WordPress started as a platform for blogging. 12 years later, its polished, barely recognizable interface and each update introduces new useful features and functionality
Despite these advances, the WordPress dashboard does not offer everything. A file management functionality, for example (WordPress offers file management features, but it doesn't allow you to access your files directly from your server). This direct access requires an FTP connection, made possible by the installation of an FTP client.
But which FTP client to choose? Today I offer you 6 tools that you can use to access your WordPress hosting.
What is an FTP and when is it necessary?
FTP : Fs Transferring Protocole, connects your computer to your web server, allowing you to send and receive files.
However, when discussing FTP, most conversations are directed towards FTP clients. These FTP clients are small pieces of software used to establish an FTP connection, which facilitates the transfer of files.
Here's another way of looking at it: On the computer you use, you're free to roam, edit, add, and delete files, right? The FTP client allows you to perform these same actions, but on files stored on your server - think of it as a remote computer (although restricted to your accommodation).
It all sounds so simple, but many newbies find the idea quite intimidating. That's probably because FTP clients don't come with the polished interface you'll find with software like WordPress. Take a look at the screenshot below to see what a simple FTP client looks like.
There is good news, however: many WordPress users (especially casual) often do not need to use an FTP client.
This was not always the case. In the early days of web design, developers had to upload files one by one using an FTP client. Long before modern CMS, each page of a Website had to be downloaded manually that way. Today, luckily, WordPress handles this with a click.
Of course, developers will always need FTP client because it allows them to modify the encodings of their Website. However, for the casual user, FTP is mostly used for troubleshooting.
The most common use or use we can not do without is the white screen correction of death on WordPress, often caused by incompatible plugin.
Some FTP clients
Now that we've briefly discussed what FTP is all about, it's time to move on to the list of FTP solutions for your WordPress blog. Some sources are cross-platform and some are free.
Cyberduck is an excellent multi-platform FTP client, with both Windows and Mac versions available. Cyberduck is free to download and, like WordPress, is open-source.
- It comes with one of the most user-friendly interfaces, which makes it very easy to browse and use. Other features include:
- A Bookmarking feature, making the process of downloading files easier.
- An integration with your favorite text editor.
- Ultra-fast FTP.
- Advanced SSH functionality, which strengthens authentication and security.
- Cyberduck also integrates seamlessly with several major cloud storage players: Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, and OpenStack Swift.
This tool probably no longer needs to be introduced. Compatible with all major platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux. fileZilla is completely open-source is one of the most popular FTP clients of all. Launched in 2001, it has remained the most used for almost 15 years until now. Oh, and you can download it without spending a dime!
FileZilla is equipped with an impressive set of features:
- Supports FTP, FTP, FTP over SSL / TLS (FTPS) and file transfer protocol SSH (SFTP).
- Compatible with "Drag & drop".
- Site manager with a transfer queue.
- customizable transfer speeds
- It comes with extensive server-side documentation, also to help new users find their brands quickly.
Personally I did not need a tutorial to use this client for the first time.
CuteFTP sits alongside FileZilla when it comes to popular FTP client. However, unlike Mozilla, CuteFTP isn't free, with prices starting at $ 39,99 for the Mac version and $ 59,99 for the Windows version. You have a 30 day trial in order to test the software. The price difference reflects other features found in the Windows version.
The latest version consolidates the Lite, Home, and Pro versions of CuteFTP into one version. This means that all of CuteFTP's features are under one roof, which also makes it one of the most reliable FTP clients these days and one of the most secure as well. Its characteristics are:
- Compatible with a wide range of protocols including FTP / S, HTTP / S, and SFTP.
- It allows you to share files between computers and mobile devices / tablets (feature only available on Windows)
- Drag-and-drop functionality, supporting up to 100 simultaneous transfers.
- Built-in text editor for editing transparent files.
- An advanced password manager with authentication protocol.
FireFTP is another cross-platform FTP client, this time available as an extension for the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Just download the free extension by following its link, restart Firefox, and then you can enjoy FTP access directly from your Internet browser. Features include:
- Supports FTP, SSL, TLS and SFTP.
- Synchronization and folder comparison
- When disconnected, file transfers are automatically resumed once the connection is reestablished.
- An intuitive drag-and-drop, file searching, and filtering.
- It works perfectly in your Firefox browser.
5. FTP Free
Free FTP does exactly what it says on the tin (it's a free FTP client). Built with CoffeeCup Software, it is exclusive on Windows. It comes with a solid set of features, plus a very easy to use interface (the interface includes a pane dedicated to tracking FTP activity). We will quickly go through the other main features of Free FTP:
- Works with different protocols, including FTP, SFTP, FTPS and HTTP.
- Offers an elegant bookmarking feature
- Keeps track of files, allowing you to trace each loss
- Drag & drop interface.
- Site backup in one click.
6. Direct FTP
The tool Direct FTP is the big brother of Free FTP. It is a premium solution and an improved version of the software. Again, the software is available on Windows only, but this time it costs 39 $. So, what are the additional features that you get for your money?
- Preview function, allows you to view the impact of changes to files before saving them.
- Snippet Library, to store your favorite code snippets.
- Image editing functionality.
- HTML text editor, with auto-completion.
Of course, it also supports all FTP features found in the free version.
That's it for this list of FTP tools that you can use to access your WordPress hosting. Feel free to share this list with your friends on your favorite social networks.