How To Set Up FTP for Windows

Reading Time: 5 minutes

What is FTP?

You or your developer may want to have access via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to the folders for the project or domain that is being worked on. FTP is a quick and easy way for someone to connect to their project, without having to have full access to RDP into the server. An FTP user will only have access to the folders that are designated to them, limiting them in their own environment so as not to accidentally change other user’s files and file structure on their project/domain. In this tutorial, we will cover how to utilize FTP on a Core/Self-Managed Dedicated or VPS Server, as well as a Plesk Server.  Let’s jump right in!

 

Enabling FTP Services

The first thing that you need to check before creating an FTP user is to enable FTP on your server. To do that on a Core/Self-Managed server, we need to RDP to the server and open Server Manager.

rdp connection info

Once the server manager is open, in the top right corner, there are a few options: Manage, Tools, View, and Help. We want to click on Manage, which will show a drop-down menu. At the top of the menu, click on the option Add Roles and Features.

IIS server manager dashboard

Once you have the Add Roles and Features Wizard up, click Next until you are at the Server Selection.

add role feature wizard

Make sure your server is highlighted, by default, it should be. If so, you can click Next which brings you to Server Roles.

select destination server

Server Roles are where you will find the features your server can have enabled separately, depending on your needs. We aren’t looking for anything but FTP at this time, so we won’t cover all of the features and services we find here. FTP services are going to be found under the role Web Server. Click on the carrot next to Web Server. There are 3 different options with checkboxes; Web Server, FTP Server, and Management Tools. Dropping down the FTP Feature will show the available FTP features.

If all of these are already checked, you can skip ahead to the Adding and Assigning FTP Users section of this help article. However, if these are not checked, go ahead and check FTP Server and FTP Service. If your users plan on using ASP.NET services or IIS Manager, you will want to make sure you check FTP Extensibility.

Once you have the FTP features selected, click on Next a couple of times until you get to the Confirmation page. At the top, you will see an option to “restart the destination server automatically if needed. For installing FTP Services, a restart is not needed. We can leave this box unchecked and click on Install. This install process shouldn’t take too long.

Adding and Assigning FTP Users section

Adding an FTP User Account

Before we add an FTP site, we need to set up a user with some credentials. We do this by accessing Computer Management.

set up a user credentials

On Windows 2012 and up, we can do this by right-clicking the Start Menu button, and selecting Computer Management. Here, under System Tools, if we click the drop down carrot, we will see the Local Users and Groups section. Double-click on Users and a list of all the Local Users will formulate. On the far right of the Computer Management, once we have navigated to Users, we see a More Actions and will need to click on that to add a New User.

add a New User

Clicking on New User will pop up a simple interface that asks for the user name, the user’s full name, a description for that user that serves as a description for you, the administrator, to recognize the purpose of this user. Fill out this information accordingly and type in a password for this user. Under Confirm Password, we see that by default “User must change password at next logon” is selected. Because this is strictly for FTP, we will uncheck that and check “User cannot change password” and “Password never expires”. Considering the FTP user will only have access to the destination you allow, it is not necessary to change the password.

description for FTP user

 

Adding an FTP Site

Now that FTP Services are installed and a user is created, we need to head on over to the IIS Manager. This can be found in the Start Menu, or by clicking on Tools in Server Manager as we did before, but clicking on Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

Adding an FTP Site

Here is the IIS Manager, we need to create the FTP site that you will want this specific user to have access to. We do this by clicking on the drop-down carrot next to the server name, and then right-clicking on the folder that says “Sites“.

create FTP site access for user

A menu will pop up, with the option to Add FTP Site. Enter the name you wish to give this FTP site. Select a Physical path, where you want the user for this FTP site to have access. Do this by either typing in the direct path, or selecting the 3 dots next to the entry bar and physically selecting the folder you wish to assign this FTP site.

Select a Physical path to ftp site

Clicking next will bring you to Bindings and SSL settings. If you have any specific IP address that is assigned to a domain that is being used for this FTP Service, you need to make sure that the IP address is selected by dropping down the bar.

Bindings and SSL settings

If all sites are taking advantage of Windows SNI (Server Name Identification) than you can leave this set to All Unassigned, if you wish to use a different port than the default FTP port, go ahead and type that in under Port. But if this is just a basic FTP instance for everyday purposes, go ahead and leave that port at the default 21. Next, you want to make sure that “Start FTP Site automatically” is selected. Unless of course, you want to manually allow the user to connect to their FTP site only when you designate by starting the page in IIS. Select No SSL and click Next for this FTP Site. In this tutorial, we will not be covering setting up an SSL for this specific FTP Site. If you do already have an SSL that you have added to the server for this purpose, you need to make sure that Allow or Require under SSL is checked, and select your SSL on the drop down bar labeled SSL Certificate.

authentication authorization info

Now we have been brought to the Authentication and Authorization section. Here at the top are two options for Authentication. Make sure that both boxes are checked. Finally, we have the Authorization section where we would select the groups or users we want to allow to be able to log into this FTP Site.

