Table of Content
- What is an FTP client?
- Best FTP Clients for WordPress Websites
- How to Choose the Best FTP Client?
- How to Install an FTP Client for WordPress Websites?
- FAQs Related to Best FTP Clients for WordPress Website
Every WordPress website needs some critical files and folders to look and operate as intended. They could be simple image and video files or more complex but important files from the WordPress directory structure. What if these files are on your local machine? How do you get them on your WordPress website server?
Well, the best way forward would be an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client. WordPress developers use the best FTP clients to upload the themes, plugins, and media files on the website. It significantly streamlines the workflow and enhances the overall WordPress experience. However, the FTP client is a technical aspect of WordPress website development, which is why it can be a little confusing for some.
But don’t worry. In this blog, we’ve covered how you can choose the best FTP client for WordPress website and provided some of the popular options in the market.
So, without further ado, let’s first see what an FTP client is.
What is an FTP client?
An FTP client is a software platform used to transfer files back and forth between the local machine and a remote server online. An FTP client serves as a crucial tool for managing files on your website. That means uploading, downloading, editing, and organizing critical files like themes, plugins, media files, and more.
Most tasks for the WordPress website development and customization are done through the CMS’ user-friendly interface. But there are certain instances where direct file manipulation is necessary. That’s where you need the best FTP client. Here are a few of these critical instances.
- Uploading Themes and Plugins: When you want to add new themes or plugins to your WordPress site, you can use an FTP client to upload the theme or plugin files directly to your server.
- Editing Files: Some customization or troubleshooting may require editing core WordPress files, such as the theme’s CSS or PHP files. A file transfer protocol client software allows you to access and modify these files.
- Media File Management: If you have a large number of images, videos, among other media files, using an FTP client can be faster and more efficient than uploading them through the WordPress media library.
- Debugging & Troubleshooting: In case of errors or issues on your site, you might need an FTP client to access log files or system files. It will help you diagnose and fix problems more effectively.
- Backing Up Files: Regularly backing up your website files is crucial. You can use FTP clients to create manual backups of your site’s content.
When you connect your FTP client to your WordPress server, you’ll need to provide the server’s address and your FTP username and password. Once connected, you can navigate the server’s directory structure and view and manipulate the files. Then, you can transfer them between your local machine and the remote server.
Using the best FTP client empowers you to have more control over your WordPress website’s files, especially when advanced tasks are required. It’s a valuable tool for WordPress development services looking to finely tune their sites for a seamless online experience. You can even quickly fix common WordPress errors by reuploading the files with FTP clients.
Now that you know what an FTP client is, let’s check out a list of the best options available in the market.
Best FTP Clients for WordPress Users
Most FTP clients are quite similar in terms of their features and the purposes they serve. So, although they may seem “same”, they are quite drastically different. That’s why we have covered the 9 best FTP clients for Windows and Mac WordPress users.
Write about these FTP clients for WordPress websites.
1. FileZilla (Windows & Mac)
FileZilla is a versatile, open-source FTP client for WordPress users on both Windows and Mac. Its user-friendly interface simplifies file transfers, making it suitable for users of all levels. This tool supports FTP, SFTP, and FTPS protocols, ensuring secure connections. FileZilla’s site manager allows you to save connection details for future use.
The client’s robust queue system streamlines large transfers, while remote file editing enables quick changes to files directly on the server.
Key features of FileZilla:
- User-friendly interface: FileZilla boasts an intuitive interface that accommodates users of varying technical backgrounds. Its dual-pane design allows for easy navigation between local and remote directories.
- Site manager: The built-in site manager enables users to save and manage connection details for multiple websites. It helps streamline future access and reduces the setup time.
- Drag-and-drop functionality: Drag-and-drop transfers enable effortless movement of files between the local system and the remote server.
- Queue management: FileZilla features a robust queue system that allows users to manage and prioritize multiple file transfers. So you can handle large batches of files more efficiently.
- File editing: The client offers a rudimentary file editor, allowing users to make quick changes to remote files directly from within the application.
- Cross-platform compatibility: FileZilla is available for both Windows and Mac. It offers a consistent experience across different operating systems.
