If you own a blog or a website, you probably spend hours everyday uploading and downloading files back and forth between your local computer and your site. With so many FTP software titles to choose from, how do you find the best one for you? Here I have listed some must-have features to look for in any FTP software as well as four of my top recommendations.
Thereâ€™s more to a high quality FTP software than just uploading and downloading files. The features I appreciate the most include a â€œkeep aliveâ€ feature, which sends random messages to your server periodically in order to keep your connection from timing out and disconnecting. Secondly, FXP (or, server-to-server) transfers are great if you manage more than one website. FXP will allow you to send files directly from one remote server to another without having to download the files to your local computer. Lastly, my personal favorite is a scheduler. A scheduler will allow you to automate things such as website or local backups. For example, if you would like to regularly backup the information on your local computer, you can schedule a daily backup where your FTP program will automatically upload newly modified files on your computer to a remote location. This also works the other way around for backups from your remote website to your local computer as well.
With that said, I have outlined four popular FTP programs that I would recommend for anyone looking for a high quality feature-rich FTP client at a reasonable price.
1. WS_FTP Pro- http://www.ipswitch.com
Just off the top of my head, I would probably guess that WS_FTP Pro may be the most popular FTP client software out there. Developed by Ipswitch, WS_FTP Pro is packed with tons of features that will allow you to manage your files with ease. Of course, WS_FTP Pro is not the only version Ipswitch offers. They offer a few different versions along with the option of purchasing additional support if you desire.
In addition to my must-have features of â€œkeep aliveâ€, FXP and scheduler, WS_FTP Pro includes some neat things such as a thumbnail display of remote images, multiple program skins and auto email notifications on file transfers.
2. Cute FTP- http://www.cuteftp.com/cuteftppro/
Again, Cute FTP also provides my three must-have features. Similar to WS_FTP, Cute FTP also features thumbnails of remote images. This software will also automatically check for updates to your local files and folders and automatically upload them to your remote server. Another similarity between WS_FTP and Cute FTP is the utilization of tabs, which many people find convenient but I am personally not a big fan of (although Iâ€™m not quite sure why).
3. Smart FTP- http://www.smartftp.com/
Add the awesome feature of on-the-fly compression along with my three must-have features, and youâ€™ve got Smart FTP. I also enjoy the easy to maneuver and understand GUI interface. Overall, Smart FTP is probably the best FTP client you can get taking into consideration price and features. Itâ€™s an absolutely awesome software which I have heard very little complaints about.
4. Turbo FTP- http://www.turboftp.com
This is my personal favorite andÂ what I have been using for the last few years.Â I actually paid the developer to customize the software by adding a few features to Turbo FTPâ€™s task scheduler. I suppose since I paid extra for a customized version combined with the fact that Turbo FTP has all of my must-have features and I have been using it for a while now, I have not been inclined to change. The GUI interface is very similar to Smart FTP.
Donâ€™t think that you have to pay to customize Turbo FTP in order for it to compete with any of the other programs mentioned above. This software is very easy to use and navigate, and the developers offer great support.
If youâ€™re shopping for a good FTP client software, I hope that the information in this article will help you to find a program that works best for you. Everyone may be using the same type of software to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, so ultimately, youâ€™ll just have to shop around and find the particular software that works best for you.