FTP overview and credentials

Overview

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a network protocol used to upload website data from your local computer to your web server so it appears online.

This article explains how to locate your credentials and log into your server using an SFTP client.

DreamPress sites

View the following article instead if you need to log into your DreamPress site.

Difference between FTP and SFTP

FTP is an old protocol that IS NOT SECURE. It uses port #21.

SFTP is the newer protocol that IS SECURE. It uses port #22.

The FTP term

FTP is an old term that's still commonly used to reference transferring data to your server. However, since it's not secure, it should never be used. Only SFTP connections should be used when connecting to your server.

New users created at DreamHost are automatically created as SFTP users, so there's nothing you need to adjust. You should just understand that when you see the term FTP, it's most often referencing SFTP (which is the secure option).

Only use port 22 when connecting. This ensures you are using an SFTP connection that is secure.

Prerequisites

Add hosting

Make sure that you have added hosting to your domain in your DreamHost panel. This assigns it the credentials you need to log into your server.

Choose an FTP client

This article uses the FTP client Filezilla to illustrate examples. You can use any client you like to log into your server as the settings are the same.

FTP client in the panel

DreamHost also offers a built-in FTP file manager in the panel. View the following article for further details:

Locating your FTP login credentials

You will need the following information to log into your web server:

The following sections explain how to obtain each one.

Locating the hostname

There are two hostnames you can use to log into your DreamHost server.

Option 1 — Use your site name

If you have added hosting to your domain and the domain's DNS is set up to point to your hosting at DreamHost, you may use your domain's name as the SFTP hostname. For example, if your website is named https://www.example.com just use example.com.

Do not add https://www in front of the domain as that may cause it not to connect.

Here is what it would look like in Filezilla:

Filezilla hostname

Option 2 — Use the server name

If you have added hosting to your site, but have not pointed your DNS to DreamHost yet, you can still connect to the server using the server's hostname.

To find out what server you are on:

  1. Log into the DreamHost panel, and navigate to Manage Account.
  2. Scroll down to the section titled Domains Hosted. There you will see your domain name.
  3. To the right of the domain, you will see your user and the server on which it’s configured:
    Panel server name
  4. In the above screenshot, the server is named gervais.
  5. You would then add .dreamhost.com after the server name to complete the hostname.

In this example, the full server hostname would be gervais.dreamhost.com. This is how it would appear in Filezilla.

Filezilla hostname

VPS, Dedicated, and DreamPress hostnames

If you are hosting your site on a VPS, Dedicated, or DreamPress server, the hostname appears differently under the Hosting Type column. This would change the text you add after the server name. For example:

Type of server How it appears Hostname to use
VPS ps123456 ps123456.dreamhostps.com
Dedicated ds123456 ds123456.dreamservers.com
DreamPress dp-1234567890 dp-1234567890.dreamhostps.com

Locating the username

  1. Navigate to the Manage Websites page.
  2. Click the Manage button for your domain.
    • If in Grid view, hover over your domain and click the Manage button.
    • If in List view, click the Manage button to the right of your domain.
    Panel SFTP username
  3. Click Show Login Info under the Manage Files section to view the Username field.

Here is what the username would look like in Filezilla:

Filezilla username

Locating the user's password

The password was originally created when the username was created. If you do not remember this password, you can reset it.

To change your user's password in the panel:

  1. Navigate to the Manage Websites page.
  2. Click the Manage button for your domain.
    • If in Grid view, hover over your domain and click the Manage button.
    • If in List view, click the Manage button to the right of your domain.
  3. Click Show Login Info under the Manage Files section to view the user settings.
    edit access settings
  4. Click the Reset Password link.
    The following dialog box appears, prompting you to enter a password:
    edit access settings 2
  5. Enter a password and click the Reset Password button to reset the password.

    If the password you entered is found in the haveibeenpwned database, the following message appears:

    manage-users-sftp-new-pw-june-2020_04.fw.png
    manage-users-sftp-new-pw-june-2020_03.fw.png

    You must enter a new password before proceeding. See Have I been pwned for more information.

  6. If necessary, enter a new password.
    The following progress bar appears:
    manage-users-sftp-new-pw-june-2020_05.fw.png
    When the password is successfully updated, the following message appears:
    manage-users-sftp-new-pw-june-2020_06.fw.png
  7. Enter the password into your FTP client.
    Filezilla password

Choosing the port #

As explained above, port #22 is the only port # you should use to connect since this uses SFTP.

If you have an old FTP user in your panel, make sure you immediately update this to an SFTP user so it can use port #22 to connect securely.

Enter port 22 into your FTP client.

Filezilla port

Finally, click Quickconnect to log into your server:

FTP security

View the following article for further details on the difference between FTP and SFTP and how to secure your username.

Where do I put my files?

Once you're logged in you'll see several files and folders. View the following article for instructions on where to upload your site files:

If you are uploading a website, you will need to point the site's DNS to DreamHost to make it live. See the following article for information on the process:

Warning: The server's host key is unknown

When you originally log into a DreamHost server, you may see the following warning:

The server's host key is unknown. You have no guarantee that the server is the computer you think it is.

View the following article for further information on how to confirm the key values you're seeing and log into your server.

Temporary blocks

Multiple failed FTP or SSH connection attempts may result in the server temporarily blocking your IP. This block will eventually be lifted automatically, but if you need it removed sooner, please contact support.

See also

 

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Article last updated PST.

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