Just like a trapeze artist swings from bar to bar, you can transfer all the files you need from your computer into your Volusion store. This makes it easier to work on everything under your own big top 🎪  like the ringmaster you are (crack that whip! 🦁)

Volusion's secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP)  lets you transfer content between your computer and the server where your website's files are stored. In order to use the FTP, you’ll need an FTP account and an FTP client.

An FTP client is a program that accesses the remote server where your website's files are stored, using the account information you provide. See below for instructions on using two of the more popular free FTP clients available.

If you haven't created an FTP account yet, see How to Set Up Your Volusion FTP (SFTP) Account.

Uploading Images with FTP

When you use FTP to upload images, it can take up to 24 hours for images to be refreshed on Volusion's Content Delivery Network (CDN) servers, so please plan accordingly. It would be a real #RetailFail to announce a sale or product launch and then realize you haven’t uploaded the product images in time. 😮 

To see your images immediately, you should manually refresh your site's image cache. See Refreshing your CDN Image Cache below for instructions.

FileZilla

FileZilla is a popular FTP client program available as a free download online. The benefit of FileZilla is that it works for Windows, Macintosh and Linux users. 👍 You can search for the latest version of FileZilla using any major search engine.

To log in to your FTP account using FileZilla:

  1. Launch FileZilla.
  2. Click File, then Site Manager.
  3. In the Site Manager window, click New Site and enter a name that will help you remember this stored connection (such as your website name).
  4. In the Host field under the General tab, enter ONE of the following:
    - Your store's domain name (for example, "www.myvolusionstore.com")
    - Servertrust address (for example, "abcde.fghij.servertrust.com")
    - OR your store's IP address (for example, "64.123.45.67")
    If you haven't pointed your DNS yet, you won't be able to log in using your domain name, and should use your store's servertrust or IP address.
  5. Enter "2222" in the Port field and select SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol from the Protocol menu.
  6. Select Normal from the Logon Type menu.
  7. In the User and Password fields, enter the account credentials you created when setting up your FTP account.
  8. Click Connect.

If you're logging into your FTP for the first time with these credentials, you may see a pop-up asking you to trust the unknown host key. Select “Always trust this host, add this key to the cache” to prevent this message from appearing again. Then click OK.

Now that you've configured your account settings, you'll be able to connect to the FTP more quickly in the future. To do so, click the Site Manager icon and select the saved site name you configured. FileZilla will automatically attempt to connect to the server using your saved credentials.

Once logged into your FTP account with FileZilla, your local computer workstation files and directories should be listed in the left-hand column. The local files and directories in your Volusion store will be listed in the right-hand column.

Fire FTP

FireFTP is an FTP plug-in for the popular web browser Firefox. Once FireFTP is installed on the browser, it functions as an FTP program within Firefox.

You can download the latest versions of Firefox and FireFTP online for free.

Once the plug-in is installed, you can access your Volusion FTP account through Firefox by doing the following:

  1. Launch the Firefox Browser
  2. In Firefox's menu bar, click Tools, then hover over Web Developer to select FireFTP.
  3. Locate the drop-down in the upper-left corner of the FireFTP window, then select Create An Account to open the Account Manager window.
  4. In the Account Name field, enter a name for this account (for example, "My Volusion Store").
  5. In the Host field, enter ONE of the following:
    - Your store's domain name (for example, "www.myvolusionstore.com")
    - Servertrust address (for example, "abcde.fghij.servertrust.com")
    - OR your store's IP address (for example, "64.123.45.67")
    If you haven't pointed your DNS yet, you won't be able to log in using your domain name, and should use your store's servertrust or IP address.
  6. In the Login and Password fields, enter the account credentials you created when setting up your FTP account (Do not check the box for Anonymous).
  7. Click the Connection tab at the top of the Account Manager window.
  8. From the Security drop-down, select SFTP.
  9. In the Port field, enter "2222".
  10. Click OK.
  11. You can now select this account from the drop-down in the upper-left corner of the FireFTP window and click Connect to connect to your store's FTP account

If you're logging in to your FTP for the first time with these credentials, you may see a pop-up window asking you to trust and add the server's host key. Click Yes to proceed.

The FireFTP browser window is divided into two sections. The left half of the window contains the files on your local computer. The right half of the browser window lists the files and directories within your store's FTP account.

Viewing a Large Number of FTP Files

When you're viewing the contents of an individual directory (folder) in your FTP, you can see a maximum of 200,000 files at one time. That’s a lot of files!

Most FTP clients have a connection timeout threshold. ⏲️  If the folder you're viewing contains a large number of files, you may need to reset this threshold in order to prevent the server connection from timing out while your files load.

To change the timeout setting in FileZilla, click Edit > Settings and locate the Timeout in seconds field.

To change the timeout setting in FireFTP, click Tools > Options, then select the Connections tab and locate the Network timeout field.

Resetting Your Photo Cache

Your store's product image cache is refreshed every night, ensuring that your store shows only the most current images. However, if you're using FTP to upload product images to your store, you should refresh the cache immediately afterward to push the changes live:

  1. Go to Settings > Maintenance in your Admin Area
  2. Click Reset next to the Photo Cache.

Refreshing Your CDN Image Cache

If you’re using the Content Delivery Network (CDN), you’ll need to refresh your CDN Image Cache each time you use the FTP to upload image files to your store. This ensures that the servers on the Akamai CDN have the latest versions of your images. Once you've completed all your FTP image uploads, you can refresh the CDN Image Cache as follows:

  1. Go to Settings > Maintenance in your Admin Area
  2. Click Refresh beside the CDN Image Cache field.
  3. When the Refresh CDN Image Cache window displays, click the appropriate tab (Products or Categories) and select any images you've uploaded via FTP that need to be refreshed (You also have the option to refresh all product images).
  4. Click Refresh
  5. Once you receive a confirmation message that your selected images have been refreshed, click OK.

Linking To An Image Or File

Once you've uploaded an image or file via FTP, you can link to it from within your store using an HTML link reference.

When you link to a file, remember you need to add "/v/" before typing the series of folders in which the file is stored. However, you don’t need to include your full domain name in the filepath if linking from within the site where that file exists.

For example, if you uploaded an image called "image1.jpg" to a top-level folder called "filedir,” you would write the link reference as follows: <img src="/v/filedir/image1.jpg">

If you're linking to an image from a different website, you don’t need to include the domain name in the full reference url:

<img src="http://myvolusionstore.com/v/filedir/image1.jpg">

Don’t forget: Your file names can’t contain spaces. If they do, your site visitors will see an error message. 😟

FileZilla and FireFTP are just two of many FTP clients you can use to access your store's website files. Most FTP clients can be configured and logged into in much the same way as those shown above. Regardless of the client, be sure to accept or "trust" the addition of a new server host key when logging into Volusion's secure FTP for the first time.

Summary

Moving files into your store doesn’t have to be a complicated juggling act. With FTP, you can easily transfer any files you need with the greatest of ease, as well as bulk uploads in one fell swoop. 

If you encounter problems while using your FTP account, see How to Troubleshoot Your FTP Connection for additional information.

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