Understanding the Differences: public_html vs. public_ftp Folders and Security Measures


When managing a website, it is essential to comprehend the roles and differences between the public_html and public_ftp folders. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of these directories, their purposes, and best practices for maintaining the security of the public_ftp folder. By understanding these concepts, website owners can enhance their website management skills and ensure a safe online environment.

The public_html Folder:

The public_html folder, also known as the web root directory, is the main directory where all publicly accessible website files are stored. It serves as the gateway to a website, containing HTML files, images, scripts, stylesheets, and other resources necessary for the website’s functionality and design. When visitors access a website, the server retrieves files from the public_html folder to display the webpages.

Example: Let’s consider a website named “example.com.” The public_html folder for this website would contain files such as index.html (the main homepage), about.html, contact.html, and any other webpages accessible to visitors.

The public_ftp Folder:

The public_ftp folder, on the other hand, is a separate directory intended for managing file transfers through FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FTP allows users to upload, download, and manage files on a server remotely. The public_ftp folder is specifically designated for files that can be accessed and downloaded by users via FTP, typically for purposes such as sharing files or granting access to specific resources.

Example: Continuing with the example of “example.com,” if there is a need to share large files or provide clients with access to specific resources, those files would be placed within the public_ftp folder.

Security Measures for the public_ftp Folder:

While the public_ftp folder provides convenient file transfer capabilities, it is crucial to implement security measures to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. Here are some best practices to keep the public_ftp folder safe:

  1. Strong Authentication: Ensure that strong usernames and passwords are used for FTP accounts associated with the public_ftp folder. Encourage the use of complex, unique passwords and consider implementing two-factor authentication for added security.
  2. Limited Access: Regularly review and manage FTP accounts to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to the public_ftp folder. Remove any unused or unnecessary accounts to minimize potential security risks.
  3. Directory Restriction: Configure the FTP server settings to restrict access to the public_ftp folder only. Users should not have access to higher-level directories, including the root or public_html folders, to prevent unauthorized file manipulation.
  4. Regular Updates: Keep the FTP server software and associated plugins up to date to benefit from the latest security patches and enhancements. Regular updates help safeguard against known vulnerabilities and protect the public_ftp folder from potential attacks.
  5. Monitoring and Log Analysis: Implement a robust monitoring system to track FTP activity and log files for analysis. Regularly review the logs for any suspicious or unauthorized access attempts, and take appropriate actions to address potential security breaches.


Understanding the distinction between the public_html and public_ftp folders is vital for effective website management. While the public_html folder contains website files accessible to visitors, the public_ftp folder serves as a directory for file transfers via FTP. By adhering to security measures such as strong authentication, limited access, directory restrictions, regular updates, and monitoring, website owners can ensure the safety of their public_ftp folder and protect sensitive data. Maintaining a secure online environment contributes to the overall integrity and trustworthiness of a website.