WordPress is an open-source content management system that is used by millions of sites and blogs across the web. It uses a database to store all site information, including posts and pages, images, and more.
Every blogger needs an FTP client.
To make sure your site is always online, you’ll want to use an FTP client on the server that hosts it for uploading files and managing them remotely. This article will introduce you to four of the most popular FTP clients for WordPress and explain why each one is a good choice.
What is an FTP client?
An FTP client is a software application that allows you to transfer files from your local machine (laptop, desktop) to your server. The File Transfer Protocol was designed for quick and secure file transfer between two computers.
Some FTP clients let users drag-and-drop files into their preferred folder, while others allow users to earmark them before uploading so they don’t need to search through all of their folders later on after everything is finished uploading.
They also allow for secure transfers such as SSH and SFTP, which use the Secure Shell (SSH) or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). These clients encrypt and follow a secured protocol for file transfers and can be found in many different operating systems like Windows and macOS.
Some FTP clients offer sync between your local machine and server, as well as cloud services like Google Drive.
Features to look for in an FTP client
The features to look for in an FTP client are easy to use, beginner-friendly, and has a built-in feature that the user would like.
Features to Look for in an FTP Client:
- Easy Usage: The software should be intuitive enough that even beginners can pick it up quickly. It should also have advanced features that allow them to efficiently work with the site’s hosting company.
- Accessibility: As people create websites on WordPress, they need access to the file system that their website is hosted on. It should be easy for them to use and make content editable without having to download a file and save it back onto the server.
- Support: The software should have support available online and through email, as well as an active community of users who can help answer questions or troubleshoot problems.
- Built-in features: Every piece of FTP software has its own unique set of features that are designed differently so there’s more than one option for everyone. Look for software that has features that you want specifically, like backup and syncing options in order to make sure that the client will meet your specific requirements.
- Security: It’s important to have a client with good security because FTP is one of the most commonly attacked methods of transferring data so it should be easy to set up and use their security tools.
- Speed: The software should have a high-speed transfer rate in order to keep your website loading quickly on your reader’s device.
- Compatibility: Make sure the software is compatible with your operating system and web browser because you don’t want any unnecessary hassle.
Different FTP clients have different features so there’s more than one option for everyone. Look for software that has the specific features you want, like good security or high-speed transfers to make sure your website is safe.
Top 4 FTP clients for WordPress
FileZilla (Windows, Mac, and Linux)
Filezilla is a very popular name in the FTP game, as it’s a free, open-source FTP client that offers good value for money. It has been around for over 15 years and is cross-platform compatible, making it easy to access from any device you have on hand or anywhere else that you might be. Filezilla can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
It has an outdated interface but it gets the job done and comes with many features to improve your workflow.
- Easy to download and install.
- It has a clean interface that makes it easy to understand how the program functions without any help from tutorials or videos.
- It’s a free and open-source file transfer application that can be used across multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. It’s also available on Android platforms.
- FileZilla transfers data fast and easily without any hassle of navigating through multiple menus in most cases!
- It automatically provides status reports on the transfer speed.
- The application lets you easily transfer files from one side of your computer’s file system to another with drag and drop functionality, as well as other features such as queueing transfers.
- It supports SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) as well as the more common FTPS/FTPES protocols.
- FileZilla has an old and outdated interface. It also lacks the many features modern FTP clients have.
- The program has many settings, but it can be difficult for novice users to configure them because of the lack of support documentation and tutorials available online.
In our opinion, Filezilla is an excellent FTP client to start with as it’s free, open-source, and user-friendly.
Cyberduck (Windows and Mac)
Cyberduck is a free and open-source FTP client that offers an intuitive user interface with features such as drag & drop, transfer speed controls, SFTP support, customizable keyboard shortcuts. Cyberduck allows users to transfer files between their computer and cloud storage, as well as share folders with other people. Cyberduck also supports a number of protocols, including FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Azure, BackBlaze, One Drive, Google Drive, and Amazon S3/Cloudfront.
- Cyberduck is a free, open-source, multiplatform FTP client that runs on Windows and Mac.
- It has a modern interface that makes it easy to use with no learning curve.
- It supports Microsoft Azure, Google Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze, and Dropbox file transfers.
- The program offers secure file transfers with AES-256 encryption on top of the SSH transport layer protocol to provide maximum security while transferring files between devices or accounts.
- Provides the ability to edit, create, or view different types of files on any platform.
- The program makes it easy to share files with other people on the internet by generating a URL that others can access without installing additional software.
- It offers the Quick Look feature to browse large folder structures in one click.
- Bookmarking tool includes history, imports, files, and more.
