How to Upload Files to Your Website Using WinSCP (an FTP Client)

Posted on October 23rd, 2015

In order to upload files from your computer to your website, you need to use a file transfer protocol (FTP) client. WinSCP is free FTP software for Windows that allows you transfer files from a local machine (your desktop, laptop, etc.) to a remote machine (your server).

To begin, download the latest version of WinSCP from and click on the “Installation package”. Install the software just as you would any other program.

During installation, you’ll be asked to choose a setup type. Select “Typical installation”. Next, you’ll be asked for the initial user settings. Select “Commander”, which will allow you to view two panels in the software. The one on the left will show your local directories, while the one on the right will show the directories on your web server. This setup makes it easy to transfer files just by “dragging and dropping”.

Follow the rest of the installation prompts. You may need to restart your computer after the installation.

When you first open WinSCP, you’ll see the login screen shown below. To add the connection information to the software, click on the New button.

On the next screen, fill in your FTP information that you received in your welcome email from InterServer. Usually, your hostname will be (replace “” with your actual domain name), but it could also be an IP address. The username is usually your cPanel username.You can enter your password and have the software store it, but for security reasons, it’s recommended that you leave the password field blank and enter your password each time that you connect to your site via WinSCP.

Where it says “file protocol”, select FTP, and click the Save button. Save your session as (remove the “ftp.” in front of it because you don’t need it for the session name). Click on OK.

Now your domain will appear in the list of domains that you can connect to, as shown below.

Select your domain, click the Login button, and enter your password.

Click OK, and you should now see a screen that looks like the following (for security reasons, some information has been grayed out):

In the right panel, look for the public_html directory, and double-click on it. This is the directory on your server where you’ll be uploading your files and folders. In the left panel, navigate to the directory on your local computer where you’re keeping the files for your website. There’s a drop-down arrow that you can use to select the appropriate directory.

Before uploading your files, check to make sure that the “Transfer mode” is set to Automatic. Some files need to be uploaded as binary, while others need to be uploaded as text. The automatic setting will automatically detect the file type and upload it in the appropriate mode. To set the transfer mode, click on the gear icon, which will bring up another screen where you can make your selection. Click OK, and now you’re ready to upload your files.

Select the files and folders that you wish to upload, and then drag-and-drop them into the right pane. Make sure that you’re dragging them to the public_html directory on your server.

When you’re finished uploading your files, click on Session, and select Disconnect to close the connection to the server.

For future reference, you can save time by having WinSCP automatically navigate to the local directory on your computer where you store your website’s files. To set that up, go to the WinSCP Login screen, select your domain, and click on Directories. Click on the button with the ellipses, and select the appropriate directory. When you click the Save button, you’ll be told that a session already exists and asked if you want to overwrite it. Go ahead an overwrite it. You may need to go back and enter your FTP hostname, username, etc. and then re-save everything.

3 Responses to “How to Upload Files to Your Website Using WinSCP (an FTP Client)”

  1. Alex says:

    Great article!

    But where can I see my password and username for my cPanel account?


  2. Ved Emandi says:

    I have tried using my winscp and filezilla clients but each time it says connection timedout could not connect to server

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