- Speed limiting: Users can manage the speed of transfers, which can be useful to ensure other online activities are not affected during large file transfers.
- Advanced settings: For WordPress experts, FileZilla provides options to customize transfer settings, manage passive and active transfer modes, and more.
- Bookmarks: The best FTP clients have bookmarking, and FileZilla is no different. It allows users to quickly navigate to frequently accessed folders on remote servers.
- Open-source: Being open-source, this free FTP client is continually improved and updated by a community of developers and contributors. That ensures its reliability and security.
FileZilla’s versatility, security features, and ease of use have established it as one of the go-to free FTP clients for WordPress websites. Whether you’re uploading themes, plugins, media files, or performing other file management tasks, FileZilla provides a solid foundation for effective and efficient website maintenance.
Price: Mac and Windows users can avail of this FTP client for free.
2. WinSCP (Windows)
Designed primarily for Windows users, WinSCP is a powerful, open-source FTP client for WordPress websites. It enables users to transfer files between a local machine and a remote server with a strong emphasis on security and easy-to-use features.
The dual-pane interface simplifies transferring files between your local system and WordPress server. WinSCP also features an integrated text editor for on-the-fly file editing and supports scripting for automation.
Let’s check out the key features of the WinSCP FTP client for Windows:
- Secure transfers: WinSCP excels in security, supporting secure protocols like SFTP and SCP, which encrypt data during transmission, ensuring the confidentiality of your files.
- Integrated text editor: WinSCP includes a built-in text editor that enables users to edit files directly on the remote server. It saves time by eliminating the need to download and re-upload files for simple edits.
- Automation: The scripting and automation capabilities of WinSCP allow users to create scripts that automate file transfers and synchronization tasks. That makes it ideal for repetitive actions.
- Directory synchronization: WinSCP allows users to compare and synchronize the content of local and remote directories.
- Integration with PuTTY: WinSCP can be integrated with PuTTY, a popular SSH client. It allows users to launch SSH sessions from within WinSCP.
- Portable version: WinSCP offers portability, which makes it a popular FTP client among Windows users. It can be run from a USB pen drive or other portable storage devices. So it’s convenient for users who need to work on multiple computers.
- Session manager: The session manager allows users to save and organize connections to multiple remote servers. So it’s easy to switch between different sites.
- Logging & error handling: WinSCP provides detailed logging of transfer activities and errors, aiding in troubleshooting and auditing.
- Password protection: This FTP client can help protect the stored passwords with a strong AES cipher. All you need to do is set a master password so the stored passwords won’t be easily decrypted by malicious software.
WinSCP’s combination of strong security, versatile features, and user-friendly design makes it an outstanding FTP client for WordPress websites.
Price: Windows users can utilize the WinSCP FTP client for free.
3. Transmit (Mac)
Created by Panic Inc, Transmit is one of the most popular FTP clients for macOS users. This FTP client offers a seamless and elegant solution for file transfers between local computers and the WordPress website server. It’s known for its user-friendly interface, robust feature set, and integration with various cloud storage services.
One of the reasons Transmit is a frequent choice with Mac users is that it includes batch transfers, folder synchronization, quick file previews, and more.
Here are a few critical features of Transmit:
- Protocol Support: Transmit supports a variety of protocols, including FTP, SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol), FTPS, and WebDAV. That ensures compatibility with a wide range of servers.
- Cloud Integration: Transmit seamlessly integrates with popular cloud storage services like Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more. So the users can manage files across multiple platforms from a single interface.
- Dual-Pane Interface: The dual-pane design simplifies the process of transferring files between the local system and remote servers. It allows for easy drag-and-drop transfers and efficient navigation.
- Sync: Transmit offers a powerful synchronization feature. It enables users to compare and sync the contents of local and remote directories. That helps make sure files are up-to-date on both ends.
- Server-to-Server Transfers: Transmit enables direct transfers between two remote servers, streamlining file management tasks that involve multiple servers.
- Panic Sync: Transmit’s built-in Panic Sync feature syncs favorite servers, passwords, and other settings across multiple devices, enhancing the user experience.
