updated Oct 2011
Firefox being the brilliant browser it is - more and more excellent and useful extensions are being developed ; ) One of these is FireFTP by Mime Čuvalo.
This extension allows you to upload your files directly in Firefox via FTP. I'm not sure how well it performs with very large files but I tried it out for several uploads and find it very easy to use, stable and very responsive. I'd like to take you through its installation and setup in Firefox and a typical upload. Make sure you are in Firefox ;)
Installation and connection setup
- to install FireFTP - go to either of the pages shown below. By clicking on the Download / Install button the addon will be installed as extension in Firefox.
after installation - restart Firefox.
Once back open - you will see the extension added to your top menu > Tools > FireFTP.
Note that newer versions of Firefox changed the location of the extension within the top menu. In Firefox6 - you can find it now under
top menu > Tools > Web Developer > FireFTP.
When you choose FireFTP from your menu - it will launch itself into a new tab showing two columns: a left side column showing your default local directory and a right side column, currently empty, for the server directory. Each column is again divided into two halves allowing you to easily access folder content. Inbetween the two main columns you will see two arrow buttons which allow you to download from the remote directory and upload files and folders to the server.
to set the preferences go to:
top menu > Tools > Add-ons.
Depending on your version of Firefox - the window content will be slightly different, newer versions will launch the add-ons manager, as shown in the screenshot below.
The settings on place by default should be fine - but make sure that you have the general settings set as shown below. By setting the FileView to refresh automatically you will be able to see any successful up/downloads immediately appear within your folders.
Uploading via FTPTo upload to your webserver you will need to have the following details:
- FTP host - usually in the form of "ftp.yourdomainname.com" or "yourdomainname.com"
These details will be given to you by your webhost. It is good practice to keep all such information backed up somewhere other than your computer. Print out a copy and make sure store it somewhere safe - keep it secret - keep it safe ;)
Even though you can always request this information again from your webhost - you often will need to log in or give some details in order to use technical support or to verify your account.
To configure FireFTP for server connection and upload the files - please follow the steps below:
- local directory
to set the left side column of FireFTP to show the files to be uploaded - navigate your computer and locate your current site. You will see that by clicking on a folder in the very left hand side column - its adjacent column will show the selected folder's content. Once you can see your site's content - you are ready to connect to your server.
- FTP account
FireFTP allows you to create FTP accounts which are then stored within the account drop down menu. Click onto 'Manage Accounts', select 'Create an account' and type in your details. You will only need to type in the 'Host' details which will automatically be used as 'Account Name' - and your username and password. Click 'OK' to confirm and save your account settings.
- connect to server
once you have confirmed the correct log in details - you are ready to connect to your server. With your details stored in the drop down menu - make sure your FTP account is displayed and click the connect button. Beneath the program's credits at the bottom of your window you will see the current activity being displayed. This will tell you how your login is proceeding and will inform you of any errors which might occur.
The folders found in the root directory can vary from server to server - and you don't need to worry about most of these while you are new to webdesign and simply want to upload your website. It is important only to put your website's files into the correct directory and to make sure your index page is placed directly into the site folder.
Your website's directory is usually called "httpdocs" - "public_html" - or you might even find a folder shortcut called "www". If you are not sure - simply email your webhost and ask :)
Once connected - you will see the right side column displaying your server's directories as shown here:
- uploading your files
To upload your files - make sure that your site folder is open in both directories: your local and your remote server should mirror each other. Once you know you are looking at the correct files - ensure that all required files are selected in your local site folder and that the relevant folder is displaying its content on the server side.
Select all files to be uploaded by shift clicking - and upload using either the 'upload' button or by dragging the selected files across.
Both methods work equally well. If you are new to this and feel a little hesitant - use the 'upload' button as you cannot make any mistakes. While dragging across and if you let go of your mouse at the wrong time - you might end up uploading your files into the wrong directory. You would then have to either move them on the server - or delete them to upload from scratch.
- viewing process and stopping up/downloads
You can see the process of your up/download in several places within your window. this should give you an indication of how long certain file sizes will take to up/download. It is always faster to download than to upload - so don't be surprised if some heavier file take more time. If your internet connection is slow it would be best to upload your files in smaller chunks.
If you are experiencing difficulties - you can stop your up/downloads at any time via the 'abort' button. You can then disconnect from the server and even restart FireFTP or Firefox to start fresh.