FireFTP – The Best FTP Client I Have Ever Used

Before we get to the meat of the post, I have to admit that until I discovered Firefox and then FireFTP, I had used IE for as long as I can remember. However, even after I finally switched to Firefox, there was one feature that IE had that kept me using the darn thing and that was the built in FTP client. The built in FTP client in Internet Explorer was convenient to use when compared to dedicated FTP software. Despite its convenience, the client was far from reliable. For small files, IE fit the bill but for larger files, IE usually ended up timing out on me with no ability to resume. What a pain in the rear. Thus, I had to find an alternative. Over the course of a week, I ended up installing and then using CuteFTP, FileZilla, BulletProof FTP, and finally SmartFTP. Each one of these software solutions had their own problems which kept me from using them full time. For example, one client would upload files slower than molasses with no support for multi file uploads while another client would not exclude the public_html when linking to a file. This resulted in a lot of time wasting energy removing extra paths from a simple image URL. Introducing my saving grace, FireFTP.

FireFTP is an extension for FireFox which adds an FTP client to the browser. A great feature to have considering that is what kept me from using anything else besides InternetExplorer. Here is why I love FireFTP. For starters, it is added to the browser which means there is one less piece of software installed on my system. It is fast, supports multi-file uploads and includes resume support shall anything happen during the upload process. Another cool feature that FireFTP has is that you can configure the client so that the public_html is automatically taken out of links from a specified directory. Here is a screen shot of this specific dialogue box that should help explain what I mean.

Since I routinely hard link to images I have uploaded to the FTP server, this little feature is a major time saver as I no longer have to remove public_html from the URL. When FireFTP is activated, it’s loaded into a normal browser tab. The configuration is setup so that the left side of the screen deals with local activity while the FTP directories are on the right side of the screen. Uploading files is as simple as selecting them on the left side and then dragging the selected files into a directory on the right side of the screen.

I usually set the left side of FireFTP to display my desktop as that is where all of the images that I save from the web are stored. Once they appear on the desktop, I simply drag them from one side into the appropriate folder, right click on them and select COPY URL, then choose HTTP. I then can paste that link into whatever blog post I’m writing. It may sound complicated or time consuming but it’s really not. With FireFTP and a few other specific extensions, FireFox is my killer app for productivity. Although I am starting to use Windows Live Writer more than ScribeFire, combining ScribeFire along with FireFTP really is a productive combination.

FireFTP is free for download and is currently at version 1.0.2. I use it on FireFox 2.0.17 and according to Randa Clay, the extension also works on FireFox3. This is by far the best FTP client I have ever used and recommend it to anyone who feels that their dedicated client is not up to par. If you use something else, let me know in the comments.

8 thoughts on “FireFTP – The Best FTP Client I Have Ever Used

  1. FireFTP is great except that it doesn’t seem to navigate symbolic links well. Once you click a linked directory, you cannot navigate backwards up the dir tree and there does not appear to be an obvious way to make it remember previously traversed directories.

  2. No. I know it works for both Firefox2 and FireFox3. Not sure why it wouldn’t let you install it.

  3. This thing is awesome and free at the same time! Thanks for the update on FireFox3, I’ll update the post with that information.

  4. Steve, that is an interesting set of circumstances you are looking for. I have yet to come across an FTP client that does what you describe.

  5. The past few days I have been searching for a new ftp client myself, and out of the 20 or so that I looked into on I was unable to find one that ha the one feature that would get me to pay for another one.

    I want an FTP program that will give me the option to double the size of the letters that describe my remote folders. I would pay extra to have it triple the size of the folder font when I hover (similar to what I have seen macs do with their program toolbar) – it is so frustrating when dealing with a dozen sites, and not be sure that when you drag and drop – you don’t drop into the wrong folder.

    Anyone seen an FTP that makes that easier?

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