- Text and Code Editing: Transmit includes a built-in text and code editor that enables users to make quick edits to remote files directly within the application.
- Dark Mode Support: Transmit supports macOS’s Dark Mode. It adds a visually appealing interface that’s consistent with the operating system’s aesthetics.
- Batch Download & Upload: Transmit allows users to queue multiple files for download or upload simultaneously, saving time and optimizing workflow.
If you are a macOS aficionado, the WordPress development company is more likely to go with Transmit. One of the reasons behind its popularity is its combination of sleek design, powerful features, and cloud integration.
Price: The basic version of the Transmit FTP client for WordPress websites can be used for free. But for more advanced features, a paid version of Transmit 5 is available at $45.
4. WS_FTP Professional (Windows)
Primarily for Windows users, WS_FTP Professional is a comprehensive FTP client designed by Ipswitch. This company specializes in secure data transfer solutions. That’s why you can expect enterprise-grade security for WordPress websites with SSH, 256-bit AES, FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography, and more. That’s why this paid FTP client boasts millions of users worldwide.
You can even pair it with syncs and back-ups to keep your files on lockdown. Let’s see a few features of WS_FTP Professional client:
- Enterprise-Level Security: Suitable for businesses, the client provides advanced security features like 256-bit AES encryption, which helps safeguard data during transfer and storage.
- Automation: The client offers automation features, allowing users to create scripts to automate file transfers, synchronization, and other tasks. That is particularly useful for recurring operations.
- Scheduled Transfers: WS_FTP Professional enables users to schedule file transfers. That allows for unattended transfers at specific times or intervals.
- Integration: WS_FTP Professional integrates with Microsoft Office and supports integration with content management systems (CMS). So it will be easier to manage files within familiar software environments.
- Advanced Management: The client offers features for managing large-scale file transfers. That includes folder synchronization, simultaneous connections, and remote file editing.
- Auditing & Reporting: For compliance and auditing purposes, WS_FTP Professional generates detailed transfer logs and reports. So you can have better insights into file transfer activities.
- Multi-platform Support: WS_FTP Professional enables file transfers between Windows and UNIX/Linux systems. So, the communication between different platforms will be seamless.
- Enhanced User Management: The client includes user authentication and management features for controlled access to remote servers.
- User Interface Customization: WS_FTP Professional allows users to customize the interface to their preferences for usability and personalization.
- Personalization: The software permits users to save and manage connection profiles for easy access to frequently used servers.
It showcases a perfect blend of advanced security features, automation capabilities, and comprehensive management tools. So, if you want secure file transfer for your website, you may ask the WordPress development agency to consider WS_FTP Professional.
Prices: WS_FTP Professional is available for Windows users at $54.95 per license.
5. CoffeeCup Free FTP (Windows)
CoffeeCup Free FTP is a lightweight FTP client for WordPress websites designed for Windows users. As the name suggests, this FTP client is available at no cost. So, it’s a more accessible option for individuals who require basic file management capabilities.
But don’t think being a free FTP client makes this software any less competent. It offers an easy-to-use interface, so even beginners can upload, download, and organize files on remote servers without any issues.
Here are a few other features of Free FTP:
- Basic File Transfer: This free FTP by CoffeeCup focuses on core FTP functionality. So, the users can transfer files between their local system and remote server using standard FTP protocols.
- Drag-and-Drop Transfers: Free FTP supports drag-and-drop functionality to transfer files between their local computer and the server more easily.
- No Frills Approach: As a lightweight option, Free FTP omits advanced features and focuses on essential file transfer tasks. That ensures a streamlined and straightforward experience.
- No Encryption Support: Notably, CoffeeCup Free FTP does not offer support for secure transfer protocols like SFTP or FTPS. That means transfers are not encrypted.
CoffeeCup offers a range of web design and development tools, and Free FTP is part of this suite. That provides users with various tools to enhance their web-related tasks. Although this free software lacks in some areas, CoffeeCup also offers Direct FTP with more advanced features.
Price: CoffeeCup Free FTP is available free of cost. But the CoffeeCup Direct FTP costs $39.
