File Transfer Protocol: a fancy term for a simple application. It is simply a standard that has been set for how to transfer files between a server and a computer.
Imagine you have two windows open on your computer, one on the left side of your screen and one on the right. Both these windows contain files, pictures, folders and so on. You decide that a picture in window A needs to be moved to window B – so you simply cut and paste it from A, to B.
Now imagine that window A is your computer and window B is someone else’s computer. You decide you want to place your picture in window B (onto someone else’s computer) so, you simply cut and paste. Now imagine window B is not just someone else’s computer but is actually the computer where your website lives. That computer is more appropriately called a server.
A server is simply a computer which houses information, applications, programs, files, and more. It’s where your website lives.
An FTP client is simply a program (an app) that provides a window into the server where your website lives using File Transfer Protocol aka the agreed upon standard for transferring files to and from a server.
An FTP client creates a link between your computer and the server where your website lives. That’s all it is.
If you are building a website or upgrading your existing website, an FTP client and knowledge of how to use it will be needed.
One other thing, “FTP access” is required to use an FTP client. This access is simply a unique username and password. It is obtainable only by logging into where your website is hosted and finding the “FTP” link. All the credentials you need will be right there.
FileZilla is a great FTP client for windows users. I use it every day.