Tuesday, September 23, 2008


One of the things I do in my spare time is the maintenance of a few websites such as www.tsdekker.nl. In a technical sense it's a rather straightforward site, basically some .css, .js and a bunch of .html files, that can be easily adapted by using e.g. FrontPage. Up until a few years ago I used WS FTP for uploading new files to the server, a rather straightforward easy to use FTP application. Nothing fancy, but quite reliable. After that I moved to SmartFTP. The nice thing about SmartFTP is the functionality to open different FTP servers at the same time. You can switch between them just by clicking on tabs. It was not a big problem to use SmartFTP for free, as an educational license. However, at certain moments it was necessary to do a re-install the program. Not a big problem you might say, but the removal of a previous version was never 100% complete as some entries remain in your Start menu. Recently SmartFTP launched their 3.0 version of the program, but also introduced license restrictions. After 10 years they are no longer able to provide SmartFTP as a free service. I managed to download a trial version, which would expire in 1 day... Well, 1 day is enough to make the most urgent uploads to the website, but it became very clear that I should look for an alternative. I already heard about FireFTP, a free FTP add-on to your Mozilla Firefox browser. It's a relatively small add-on and promises to give you easy and intuitive access to your FTP server. What I like about it is (1) that it loads very quickly and (2) it simply opens another tab in your active Firefox browser. Compared to SmartFTP, which is a separate application, loading FireFTP saves you a lot of time. In one half of the screen you can see the contents of your local computer, in the other half the contents of your FTP server. Just as in SmartFTP it's very easy to select the files you need to upload. After uploading your files, simply switch to another tab to see the result on your live website. So far it works great: it does all the things I expect it to do.

1 comment:

Wytze Koopal said...

Stanley, in most cases FireFTP is quite adequate. But, in case you want a full-fledged FTP application, check out FileZilla. It is open source, and works great!