 

Setting Up the Windows Firewall

Now that we have the FTP site all set up and ready to go, we do need to set up the firewall rules. Open up your firewall by clicking on Start, scrolling to Windows Administrative Tools, and clicking on Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security link

firewall.advanced.security

We need to set some rules on the Inbound Rules section, so click on that first. It’s in the top right corner. After clicking on Inbound Rules in the top right corner under Actions, you will see a section called Inbound Rules. Under that category should be New Rule.

set Inbound Firewall Rules

You may have to click on the arrow next to Inbound Rules to see this. Click on the New Rule

setup new firewall rule

And you will be selecting the Rule Type. For FTP we will be using Port, so click on that and Next. Now you will see Protocol and Ports. For Protocol, use the setting TCP. For Specific local ports type 21, 5001-5051 and click on Next.selecting Firewall Rule Type

Now we have the Action section. By default, “Allow the connection” is selected. Keep this the way it is and press Next. Now you will be prompted for when this rule will apply.

Firewall Allow the connection

We want it always to apply so keep each network connection type box checked. There are three: Domain, Private, and Public. Click Next, and you will be naming the firewall rule. We suggest just naming it FTP Connection or something of the sort.

naming the firewall rule

You should be all set. Go ahead and log into another computer, use your favorite FTP client (such as Filezilla), enter the IP address as a host, and your newly created username and password, port number, and click connect. You are now connected FTP to your designated pathway on your server.

 

FTP on a Plesk Server

This process is a lot faster and much simpler. Here are a couple links in regards to setting it up on a Plesk Windows Server.

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Creating-FTP-Users

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Uploading-Files-Using-FTP-in-Plesk

You did it! You have successfully set up an FTP site so that you or the developers can now edit, copy, and remove files from their designated folders smoothly.

How To Add Users and Assign Roles in Plesk

Reading Time: 2 minutes

You can add or edit users, and create and assign roles via Plesk’s user settings page. The method for accessing user settings is slightly different in various Plesk views:

Access the User Accounts page

  • In Service Provider View
    If you’ve elected to use Plesk’s Service Provider view:

    • Select the Subscriptions setting in Plesk’s main menu to bring up the Subscriptions page.
    • Click on the desired domain name in the Subscription column to bring up hosting details for that domain.
    • Select the Users tab from the uppermost row of menu tabs to load user settings.

      1PleskSPVUsers

  • In Power User View
    If you’ve elected to use Plesk’s Power User view, you can simply click the Users button in the main menu to bring up a list of user accounts:

    2Users

From the user settings page, you can use add or delete users, assign and edit user roles, or add custom user roles. You can use the links below to quickly navigate to each section:

Create a New User Account

  1. Click the Create User Account button and provide the necessary information:

    Create User Account

  2. When assigning a User role, Plesk provides the following four default roles. If you have created any custom roles, they will be listed here as well:
    • Administrator: Users with an Administrator role have full access to the Plesk control panel and server management functions.
    • Webmaster: The Webmaster role allows users to manage most aspects of the subscriptions to which they are assigned, including creating new sites and configuring services such as DNS, mail, and FTP. Webmasters cannot, however, create new Plesk users or manage roles.
    • Application User: Limited access
    • Accountant: The Accountant role is the most limited in Plesk. Users with this role can see details of the subscriptions to which they’ve been given access, such as resources used and current hosting options, but they are unable to modify any settings.
  3. In the Subscriptions field, select the primary domain name associated with the subscription to which you want the user to have access, or select All to allow them to access all subscriptions.
  4. The user will be added once you click the OK button.

Remove a User Account

On the user settings page, simply check the box next to an existing account and use the Remove button to delete the selected user account.

Create a New User Role

  1. To create a new user role, select the User Roles tab and then click the Create User Role button.
  2. Enter a name for the new user role, select the desired roles, and then click the OK button once you’re done.

    Create New User Role

    Note: For a detailed explanation of each user role, see the official documentation.

Edit an Existing User Role

Click the user name listed in the Contact Name column to edit roles for that user.

Note: For a detailed explanation of each user role, see the official documentation.

Add an additional administrator account

Plesk allows you to add additional administrator-level accounts for users, such as your IT staff or developer, who will be performing administrative tasks on your behalf. An additional administrator account can perform most of the same tasks as the primary administrator.

To add (or edit or remove) an additional administrator account, click on Additional Administrator Accounts under the Tools & Settings menu, and specify the information for the new administrator account.

xAddAddlAdminUserToolsSettings