I am using Fetch 5.3 as my FTP program on a Mac OS X 10.4 computer to upload files and make changes to my website. I have a high speed internet connection through my telephone company.
When I login I can see a listing of the files and directories of my website. When I then try to upload a file to my website the first file always takes a very long time to upload. (A few minutes.) Once the first file is uploaded then I can upload any additional files and even a full directory full of files fairly quickly. (A few seconds.) Why does it take so long for the first file to upload? Is this normal behaviour?
I have switched from FTP to SFTP in response to your suggestion.
Using FTP I tried running a test of uploading two files of approximately 1 Mb in size. The first file was uploading at a speed of approximately 500 bytes/second when my connection with DreamHost spontaneously disconnected after only 4 Kb of the file had been uploaded. I then reconnected and the second file uploaded at about 80 Kb/second. The maximum speed I saw among the fluctuating speeds on the screen during the file uploads was 1000 bytes/second for the first file and 110 Kb/second for the second file. The speeds kept decreasing as the uploads progressed.
Under SFTP I have just tried uploading two files that are just over 7 Mb in size. Both the first and the second file uploaded at about 80 Kb/second. The maximum speeds I saw among the fluctuating speeds on the screen were about 400 Kb/second but they soon dropped to 80 Kb/second and then stayed fairly constant.
I will have to watch over the next few weeks to see if using SFTP does solve the problem. I have noticed in the past that the first file sometimes uploads as fast as the others in situations where I have recently connected to my website with Fetch. I have connected to my website at least a half dozen times with Fetch during the past two days.
If anyone else is considering switching from the default FTP to SFTP then I suggest you read the following two articles in the DreamHost Wiki:
In addition to selecting SFTP in Fetch (my FTP program on a Mac) I discovered that I also had to enter the DreamHost Control Panel and make a preference change in my account to enable SFTP protocol file transfers as explained in the two DreamHost Wiki articles.
It’s not uncommon for an ISP to allow for a high speed burst which then settles down to your actual connection speed. If you want to test a sustained transfer, you can try a speed test such as the following: http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/
I have tried the speed test suggested by Scott and my maximum upload speed was 82 Kb/second plus or minus a kilobyte for three different locations. If I can always achieve that speed with the first file I upload to my website with DreamHost in a session then I will be happy. I hope the switch to using SFTP provides a long term solution. Thank you for your assistance Scott.