upload via FTP in Firefox – FireFTP

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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 FTP

To 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"
  • username/login
  • password

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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:

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

280 Comments

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  1. Gravatar george
    260
    11/02/2012

    how can i change Transfer Rate KB/s To kbps?

  2. Gravatar Wenz
    259
    07/02/2012

    (Iam using Filezilla server & client at present for the school-website/manuel update)

    I am looking for a automatic FTP-tool doing the following File-updates after the right configuration
    between a Windows-PC (A) and the website (B):
    a) Master = A, Slave= B
    b) New & updates Files from A >> B
    c) deleted Files at A >>> deleting them at B
    d) Time-scheduled start of this Update at the PC
    2 times per day
    my Question:
    1. is this possible with fireFTP?
    2. if not: do someone know such a FTP-tool? (even if it is not free)

    Thanks
    Wenz

    Automatic 2 times per day

  3. Gravatar Rovie
    258
    06/02/2012

    I love this eisentxon. It is wonderful when I just need to upload a simple file and try it out, like a php page or something and don’t need or want to fire up another app just for that.

  4. Gravatar prisca
    257
    05/02/2012

    Jeremy,
    what you are trying to do might be best solved another way, possibly just using a service like DropBox (http://dropbox.com) rather than using your own server.
    You can of course achieve what you are trying to do – but you would need to understand how to configure your server, set permissions on the different folder according to the access you want to grant etc….
    But as you called yourself a ‘noob’ :) I’d think an external service to manage upload might be less of a headache for you :)

    Bryan, sorry – I am familiar with VM but have never tried to do what you are trying to achieve, can’t be of any help to you here, sorry.

  5. Gravatar Bryan Poer
    256
    02/02/2012

    I am using Fire FTP to connect to a mainframe running the VM (Virtual Machine) operating system. Just in case you’re not familiar with VM, you can have many userids logged onto the system. Each ID can have one, or many ‘disks’, which have a virtual address, ie. 191, 192, 292, 392, etc. when I connect to one of these disks, the flies show up as the timestamp of the file as the filename and the disk label as the filetype. Also if I FTP the file across, it comes without any data (0 KB). I have tried to check the configuration to see if I can change this and have been unsuccessful. Anyone got any ideas how I can FTP files to a VM system.

  6. Gravatar Jeremy
    255
    01/02/2012

    I’m setting up our FTP upload and account settings and can’t figure out how to keep the rest of our webserver hidden when someone accesses our ftpdropbox. I don’t want someone to be able to mess with our website files or accidentally delete something. When I go into fireFTP I can not only see the ftpdropbox I want to access…but I can then go up to the parent directories and browse the entire webserver. Needless to say I don’t want to give out unlimited access, I want them to see what I’ve uploaded for them and nothing more. Any tips for the n00b?

  7. Gravatar prisca
    254
    22/01/2012

    Gail,
    sorry to hear the fresh install didn’t help :(
    It seems that your settings remained? ~ I think your idea of deleting the account you set up and starting fresh would be a good idea. You can also have more than one account linking to the same host, no problem. A lot of people use several account purely for a different directory on the server – so I would definitely that :)
    good luck ;)

    Gary,
    not sure what this could be other than a glitch…. have you tried clearing cache etc and making sure you’ve typed in your password correctly (will be case-sensitive)?
    I assume you have done this – but can’t think of anything else, sorry.

  8. Gravatar prisca
    253
    22/01/2012

    Sorry everyone for the late reply, was away for a few days….

    Janna,
    about your files – well, without seeing your folder I can’t be sure. If you are only trying to get rid of the pages which went public/online – then you should be doing this via the WordPress admin. Log in and find those posts/pages and set their status to ‘draft’ and update. This will take them offline.
    Unless you know exactly what you are doing with WordPress, I would not touch the files on your server. You have it installed and working – so work with it via your admin, rather than using FTP. You will be able to delete anything you don’t want to show online etc….
    And yes, your FTP account details are the ones you would use in the ‘host’ details within FireFTP.

