Monday, 21 March 2016

FileZilla FTP Client - Usage and Merits

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Nowadays many websites are created using platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and some other Content Management System (CMS), but we still find websites developed without using any CMS. They are created by writing the necessary codes (e.g. HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and so on depending on the technology used) on the local machine and then transferring the files to the hosting server. This is done through a protocol called File Transfer Protocol (FTP). FTP is a protocol simply used in transferring files from one location to another on a network and it resides at the application layer of the Open System Interconnect (OSI) model. This post is aimed at explaining how file transfer of web pages and other related files to the hosting machine can be done using FileZilla FTP client as well as the merits of using FileZilla.

Advantages Of Using FileZilla
The main advantages of using Filezilla is improved security, more speed and easy navigation. These are further explained below:
Security: FileZilla is designed to use Secure FTP (SFTP) for file transfer over the internet using port 22 (FTP uses port 21). To prevent DLL hijacking, the installer has been updated to NSIS 3.0b3.
Speed: FileZilla FTP client is much faster than the traditional FTP service provided by many hosting companies as it allows you to transfer more volume of files at a reasonable speed.
Navigation: Once launched, FileZilla shows you the file system of your local machine and that of the hosting server when you connect. Folders and files are easily located due to the hierarchical arrangement on both the client and server side.

Setting Up the FileZilla FTP Client
The first thing to do in setting up FileZilla is to make it available to you. Visit FileZilla to get the latest version, install it and then follow the steps below to transfer files to your host. As of this writing the latest version is 3.16.1 released on the 16th of march 2016.

  1. Launch FileZilla and then provide the credentials to connect to your host as follows; enter the domain name of your site in the host field, username and password to your hosting panel (e.g. cpanel or plesk panel) in the next two fields. In the port field enter 22 as the port number; this is important as it indicates you are using SFTP.
  2. Once there’s a reliable connection and the data entered in the required fields are correct the directory of the hosting server is listed as shown below. The file system is divided into two parts – remote site and local site. Try to locate the public_html folder on the “Remote Site” directory structure.
  3. Double click the folder and drag necessary files and folders from your local site part to the folder. Wait patiently till all files have been uploaded.
  4. Visit your site to see if everything works as you expected and check if there are missing files.

The traditional FTP services of many hosting panels like cpanel and plesk panel are not so robust. This is the reason why third party FTP programs are use. FileZilla is a very sophisticated FTP client that helps developers transfer files to their hosting space using the secured version of FTP. The process of making use of FileZilla and the merits are illustrated in this post. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to drop your comments.
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