Our FTP is a tool many newer merchants sometimes have trouble understanding. However, it doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating! In fact, it is most often used as a way to change out pictures on your storefront without editing the code. This article will explain how to use the FTP to swap out images.
1. Getting Started
The first thing you need to do is gather all the information you need to replace the current image. These items are: the image size, the image name and the file path. All three items will be needed to replace the image, and there is an easy way to see all three at once. To do this, go to the image you need to replace, right click the image, the select "Inspect". Once you have done so, you will see a pop up in your browser with the coding for that image displayed.
The highlighted text will look similar to this: “/v/vspfiles/templates/TemplateName/snippets/homepage/images/promo-1.jpg”. Go ahead and paste that text into a notepad file, as you will need it for later. Additionally, if you hover over that text, your browser will tell you the dimensions of the image. You will want to write those dimensions down, as the new image will need to match those dimensions in order to preserve the layout of the page.
2. Check the File Type
Once the you have the image ready and set to the necessary dimensions, make sure that it is the same name and file type as the image on the live site. For example, using the file path listed above the image would need to be named "promo-1" and be a jpg file. Now that you have the file prepared it is time to upload your file!
3. Get Uploading
To start with, make sure you have a FTP client installed on your computer. We recommend downloading either FileZilla or FireFTP. Once you have your FTP client downloaded you will need the following information to log into your store’s FTP: your store’s SFTP IP Address, the FTP username and the FTP password. Fortunately, these three items can be found on the same page by going to your store’s My Volusion account, then selecting "Manage FTP" in the left hand column.
On the next page, if you have multiple stores, make sure to select your desired store from the dropdown. Once there you will be provided with your store’s SFTP IP address as well as your FTP username and password credentials. If none are displayed when you get to that page, select the "ADD" button and save the provided FTP credentials. Please note, we do not recommend changing the provided credentials, as this can cause problems trying to log into the FTP in the future.
When you are ready to log in, you will use the SFTP IP address as the hostname, as well as the provided username and password. If the system allows you to set a protocol, make sure to select "SFTP". You will also be asked for a port. The port will always be 2222 for all Volusion stores.
4. Swap Your Image
Now that you’re logged in, it’s time to swap out your image! Remember that filepath we talked about earlier? Now we’re going to use that to replace the image. To locate the image that needs to be replaced you’ll need to follow the file path. You may notice a /v/ folder. That is the top level directory, which you are already in as soon as you log in.
For example, the filepath listed above (/v/vspfiles/templates/TemplateName/snippets/homepage/images/promo-1.jpg) would have you select the Vspfiles folder, then the Templates folder, etc, until you have clicked on the "images" folder. After you have clicked into the images folder, select the new "Promo-1.jpg" image, then drag and drop that image into the Images folder. At this point you will be asked if you want to replace the current image with the new image. Once you confirm that you wish to overwrite the old image, the new image will automatically appear on your storefront! If you would like to keep the old image in the ftp as a backup, we suggest right clicking the image, the selecting the ‘Rename’ option to rename it to something like "image-old".
And that’s it! Once you have dragged and dropped the image into the appropriate folder, the update will take effect immediately. In some cases, in order to see these changes, you may need to clear your browser’s cache and cookies, as browsers tend to cache images to increase page load times.
For many people, using the FTP can seem like quite the technical challenge, however by using this guide we hope that you will be using it like a pro in no time! The FTP can be an extremely handy tool for updating images on your store, and we hope this helps you confidentially use it to keep your store fresh.
Have any questions about the FTP? Let us know in the comments!