  9. Gravatar Gary
    252
    22/01/2012

    Ho Precila, I believe I am have a similar problem to Gail, I have just installed FireFTP, set up the account and it logs in and asks for a password again, no matter how many times I enter it the error comes back at me stating there is no password as below. I use another FTP client (transmit) and it works fine?
    Any ideas?
    USER admin
    331 User admin OK. Password required
    PASS (password not shown)
    530 Login authentication failed

  10. Gravatar Sally
    251
    19/01/2012

    Hi.

    I am having problems uploading my updated index.html page. The transfer says complete but when I go to http://www.lazonbypool.co.uk to check it is still showing the old version. I have changed and uploaded another page successfully so cannot understand why having a problem with the homepage. Any ideas? Many thanks

  11. Gravatar Gail
    250
    18/01/2012

    Hi Prisca,

    I tried the fresh install but getting the same error message. Thinking of deleting current account and starting over – or can I have 2 accounts linked to same host?

    Thanks for your help.

  12. Gravatar Janna
    249
    18/01/2012

    How do I locate my blog files? Are the files in WordPress in my Applications folder the correct ones?

    And, are ‘FTP server’ and ‘Host’ the same thing? Dreamhost gave me a temporary FTP server name, phantom.dreamhost.com. Is that what goes in the ‘Host’ field?

    Thanks

  13. Gravatar prisca
    248
    15/01/2012

    Janna,
    this does not have anything to do with FireFTP at all as far as I can tell ;)
    If you only installed and not configured FireFTP – then you have not uploaded any files. This means you might have installed WordPress on your server via other means, or it might have been pre-installed already.
    If someone saw your blog – then it is online, how – I can’t tell you without more details, sorry.
    Check your hosting control panel and see what is configured and set up on your server. If you’re not sure – open a support ticket with technical support and they should be able to explain :) Don’t worry about asking ~ there are no stupid questions and if you’re lucky you’ll have a friendly support team who will help you out ;)

  14. Gravatar Janna
    247
    15/01/2012

    I just started a blog with WordPress. I downloaded and installed FireFTP as instructed- but that’s all. I started playing around with WordPress and added a file to it and assumed because I had not set up FireFTP that it was not live on the net yet. But today I got a comment from someone, so was surprised that they could see my blog.

    So, should I continue to try to set up FireFTP or should I leave it alone? I can see why I did not set it up before, I am completely lost, being a novice at this technical stuff.

  15. Gravatar prisca
    246
    14/01/2012

    Gail,
    quite a few of us had a few glitches happen over time. Sometimes it’s the Firefox version, sometimes the plugin version ~ usually solvable ;)
    Have you tried uninstalling the plugin, then restarting Firefox & reinstalling it again? ~ sounds like it’s a cached setting somewhere, or just a glitch in the app/plugin which might be solved be a fresh install?

  16. Gravatar Gail
    245
    14/01/2012

    Suddenly having trouble after 2 yrs w/ ftp. Unable to connect. Getting error message stating “username ok, need password”

    I’ve tried deleting user and pass and re-entering several times through the edit account tab. Still won’t connect.

    Ideas for what to try next?

  17. Gravatar prisca
    244
    09/01/2012

    Bill,
    I’ve not found any issues with FireFTP in the changing and evolving versions of Firefox. Admittedly it was confusing when the access to the add-on was changed – but once you know – it’s easy to find.

    I’m on the latest version of Firefox – just checked again, just to make sure and it’s all working just fine?

  18. Gravatar Bill Paladino
    243
    09/01/2012

    The ‘explosion’ of FireFox versions (many are Chrome-like and even MS has played copycat) seems to have made Fire FTP incompatible with Firefox.

    Could someone post the versions of Firefox that work
    with FireFTP?

    Regards,

    Bill

  19. Gravatar Web dizajn
    242
    07/12/2011

    Great stuff, i have learned quite a lot. Thanks!

  20. Gravatar prisca
    241
    16/11/2011

    Kent,
    I’m not quite sure what you are asking here ~ FireFTP is merely an extension which allows you to access a remote server. You will need to have hosting and the login details in order to make use of it.

    Brian,
    the right hand side is greyed out until you connect to your server. Once you have setup a new account and connected to the server directory – you will see the file listing as well as the URL.

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