- Why do I need to know how to work with FTP when using WordPress?
- How do you choose an FTP client?
- Overview of the file managers and FTP clients
Why do I need to know how to work with FTP when using WordPress?
FTP is an essential protocol in the work of every webmaster. There are several main reasons why you need to be able to use it in your work with WordPress:
- Deleting files from the WordPress website. Sometimes after downloading a new plugin and activating it, you may discover that this plugin is incompatible with the website. That will make the WordPress control panel unavailable. In this case, the only way to delete the plugin would be to connect to the site through FTP.
- Modifying a WordPress theme. Sometimes you need to change your WordPress template, for example, the logo or the font. Adding a piece of code through the appearance editor window of the WordPress control panel can result in the site being blocked or malfunctioning. The best way to fix the situation is to use the FTP client, download the WordPress template files, make changes to them and upload them back to the hosting server.
- Modifying Files and Directories. Some WordPress plugins require the creation of a new directory in which to store the cache data in it. If such WordPress plugins don’t have rights to create such directories, they will report an error and won’t work correctly. In this case, you’ll need to change the access rights, so that the WordPress plugins are able to create a directory and save files to it.
How do you choose an FTP client?
So, as you see, whatever websites you create using WordPress, you can’t do it without an FTP client. This protocol is neither a tribute to tradition nor a useless gadget; it’s one of the basic tools for daily work. Of course, you can manage without it, when working, for example, with a simple blog. Even a code of the basic files can be edited through the admin panel. But how do you edit files without syntax highlighting? That’s right; not the most enjoyable task. A better way is to save the file locally and edit with your favorite editor. That’s why a real webmaster should always have a convenient FTP client at hand. It’s hard to make reviews of such clients and compare them, as these programs continuously evolve, their functionality expands, and some flaws disappear while others appear instead. This makes it very difficult to identify the best program in this group suitable for anyone. But first of all I would like to suggest some requirements that I consider basic for programs of this class:
- the opportunity to work in a familiar environment, so that the program interface and features won’t contrast with other programs with which you are continually working;
- the program’s interface should be concise and straightforward, without a dozen windows of varied sizes and colors inside the main window;
- the SFTP protocol ensures work safety and your client must support it.
Overview of the file managers and FTP clients
- CuteFTP is the most convenient software for uploading files to the hosting server. The interface is more than intuitive. This program doesn’t require any particular settings; just install, work and enjoy. I liked working with the built-in text editor as it has no complications, and everything is simple. The only significant disadvantage of this client is that it costs money, which may make it unaffordable for a beginner website developer.
- FileZilla is a free software, and regarding functionality, it was as effective as the previous program. A plus is an ability to choose a text editor with which the user is accustomed to working. Personally, I use Notepad++, since it highlights tags which is very convenient. Of course, FileZilla has certain drawbacks and disadvantages, but so far, they haven’t forced me to change my liking of this program.
- Total Commander is a file manager, but it has support for working with FTP. By pressing the hotkey, you start the FTP connection directly from Total Commander. So, when using Total Commander, you’ll work with an FTP protocol while remaining in your primary working environment. For any connection you can map the local folder that will be opened when it’s initiated. When working simultaneously with several connections you can switch between them as between regular tabs. This can be very time-saving.
- WinSCP is one of the most powerful and easy to manage software programs among any similar software for Windows. It may seem that the user interface is overloaded with various options, but if you look deeper, it turns out that this tool is straightforward to use. With a couple of clicks, you can download, upload or edit the required file. And if you are an advanced user, then you’ll find many necessary functions. WinSCP supports SFTP, SSH, and, of course, FTP protocol.
- FireFTP is a free application for the Mozilla Firefox browser. You won’t have any problems with it because it fits perfectly into the browser. But most importantly, the Firefox browser runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac, which means this client is suitable for any OS.
Over to You
Without an FTP client, you can’t do much when creating a website. I’ll finish this review with the recommendation of FileZilla and FireFTP. But those work for me. To select your suitable client, you need to experiment with a few.
Jessica spends 12 hours a day on the internet managing security for web assets and loves her macha tea