Website Server Files

How does my website work on Hostgator?

A website consists of a group of files and directories, similar to the Documents folder on your home computer. To understand how directories and files function, consider the File Manager.


Substitute your account name for the text “myusername” below!

Contents of the “/home1/myusername” directory.

In the example above, there are three main directories of the “myusername” account:

/home1/myusername/ – This is your home directory. This directory contains all of your files. Files that you place in this directory will not be visible on the internet. When you view your files with FTP, Web Disk, or the File Manager, you will begin in this directory.

/home1/myusername/public_ftp/ – This is the directory used for anonymous FTP access. Anyone can download the files in this directory if FTP access is enabled.

public_html/home1/myusername/public_html/ – The public_html directory contains the files for your site. Files in public_html and any subdirectories of public_html will be viewable by anyone on the internet. “/home1/myusername/www/” is the same directory as “/home1/myusername/public_html/”.

When visitors access a subdirectory of the public_html directory, they will see the index page for that subdirectory. When you create your index page, use one of the following names. If the visitor does not specify a page in the URL, the system will display the first page that it finds that uses one of these names:


WARNING: When adding files to your site, it is important that you add them in the right place. For example, you will need to place files you wish to be visible on the Internet within public_html or a subdirectory of public_html. If you placed them in “/home1/myusername/” for example, no one will be able to view them.

Add Files to Your Site

To allow visitors to access your site, you must add files to it. You can add files with the File Manager or through the Web Disk feature.

The File Manager

The File Manager allows you to upload, view, modify, and delete your site’s files. You can access this feature from the Home interface when you click on the yellow folder File Manager icon. In the File Manager, click on File Manager to upload files to your site.

Web Disk

If you need to move a large number of files at one time or if you often make changes to your site, you can set up a Web Disk account to easily access your site. Web Disk allows you to manage, upload, and download your website’s files as though they were local to your personal computer.

FTP Accounts

FTP allows you to upload files to your site. To do this, you must create an FTP account in the FTP Accounts interface. Then, to connect to the account, download an FTP client that works with your operating system.

Web Disk Accounts

Web Disk allows you to manage, upload, and download your website’s files as though they were local to your personal computer. After you configure Web Disk on your local computer, you can drag and drop files to it, edit files, or view file information.

Web Disk Subdomains are relative to your account’s home directory. The Home icon signifies your home directory which is: /home1/myusername

In order for the Web Disk to work, you will need to configure your computer’s firewall to allow the following ports:

  • Port 2078 (SSL)
  • Port 2077 (Clear Text (Not Encrypted))


Webmail allows you to access your email from any computer that has a web browser and an internet connection. Make certain to log out when you check your email on public computers so that other people cannot access your email.

Manage SSH Keys

Public and private keys are created together. Public keys reside on the remote server, while private keys reside on your local computer or server. When you attempt to log in to the remote server, SSH compares the public and private keys. If they match, SSH will allow you to log in.

NOTE: You can use SSH keys to authenticate SSH services (for example, SFTP or SSH terminal). In order to use these features, they must be enabled on your account.

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