60/year! GeoCities' premium services, PRO ($8.95/M) and BUSINESS ACCOUNT ($11.95-$39.95/M), are definitely no bargain and, in fact, are very expensive and lack the normal amount of space, data transfer rates, free shopping carts, and more that you can find elsewhere on the web (see DOMAIN NAME INFO).

Since free members have no FTP service and who make their pages online with Advanced Editor, Page Builder or Page Wizard, can only get a backup of their pages on their PC by using their browser's FILE > SAVE AS one page at a time!. Another reason to always make your web pages on your PC using some free editor.