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Nov 07

Filezilla

FileZilla logoIf you use a hosting service to host your website (such as 1 and 1, which we use here), you will probably find that the access they provide is via ftp, a protocol originally defined in 1971. Hard-core ftp users can make like it’s 1976 and use the command line, but the rest of us mere mortals need something a little more human friendly…

Filezilla is a friendly graphical FTP client. The local filesystem is presented on the left, and the remote site (or sites, in tabs) on the right. Transfers are added to the queue at the bottom, and processing of the queue can be switched on and off from the toolbar.

While it’s easy to use, there’s still powerful features hidden away in the menus: speed limits (separate ones for uploads and downloads, so you don’t swamp your connection), maximum numbers of transfers per site, and a powerful site manager that can save passwords, user names, and let you override connection settings for difficult to use servers. Of course, you don’t have to use the site manager – most of those settings are also in the “quick connect” toolbar.

It will adapt to you as well – there are several possible layouts (vertical, rather than horizontal, for example), and you can hide any part of the interface to free up screen space (great if you’re uploading a new version of WordPress via a netbook…)

But the best feature of Filezilla is perhaps one that is small, unobtrusive – and brilliant. It’s something I’ve not seen any other FTP client do, and yet it’s just so nice I’ll either have to tell you all about it or embarrass myself unutterably by doing the Snoopy dance, right here and now.

What is it? Well – what happens if a connection, or a download, or upload fails? A download stops, say 10MB away from that new Linux distribution. Well, you can resume it. But with Filezilla, the same is true for an upload. And okay, most clients do that too, these days (even if not all servers do). But some days you want to overwrite, rather than resume. And because you don’t want to have to change the setting manually, Filezilla presents you with a dialog box to ask – and then lets you do it for this file, or everything in the queue. Neat! Imagine that – someone actually thought how someone might want to use the program, and wrote it that way!

Filezilla is open source and frequently updated. Part of the overhaul to version 3 was to add a new updater, which will automatically download the new version for you, but also to add support for Linux and MacOS as well as Windows.

Like WordPress and GIMP, this is something we use on a regular basis to write this blog, so again – thanks guys!

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Casandra Normand

    I really like and appreciate your article post.Much thanks again. Awesome.

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