6. Cyberduck (Windows & Mac)
Designed for both Windows and MacOS, Cyberduck is a versatile FTP client that focuses on the user-friendly transfer of files between the local machine and the server. It’s highly regarded among WordPress website developers for its modern design, seamless cloud integration, and support for different FTPs.
Advanced users can leverage Cyberduck’s scripting capabilities for automation and batch-processing file transfer tasks.
Here are a few key features of the Cyberduck FTP client:
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: Cyberduck is available for both Windows and Mac. That ensures users on different operating systems can benefit from its features.
- Protocol Diversity: The client supports a comprehensive array of protocols. That includes FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Azure, and more for more versatility.
- Cloud Storage Integration: Cyberduck seamlessly integrates with major cloud storage services. Users can manage files stored on platforms like Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive directly from the client.
- User-friendly Interface: With its modern and intuitive interface, Cyberduck simplifies the process of connecting to remote servers and managing files with limited technical experience.
- Bookmarking: The client allows users to save and manage bookmarks for frequently accessed servers, streamlining the connection process.
- Quick Look & Preview: This premium FTP client provides a “Quick Look” feature that lets users preview the content of files before downloading. It enhances efficiency and reduces download time for unwanted files.
- Text Editor Integration: The built-in text editor enables users to edit remote files directly within the application. That takes away the need to download files for minor edits.
- Open Source Foundation: Cyberduck is built on an open-source foundation. It encourages community contributions and ensures ongoing development and updates.
- Transfers & Sync: The client offers features for managing file transfers. That includes synchronization of directories and the ability to pause and resume transfers.
One of the biggest advantages of Cyberduck is an added layer of protection for WordPress websites with Cryptomator. It offers interoperable vaults to secure critical website data on server or cloud storage.
Price: Cyberduck is a free FTP client.
7. Commander One Pro (Mac)
Developed by Eltima Software, Commander One Pro is among the best FTP clients for WordPress users, offering advanced file management capabilities. This paid FTP client stands out with its efficient file management tools and user-friendly interface.
This FTP client even boasts a dual-pane design, which enables the users to manage the files on two different directories side-by-side. Here are a few other features of the Commander One Pro FTP client for Mac users.
- Multi-Tab Interface: Users can open multiple tabs within the application, making it easy to navigate and manage files across different directories and servers.
- Remote Server Mounting: Commander One Pro lets users mount remote servers as local drives, providing seamless access to remote files as if they were on the local machine.
- Quick File Search: The application offers quick and efficient file search functionality, helping users locate files across remote servers and local directories.
- Advanced File Operations: Commander One Pro provides advanced FTP functions such as copy, compress, and extract, along with batch renaming and enhancing productivity.
- Built-in Viewer & Editor: Users can preview files without opening external applications, and the built-in text editor allows for direct editing of remote files.
- Cloud Storage Integration: The software offers integration with popular cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive. It allows users to manage cloud files alongside local and remote ones.
- Keyboard Shortcuts & Hotkeys: Commander One Pro offers customizable keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys. It optimizes navigation and enhances workflow efficiency.
- Archive Handling: The application supports a wide range of archive formats, allowing users to work with compressed files seamlessly.
- Security: Commander One Pro emphasizes security, supporting secure protocols like SFTP and FTPS for encrypted and protected file transfers.
- Terminal Emulator: For advanced users, Commander One Pro includes a terminal emulator for direct command-line interaction with remote servers.
Commander One Pro is an ideal solution for macOS users needing advanced file management capabilities alongside built-in FTP client functionality.
Price: Although Commander One is a free FTP client software, the pro version costs $29.99.
8. Forklift (Mac)
Forklift is an FTP client for Mac users developed by BinaryNights. It offers an extensive set of tools for managing files, transferring data, and performing advanced file operations. That makes it a valuable asset for WordPress professionals.
It boasts multi-connection transfers, synchronization, and direct remote file editing, among many specialties. That’s why it’s ideal for users who require comprehensive file management on their Mac.
Here are a few key features of Forklift:
- Dual-Pane Interface: Forklift’s dual-pane design allows users to view and manage files on two different directories or servers side by side. That enhances the efficiency of transferring and organizing files.
