How to Use SFTP to Upload and Manage Files on Your Server
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In this article, I am going to show you that "How to Use SFTP to Upload and Manage Files on your Server", which are hosted on your server that is really unmanaged. This is a very basic article, and it can help even a complete newbie so that the unmanaged server can be built and setup. With this article’s help, you can do so without the help of any control panel software such as DirectAdmin, cPanel, Plesk and many more. There are many people who are new in using servers, and they do not know how to use it and how can they upload all the files, which includes scripts and images, from their website to the server which they had newly setup by using Nginx or Apache when there is no file manager such as the one present in cPanel. The solution to this problem is really easy. You can use any kind of FTP client that you want to.



If you are going for this solution, then you will have to use a client app that can support SFTP connection. SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol or SSH File Transfer Protocol. SFTP is a network protocol. Over any reliable data stream, SFTP provides the facilities of file access, file transfer and file management. This protocol assumes that it is being run over a secure channel such as SSH. So back to our topic, you are going to need a client app. And I will recommend you to get an app that is a freeware. Some of the famous client apps are as follows ( you can use any one of these ) : CoreFTP, FileZilla, CoffeeCup Free FTP, WinSCP etc.


In this article, I will be using FileZilla. You should keep this in your mind that when ever I say the word server, it means that it is either a Dedicated server or a VPS.

Connecting to your server through SFTP

Follow the steps below:


Step 1:


The first step is that you have to download any FTP software of your own choice. Once you have downloaded the software, you have to launch it then.


Step 2:


Now in the FTP client, you will have to enter the details of your server. As I have told you before that I am using FileZilla in this article, so the process is going to be like this: you have to open the section which is Site Manager. You can open it by pressing Control+S buttons on your keyboard. You can also open it by clicking on its icon in the top left corner, or by first clicking on the file menu, and then on the Site Manager option. The screen will be like this:

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Step 3:


Now you have to give a name to your new server. It will be just for the identification in this app.


Step 4:


Now you have to enter the host name ( it is usually FQDN ) or the IP of your server. You have to enter these things in the “Host” field.


Step 5:


Now in the Port field, you have to enter 22, only if you have not changed its default port yet. Or else, you will have to enter the port numbers that you have defined.


Step 6:


Now you have to select “SFTP – SSH File Transfer Protocol” in the drop down option of the “Protocol”,


Step 7:


Now you have to select the Normal option in the Logon field. Now if you have disabled the root login, then you have to enter the username that you have added, so that you can login. Or else, you can simply use root in the user and then enter the password to login. Once you have entered these things, then you have to click OK. The screen will look like this:

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Step 8:


Now in this step, you will have to connect to your server. You can see a small drop down option next to the Site Manager button. You will have to select your server after clicking on that drop down option. Now when you click on your server, FileZilla will attempt to automatically connect to your server with the help of the details that you have entered in it. The screen will be like this:

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Step 9:


Now in this step, you just have to navigate to the root directory of your server. It usually consists of the following paths:


“/var/www/domain.com/htdocs” or


“/var/www/domain.com/public_html”


The screen will look like this:

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Step 10:


Now in this step, you will be using SFTP to upload your files to your server. To do this, you just have to into the local directory in your computer, and then you have to find all the files of your website where you have stored them. This can be done in the left side pane. Now when you have done this, you just have to drag and drop it to the right pane. This is where you can browse all the directories of your server. The screen will look something like this:

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Editing the files on your server through SFTP

Step 1:


After you have uploaded all the files of your website, and if you want to edit any file, then you just have to right click on the file that you want to edit.


Step 2:


Now you have to click on the View/Edit option from the menu. The screen will be looking like this now:

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Step 3:


Now your default text editor tool will be opened such as notepad etc. Now you can edit and make some changes in your file.

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Step 4:


Once you are done editing your file, now you have to click on the Save button, or you can simply close the text editor and then press the save button. Once you have done this, then you will be asked to upload the new modified file onto the server. You just have to check mark the Finish editing and delete the local file option, and then press the yes button. The screen will look like this now:

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Creating a new folder or directory

If you want to create a new folder or directory, then all you have to do is right-click on any empty area, and then click on the option which says Create Directory.

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Now you have to give a name to this new directory, and then press OK.

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Changing file permissions

Step 1:


If you want to change the permissions of any file or folder, then you just have to right-click on that file or folder.

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Step 2:


Now you have to click on the option which says File Permissions.




Step 3:


Now another window will pop up. In this window, you can change and set the kind of permissions that you want that file to have.

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Step 4:


You can either set one by one each permission, or you can only type the numerical value. And the permission will be set according to that numerical value. Once you are done, press the OK button.


If you want to disconnect your server, then you can press Control+D, or you can exit the FTP client or you can also click on the server menu, and then click Disconnect.


I hope this article was helpful for you. Hope to see you soon. Thanks. !

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