What is FileZilla?
FileZilla is a free FTP solution
FTP = File Transfer Protocol
FileZilla is a fast and reliable open source FTP client for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It supports both SFTP and FTP and has an easy to understand user interface.
Once you have setup it up with the address of your server, a username, and password, you are ready to go.
How To Get FileZilla
Head over to the download area of their site and choose the recommended version for your platform.
NB. Only download from the official FileZilla site. You don’t want viruses and spyware from unknown third parties!
Next, run the installation file – info on installing the client here.
Connecting to a Server
The first thing you need to do is connect to your server. You will need these three details:
- Hostname – example.com or your IP address.
- Username – your FTP username.
- Password -your FTP password.
There are two ways to connect to your server:
#1 – Through Site Manager
Go to File > Site Manager, click New Site
Copy and Paste your Domain Name, FTP Username, and FTP Password.
More entries and configuration parameters can be stored in Site Manager rather than through Quickconnect.
This is the faster method, for quick connections, but you cannot edit your quick connections list. This list only stores the last ten entries.
However, in Site Manager, details of FTP server names are always stored, so this is my preferred connection option, where you input your data once and forget about it!.
Don’t forget to replace domain.com with your domain name, username with your username and enter your own password.
FileZilla User Interface
The interface is intuitively laid out.
Take time to familiarize yourself with the structure and layout, especially where the root directory is located – in the /httpdocs folder.
1. Toolbar – Access features, such as:
- Open the Site Manager or select any domain from a drop down list stored in Site Manager
- Toggle the display of the messaging log
- Toggle the display of the local directory tree
- Toggle the display of the remote directory tree
- Toggle the display of the transfer queue
- Refresh the file and folder lists
- Toggle processing of the transfer queue
- Toggle synchronized browsing
- Search for files recursively
- and a few more…
2. Quick connect bar – To connect to an FTP server. Quick Connect is ideal for testing your login info before adding it into site manager. See information above.
3. Message log – This section displays the status, i.e. the commands and responses of the connection.
4. Local directory tree – This pane allows access to all the folders on your computer. As you select a folder in the top area, the contents of that folder appear in the lower section.
It is from this bottom area that folders and files are uploaded to the server. How? By selecting files or entire folders, then right-clicking and choosing Upload (or they can be drag and dropped).
5. Remote directory tree – The remote pane shows the hierarchy of the folders on the server. Selecting a folder in the top area will open its contents in the lower part. It is from here that folders and files can be backed up by downloading them onto your computer.
6. Transfer queue – The queue of file upload and download transfers appears here. It also documents failed and successful transfers.
Navigation Tips and Suggestions
To get the best out of FileZilla, here are a few suggestions.
a). Edit Files on the Fly
You can edit the files and save changes without having to manually download and upload them.
b). Synchronized Browsing
I recommend you create an identical directory structure on your computer and the server. This will enable you to have synchronized browsing, allowing for much easier folder navigation.
c). Directory Comparison
Another useful feature allows you to quickly see any differences between files on your computer and those on the server:
- Select View > Directory Comparison > and …
- Compare file size or
- Compare modification time.
- Select Hide identical files so as not to be distracted by files considered to be similar on both sides.
- Shortcut for View > Directory Comparison > Enable is CTRL+O.
Now there will be color-coded differences between copies of the same file on the computer and server, which appear as such:
- NO highlight – Identical directories and files on the local computer and the remote server.
- YELLOW highlight – Directories and files only in the local computer or in the remote server are highlighted in the location where they reside.
- GREEN highlight – Shows where the most recent version resides of directories and files with the same name in the local computer and in the remote server.
(IF ‘View => Directory comparison => Compare modification time is selected)
- RED highlight – Directories and files with the same name and different sizes in the local computer and in the remote server but with different sizes.
(IF ‘View => Directory comparison => Compare filesize is selected)
d). File Transfers
- You can double-click to upload or download a file. It is added to the transfer queue and will start automatically.
- To transfer directories or multiple files, select them and right-click the selection. Click on Upload or Download in the popup menu.
- Files can also be drag from one side and dropped onto the other side.
- To add files to the queue, select them and right-click Add to Queue from the popup menu. Files can also be dragged directly into the queue.
If you need the flexibility and speed to access your website files, then look no further than FileZilla FTP Client. It makes backing up a site so easy!
For editing, deleting, downloading and uploading files, this has to be one of the best solutions online. All it takes is the time to set up the connection parameters in Site Manager, and you will have full access to your entire website on the hosted server.
Sell through your own website.
How do you access your server? Have you had good experiences with other FTP Clients or are you a supporter of FileZilla?
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