- FTP Client: In addition to its local file management capabilities, Forklift includes a built-in FTP client that supports FTP, SFTP, FTPS, and WebDAV. That facilitates seamless remote file transfers.
- Remote Server Mounting: Forklift lets users mount remote servers as local drives, enabling easy access and management.
- Advanced File Operations: The application offers a wide array of advanced file operations, including multi-item renaming, batch file renaming, file merging, splitting, and more.
- Sync & Folder Comparison: Forklift allows users to synchronize files and folders between directories and servers, and it provides folder comparison tools to identify differences.
- Quick Look Integration: Users can preview files without opening external applications using Forklift’s Quick Look integration, saving time and enhancing productivity.
- Built-in Text & Image Editors: The software includes built-in text and image editors, allowing users to edit text files and images without the need for third-party applications.
- Archiving & Compression: Forklift supports a wide range of archive formats for creating and extracting compressed files.
- Keyboard Shortcuts & Hotkeys: Customizable keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys enhance navigation and workflow efficiency.
- Cloud Integration: This great FTP client integrates with popular cloud storage services such as Amazon S3 and Google Drive. So the users can manage cloud files alongside local and remote ones.
- Terminal Emulator: Advanced users can take advantage of the built-in terminal emulator to interact directly with remote servers using command-line commands.
- Customizable Interface: Forklift’s interface can be customized with various themes and view options to suit users’ preferences.
Forklift FTP software empowers users to efficiently manage their files, whether they’re dealing with local directories, remote servers, or cloud storage platforms.
Price: Mac users can avail of this dedicated FTP client starting at $19.95.
9. Core FTP LE (Windows)
Core FTP LE (Lite Edition) is a free and user-friendly choice for Windows users looking for the best FTP without the complexity of advanced features.
Developed by CoreFTP.com, this FTP client features an intuitive interface to make it easier to use for everyone, especially beginners. While its offerings are quite basic, WordPress website development services select it for its striking balance between functionality and simplicity.
Here are a few key features of Core FTP LE:
- FTP Protocol Support: The client supports standard FTP protocol for transferring files between the local system and remote servers.
- Secure Transfers: Core FTP LE offers secure FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS) encryption for protected data transfers.
- Drag-and-Drop Functionality: The software supports drag-and-drop functionality, allowing users to easily move files between their local system and the remote server.
- Quick Setup: Core FTP LE streamlines the process of connecting to remote servers. So it’s accessible to users who are new to FTP clients.
- Site Manager: The built-in site manager lets users save and manage connection details for different remote servers. It simplifies the connection process for future use.
- Basic File Operations: Core FTP LE allows users to perform basic file operations such as uploading, downloading, deleting, and renaming files on remote servers.
Being a Lite Edition, Core FTP LE is lightweight and focuses on core FTP functionality, making it suitable for users who require quick and straightforward file transfers.
Price: Core FTP LE is free of cost.
These are just a few of the best FTP clients for WordPress users on Windows and Mac. The core function of each of them is similar. But still, the features and pricing can make it a little tricky to choose among them.
So, in the next section, you’ll learn how to find the best FTP client for your WordPress website.
How to Choose the Best FTP Client?
FTP client functionality is not offered by the WordPress hosting providers. Plus, it’s not a significant element in the WordPress website development cost. But still, you have to choose the best FTP client for your website, whether you are a Windows or Mac user. Here are a few critical factors you must consider while choosing the best FTP client.
- Compatibility: Ensure the FTP client is compatible with your operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux) to guarantee a seamless experience.
- Protocols: Consider the protocols you need to use. Most clients support FTP, SFTP, and FTPS. But if you require additional protocols like WebDAV or cloud storage integration, verify that the client offers those features.
- Security: If security is a priority, opt for a client that supports encrypted protocols like SFTP or FTPS, ensuring your data is transferred securely.
- User Interface: Look for a user-friendly interface that suits your preferences. Some clients have dual-pane designs helpful for transferring files between local and remote directories.
