Like most webmasters, I use a File Transfer Protocol script regularly. Over the last 10 years I have used over a dozen FTP programs to upload and download files to and from my websites. In the first year or so of working online I used lots of different programs (trial software and a few paid scripts) before sticking with the basic yet very useable Leech FTP.
Though over the last few years I have been using FileZilla exclusively. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, it’s multi platform, which means I can use the same program on my iMac and my Windows laptop (it works on Linux too). This might not be a big deal for a lot of webmasters however I like to have the same setup on all my computers so that the way I work needn’t change.
Secondly, and very importantly, FileZilla is free. Most of the best FTP programs for Mac and Windows give you a free trial but require a payment to use the program longer than 30 days. Whilst I never grudge paying for good software, I always prefer to go with open source software if I can, particularly if the free version is just as good as the paid version. And FileZilla is definitely as good as most paid scripts.
FileZilla boasts such features as:
- Continuous Connection – No need to reconnect if you are away for a few minutes.
- Site Manager – Let’s you save multiple profiles for your sites so you don’t need to enter them again and again.
- Synchronised Directory Browsing – Specify a directory for each site profile so you don’t need to go searching for your files every time you connect.
- Network Configuration Wizard – Helpful for those who are new to FTP.
If you don’t like the way FileZilla works then you may want to look into other open source scripts.
- Mac and Windows – Another FTP program which works with Mac and Windows is Classic FTP. The program also works with Windows CE, Pocket PC 2003 and Windows Mobile.
- Windows – Some open source Windows FTP programs include Leech FTP, CoreFTP, FlashFTP, SecureFTP, pbFtpClient and WinSCP.
- Mac – Two good Mac FTP programs worth checking out are CyberDuckFugu.
- Linux – Linux users should check out
KFTPgrabber, Kasablanca, gFTP and NcFTP.
- Browser – FireFTP is a great little multi platform extension for FireFox which FireFox users will love. Another great online program is Net2FTP, which lets you upload and download files via any browser.
Like everything in life, which FTP program is the best is subjective. I personally think it’s the best all round program; it boasts many great features, is easy to use, and is updated regularly. Though there are some great free alternatives out there which you may want to look into.
What FTP program do you use and why? I’d love to know what is being used by most WordPress users.