- It offers a drag and drop module which makes transferring files in bulk very easy.
- Cyberduck does not support Linux.
- Cyberduck requires Java to run properly on either platform.
Cyberduck is a great choice for people who use popular cloud storage services every day and it’s a powerful competition to FileZilla. We absolutely recommend it as it’s free, open-source, and has tons of great features.
Forklift 3 (Mac)
(image credit: Binarynights)
ForkLift is a Mac-only file manager and transfer client. It has an interface that is fresh for Mac users, but it also includes great features like fast transfers and scheduling.
Forklift offers a free trial with limited features but the core software requires a $29.95 payment for a single license. The app offers lifetime prices and discounts to students, teachers, Apple Store employees, military members, veterans with disability status, etc.
Forklift 3 pros
- It has a dual-pane interface that allows you to drag files from one area to another. With the split interface, users can manage multiple projects or tasks at once without cluttering up their screens with too much information.
- It supports transfers with SFTP and FTP likewise.
- Forklift supports transferring files over remote connections like WebDav, BackBlaze, Google Drive, SMB, AFP, NFS, Amazon S3 and Google Drive.
- It offers a multi-rename tool so you can rename all the files at once.
- Its interface is clear and simple and offers a sleek design, which makes it easier for users to navigate through their tasks without difficulty.
- The Forklift 3 has a dark mode in addition to its standard interface. It is beneficial for people with sensitive eyesight.
- It syncs with Dropbox and allows you to view all your files in one place and easily share them through the cloud storage service.
- The price of this tool makes it affordable for both novices and experienced users.
Forklift 3 cons
- Can only be used on Mac OS.
- Not a free app, and it could be pricey for some people.
If you’re a Mac user and want an FTP client with a fresh and modern interface that is not too expensive – we recommend Forklift 3.
(image credit: WinSCP)
WinSCP is a free software for Windows that provides secure file transfer and management through SSH/SFTP. It has many features such as transferring files, copying directories, creating new folders on remote servers with one click of a button, browsing the contents of archives without decompressing them into local filesystems, or using plugins to encrypt your data.
It can be run in command-line mode or as a graphical user interface application. The program has over 99 million downloads on SourceForge, making it one of the most popular projects on the platform.
It has many features and in-depth documentation, great community forums, and no advertisements.
It’s an excellent option for people who are looking for an easy interface that has basic necessities. It can be used to transfer files, edit text files, and run scripts.
- It’s a free file manager.
- It provides an interface similar to FileZilla and has the same dual-pane module with drag and drop capabilities.
- It has an easy-to-use interface, making it perfect for novice users who are not familiar with the command line or batch script.
- It provides essential functions for file transfer and editing.
- It offers multiple sessions on one screen, allowing users to manage transfers between servers or computers.
- Only works on Windows.
- WinSCP does not have customer support services available other than documentation and community forums.
- It has fewer features than other clients.
WinSCP enables users to manage files on a server without requiring any additional software outside of what’s already installed on their computer, and it’s perfect for any Windows user. Since it’s free, open-source, and has a light resource usage, we recommend it for both experienced and novice users that don’t need advanced features in their FTP client.
What is the best FTP client?
There are many different types of FTP clients available, and they all share a few characteristics. They offer high-level security and speed to access and transfer files on your website or server.
When choosing an FTP client, it’s important to consider the features that are important for you. For example, searching keywords such as “operating system,” “automation capabilities,” and “secure protocols” can help narrow down your options.
The best clients also offer speed of file transfer because this is a key aspect when working with large files on a server or website.
You should consider both OS support and functionality in the context of what each operating system is capable of. Drag-and-drop file uploads can make things easier when it comes to uploading files through your FTP account, but not all FTP clients have this feature available.
The most common protocols that are supported by FTP clients include the older file transfer protocol (FTP), which is considered insecure, and SFTP. A secure alternative to FTP is TLS/SSL with SSHFS, which uses encryption standards in order to ensure security when transferring files over networks.
You should also know what you need from your client because there are different types of features depending on how they’re being used. If you want a simple interface for uploading or downloading content without too many bells and whistles, a basic FTP client will work fine.
In addition, you should know what the best features are for your specific needs so that you can find an FTP client that meets those needs and supports protocols needed to support them.
In our opinion, the best FTP client for WordPress is FileZilla, as it has a lot of features and functions, is free, and is available on all major operating systems. It provides encryption as well as transfer speed control so that you can be assured your data will arrive safely.
However, if you’re a more advanced user that requires specific features and capabilities, you might want to search for a more sophisticated FTP client.
If you have a suggestion for other great FTP clients, please let us know in the comments and we’ll try to review it in one of our next articles.