As a website owner, you regularly deal with plenty of files and folders. This is especially daunting if you’ve just created a new website as you will be uploading all your files from your computer to the server.
While most prevalent hosting options enable you to upload these files on your website, you may encounter a slow File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or, worse, deal with a hosting provider without an FTP.
So, you need to consider the best FTP clients to help you manage and organize your files in such situations.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the six best FTP clients, so you can discover which one suits your website needs.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
Why an FTP Client Is Crucial for Developing Your Website
FTP enables you to explore the files and directories on your website. It also lets you transfer files and folders between your computer and website.
The best FTP clients provide you direct access to your website so you can upload local files from your desktop without any limits.
An FTP client is an essential tool for all website owners. While WordPress users may not necessarily need an FTP client to manage their files, they can benefit from it when uploading the website to the hosting server.
Also, the best FTP clients provide an easier way to explore files and directories, which comes in handy for managing large websites.
Here are some of the top reasons why you should get an FTP client to manage your website. An FTP client helps you:
- Back up your data
- Transfer files between your website and local server
- Edit files directly on the server
- Create, edit and delete directories on your website
- Upload large files in batches
Best FTP Client for Windows 10
- Free FTP by CoffeeCup Software
- WS_FTP Professional
When it comes to choosing the best FTP client for your website, there are several options. While that gives you the luxury to choose, it also makes it harder to decide. Our list can make that easier for you.
Most top FTP clients share the same basic functionalities, with some distinct features setting them apart. Without any particular order, here is a review of the six best FTP programs you will come across on the market.
Cyberduck is open-source software designed for Windows and Mac OS that enables you to manage your online storage needs. It links your WordPress website to a range of cloud storage services like Microsoft Azure, OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive.
With its user-friendly interface, Cyberduck is fit for first-timers while also delivering high-quality features. Its bookmarking and SSH functionality make Cyberduck even easier to use.
Cyberduck’s Cryptomator provides client-side protection — the gold standard for security — to protect your files against intrusion.
Key features of Cyberduck:
- Modern, clean interface
- External file editor
- Drag and drop transfers
- URL generator to share files
Best FTP client for: First-timers to FTP
CuteFTP is a premium solution for Windows platforms. It’s a secure FTP client that includes password authentication and file encryption.
You can quickly transfer large files with CuteFTP’s multi-part transfer — dividing a large file into multiple pieces and sending them over several simultaneous FTP sessions.
CuteFTP also has a detailed user guide to walk you through any problems you encounter. Still, should you need any help, you can always talk to its customer support team.
Key features of CuteFTP:
- Password manager
- Scheduled file transfers
- Drag and drop functionality
- Monitored file transfers to avoid errors
Best FTP client for: Those seeking a premium FTP solution
Price: Starts at $59.99
3. Free FTP by CoffeeCup Software
Free FTP by CoffeeCup Software is an FTP solution for Windows that offers both a free version and a premium version. It is a simple yet powerful FTP client, and its user-friendly interface empowers you to connect to the server with a single click.
Free FTP includes drag and drop functionality that empowers you to drag and drop files to download or upload them to your computer or remote server, respectively. Also, you can view the status of your file transfers on the status bar, letting you pause or cancel them.
You can also edit your files on the fly and a lot more by upgrading to Direct FTP, the premium version of Free FTP.
Key features of Free FTP:
- Secure file transfers through HTTP, SFTP, TLS and FTPS.
- Bookmarks to save addresses of most visited locations
- Backup tools with archival capabilities — create ZIP folders with a single click
- Side by side comparison of local and remote files and folders
Best FTP client for: Those who want to try a basic FTP client before upgrading
Price: Free FTP is available for free. Direct FTP costs $39.
As the name suggests, WinSCP is an FTP client software for Windows computers. As an open-source file manager, it’s a free FTP client that you can use for uploading, downloading, and editing your files.
WinSCP has a graphical user interface — it displays files on your computer on one side and files on the server on the other. You can also open several tabs and sessions in your main window to speed up your work.
For an absolute beginner, WinSCP is the best FTP client. You can find detailed resources on the website to answer your questions. For specific issues, you can also ask on a user forum or contact customer support.
Key features of WinSCP:
- Support for WebDAV, FTP, SFTP, SSH and Amazon S3
- Integrated text editor
- File encryption for security
- Multiple language options
- Drag and drop functionality
Best FTP client for: Beginners who need quick support
5. WS_FTP Professional
If you’re concerned about network sniffing — malicious users on the network can intercept an insecure FTP transfer and look at its contents — you should check out WS_FTP Professional.
WS_FTP Professional is a premium FTP client with high-grade security features to safeguard your data, including backups and signature keys. Since it transfers your files with encryption, your data is safe throughout the transfer process.
While caring for security, WS_FTP Professional doesn’t sacrifice simplicity. It is effortless to use with its drag-and-drop functionality. In addition, it lets you schedule recurring transfers and automate post-transfer activities.
Key features of WS_FTP Professional:
- Support for IIS and Apache web servers
- Email notifications, syncing and backups
- Premium customer support
- FIPS 140-2 Validated Cryptography
Best FTP client for: Secure file transfers
Price: Starts at $49.95
FileZilla is open-source FTP software for Windows, Linux, and Mac users. It comes with comprehensive support with FAQs, an in-depth wiki, and an interactive forum for users.
With the detailed support, FileZilla, as easy as it already is, becomes a walk in the park for all users. That is perhaps why it’s one of the most popular open-source cross-platform FTP clients.
FileZilla’s main interface has a side-by-side display with remote files on the right and local files on the left side. You can drag and drop files from one side to the other to initiate transfers.
Key features of FileZilla:
- Remote file searching and editing
- Secure transfers
- Support for pause/resume and large file transfers
- Bookmarking option
- Multilingual support
Best FTP client for: All users
Choosing the Best FTP Client for Your Website
Any of the above FTP clients would make a great choice. So instead of comparing these FTPs with each other, choose the best FTP client for yourself by finding the one that suits you.
Some of the critical features to consider are:
- Simple user interface — time is money. You don’t want to spend hours figuring stuff out.
- Backup and syncing options — to manually back up your website.
- Drag and drop support — to simplify your file transfers even more.
- Compatibility with your operating system — if you use Linux, for example, you can only benefit from FileZilla among the FTP clients discussed.
- Ability to transfer large files — if you deal with such files regularly.
Final Thoughts: The 6 Best FTP Clients To Develop Your Website
As a website owner, you often have to manage large files. The best FTP client enables you to upload and download files with ease. It’s also crucial that your client is compatible with your operating system, has a user-friendly interface and regards security as a top priority.
Choosing the best FTP software also requires the right hosting. Whether you’ve just created a new website or want to upgrade your host, we have the perfect fit for you. Check out Bluehost’s plans today.