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.
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.