- Features: Consider the features you require. Some FTP software focuses on basic file transfer, while others offer advanced capabilities like synchronization, remote editing, scripting, and cloud integration.
- Ease of Use: A client with a straightforward interface and easy setup process would be more suitable for beginners. Experienced users might appreciate advanced features and customization options.
- Speed & Performance: A reliable FTP client should offer fast transfer speeds and efficient navigation. Look for features like multi-threading to enhance performance.
- Automation: If you need to perform repetitive tasks or automate file transfers, choose a client with scripting and automation capabilities.
- Integration: Some FTP clients integrate with popular software and services like text editors, cloud storage platforms, or content management systems, which can streamline your workflow.
- Price: While many FTP clients offer free versions, consider whether you need the features provided by paid versions. Evaluate what the paid FTP brings to your workflow.
- Support: Check if the FTP client has a helpful support system, including documentation, user forums, and customer service, in case you encounter any issues.
- Reviews & Recommendations: Research online reviews and seek recommendations from colleagues or online communities to get insights into the experiences of others.
- Trial Period: Many paid FTP clients offer trial periods. Take advantage of these trials to test the client’s features and see if they align with your needs.
Ultimately, the best FTP client for you will depend on the balance of features, security, and ease of use, along with how it pairs up with your requirements. So make sure you assess the workflow, prioritize the factors that matter most to you, and choose the client that can perform all FTP functions.
If you feel like you’re technically equipped to choose the best FTP client for your WordPress website, get in touch with a WordPress website development company. They’ll analyze your requirements and choose the best FTP client for your website.
How to Install an FTP Client for WordPress Websites?
Installing an FTP client to manage the WordPress files isn’t a complicated process. Here are a few simple steps for the same:
Step 1: Choose an FTP Client: Select the FTP client you want to use based on your website requirements. You can choose the best FTP client from options like FileZilla, Cyberduck, WinSCP, and more through the above-mentioned strategy.
Step 2: Download and Install: Visit the official website of the chosen FTP client and download the installer for your operating system. Once downloaded, run the installer and follow the installation instructions.
Step 3: Launch the FTP Client: After installation, open the FTP client on your computer.
Step 4: Gather FTP Credentials: To manage the files for your WordPress website via FTP, you’ll need the necessary FTP credentials. That includes the hostname, username, password, and port. You can find them in your WordPress host’s cPanel. Or you may contact the hosting provider for assistance.
Step 5: Configure Connection: Now, open the FTP client and look for an option to set up a new connection with the newly gathered FTP credentials:
- Host: Your website’s URL.
- Username: Your FTP username.
- Password: Your FTP password.
- Port: You can enter port 21 for the default FTP. But if you want a more secure SFTP, go for port 22.
Step 6: Connection Type: Some top FTP clients for Windows and Mac let you choose the appropriate connection type based on the desired security protocol.
Step 7: Test Connection: After entering the correct credentials, test the connection to ensure everything is set up as intended.
Now, you should be able to connect to an FTP server to manage the WordPress files.
Step 8: Navigate and Transfer Files: Once connected, you’ll see two panels – one for your local files and one for the remote server. Now, all that’s left is navigating through directories and transferring files between your computer and the server, along with several other FTP operations.
Step 9: Disconnect: When you’re done with your file transfers and FTP functions, disconnect the FTP from the server.
If you encounter issues with this process, we recommend you hire WordPress developers. They’ll choose and connect the FTP client to your website and then perform the FTP functionalities effectively.
FAQs Related to Best FTP Clients for WordPress Website
Transferring the files between the local machine and a WordPress website doesn’t tend to be as simple as copy-pasting. Unlike your computer’s native filing system, WordPress websites are hosted on remote servers, so the file transfer is a bit more complex and requires FTP clients.
There are several FTP clients in the market available as per your technical requirements and budget. Some of the best FTP clients for WordPress websites on Windows and Mac are FileZilla, WinSCP, Transmit, WS_FTP Professional, and more. Make sure to analyze them in depth and choose them carefully with the aforementioned criteria.
If you want to customize your WordPress website with custom themes and plugins via FTP clients, get in touch with the experts at WPWeb Infotech today!