upload via FTP in Firefox – FireFTP

fire ftp - ftp program for firefox (addon)
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.
    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.
    insall fireFTP
  3. to set the preferences got to the top menu > Tools > Add-ons.
    The settings applied as 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.
    fireftp preferences

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.
    local directory
  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 ‘New’ 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.
    ftp account
  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:
    connect to server
  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.
    The screenshots below show the upload of an entire folder.
  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.
21/11/2006 blog,tips & tricks — Tags:

243 Responses to “upload via FTP in Firefox – FireFTP”

  1. Gravatar eloi says:

    Hi all !!

    I’ve tried FireFTP under MAC OSX 10.6.4 and FireFox 3.6.12 and i’m facing a problem …

    Whatever directory i select as Local directory i got a message saying :

    “You do not have the appropriate permissions or directory does not exist.”

    I’m quite new in OSX , maybe i’m missing something ? Could anybody tell me how to solve this ?

    Thanks a lot x x x

  2. Gravatar Birgita says:

    Hi, I’ve been using fireFTP for 2 years, but now i get this error ‘Unable to make a connection. Please try again.’
    The error is the same when i try to connect to other server, do you know how to solve it? I’ll really thank you for your help.

    I have thought that this is because of the internet connection, i’ve contacted the internet provider, but seems they do not understand what I mean. Is it possible that the problem is in the internet connection?


  3. Gravatar Brian says:

    Does anyone know if there is a way to sync FireFTP settings (accounts and passwords especially) between different computers?

  4. Gravatar kenny says:

    Thx for the recommendation. I’ve installed and using it now. It’s pretty easy to uploading data to my server now.

  5. Gravatar Rich Jurney says:

    Hello: When I hit the “allow” button and restart, the FTP does not appear next to the tools. It is not there. I used mifiles (Simdata) before and never had a proble. I cannot get any FTP program to work or do not understand how to send my changes to the host server. I tried cyberduck and there is no place to see my files to send over. The same with fire-zilla. How can I find a program that I can work without having a degree in programming. I developed 450 web pages and now cannot work with them. Rich 404-323-0902

  6. Gravatar Elyse Moore says:

    I downloaded Firefox, and then FireFTP as an add-on. I have been using FireFTP at my school to FTP files to my newly created website.

    Now when I open Firefox — I only get a page with a Bing search engine — the Firefox page that used to load is no longer there — there is no toolbar with a tools option that shows FireFTP, as it used to.

    I cannot work on my website without access to this FTP site. Please help.

    Elyse Moore

  7. Gravatar prisca says:

    Hello, sorry, busy days…

    Eloi, sorry – I don’t know what is going wrong there – your local directories should not bring up permission issues…

    Birgita, I’ve had some issues with Firefox myself – might be your internet connection but if nothing has changed there – it could merely be Firefox. Maybe you should try a different FTP app and see if that works ok?

    Brian, sorry – I don’t know of any way to sync. Might be possible by now though – but I can’t tell you how, sorry.

    Rich, not sure if I understand correctly what is going wrong for you. But when you say ‘next to the tool’ it sounds like you’re expecting the FireFTP icon to appear in your toolbar – it doesn’t. You will need to access it via the top menu > tools.
    Cyberduck should allow you to drag your files from the finder into your remote directory.

    Elyse, seems like the Firefox you’re using at school might have been updated and changed. Have you checked the tools/addons? You might also want to check whether you can change the preferences for your start page – as well as re-install FireFTP perhaps?

    Hope this helps :)

  8. Gravatar google slap says:

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  9. Gravatar google slap says:

    Right now it appears like Drupal is the best blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  10. Gravatar Lajos says:

    I wanted to use fireftp as so many times in the past… but neither I can connect (list of connections empty), nor there is a new accoung button…

    Is it maybe because of firefox4 which I don’t use yet?

  11. Gravatar Roger says:

    Hi – this add-on worked fine in Firefox 3.6 and now on the new browser I cannot find a way to launch it!!!

    I went to the website and downloaded again. After following the instructions to restart Firefox – the tool has still disappeared!

    so this ides – “you will see the extension added to your top menu > Tools > FireFTP”
    Does NOT work, because there is now top menu > tools item for me to look into!!!

  12. Gravatar prisca says:

    Hello people – sorry about the delay in replying, busy times…

    google slap, thanks for letting me know about the images, double checked and it’s all ok – can’t replicate the problem, tested in different place, different machines etc… all fine, hmm…..
    About Drupal – yes, it is a strong platform but this site is built with WordPress :)

    Lajos, not sure why you don’t get a new account button. Only thing I can suggest to uninstall and re-install and see if that works…

    Roger, yes, FireFox4 is catching us all out ;)
    you can now find the options for the tools under the FireFox tab itself: see screenshot: http://screencast.com/t/QYL63VEX
    hope this helps :)

  13. Gravatar MIke Hyde says:

    I have intsalled Fire FTP on my new Makbook pro, but when I use Fire FTP to connect to my website, I get an error message after I try to connect, saying no new data after 900 secs.
    It connects to the root directory ie /, but can not get to the other files off the root.
    Works perfectly on my PC, and I am sure it did work on the Macbook book Pro, but for some reason it has stopped working.
    Please Can you help?

  14. Gravatar prisca says:

    Mike, this might have something to do with the version of FireFox perhaps?
    Have you tried installing an older version and checking if that works?

    Or perhaps you’ve got a clash of add-ons? Try disabling all – and only leaving ForeFTP enabled and see if that works?

    Sorry, just a few thoughts – I would have no idea how to fix it otherwise….

  15. Gravatar MIke Hyde says:

    It just keepps saying working at the bottom right on Mac, but eventually times out.
    Very Frustrating

  16. Gravatar MIke Hyde says:

    The error code is 421

  17. Gravatar MIke Hyde says:

    I disabled all addon as you suggested, uninstalled Fire FTP and the reinstalled, but with same problem. gives error code 421 after 900 seconds

  18. Gravatar Friedhelm says:

    looks great and better: works with an embedded ftp-Server standard ff doesn’t like.
    Question: is ist possible to youse FireFTP methods from javascript without having the FireFTP gui?

  19. Gravatar prisca says:

    Mike, sorry to hear about your troubles and that none of my suggestions work… I don’t know what else I can say….
    please bear in mind that I am not the developer here – I merely wrote this tutorial… you might want to check the site and its support section? Maybe someone there can help?

    Friedhelm, sorry ~ no idea… best to ask the developer, I reckon ;) this is not something I can help you with, I’m afraid…

  20. Gravatar Friedhelm says:

    how to contact him?

  21. Gravatar prisca says:

    Friedhelm, check on the main project page (http://fireftp.mozdev.org/) and you should find some contact details ;)

  22. Gravatar kenny says:

    many thanks i give you for developing this apps. I usually use it for uploading new themes for my blog. You can make it better by giving it a new fresh layout, like iPhone or Android interface must be nice :)

  23. Gravatar prisca says:

    Kenny :)
    thanks for you comment and I’m really glad you like this addon – but I’m not the person who developed it ~ I merely wrote this tutorial :)
    Mime Čuvalo is the one who created it ;)

  24. Gravatar Heron says:

    Hello, I´m a DBM Sr. Analyst in Brazil, congratulations to plug-in fireftp, it´s fantastic.
    I need a help about date format, on column date show this format:
    Jun 18 14:30
    May 20 2011
    May 20 2010

    I need other date format on local and remote
    2011-06-18 14:30
    2011-05-20 10:00

    or some format include day/month/year and time.

    can you help me

    tks a lot Heron

  25. Gravatar prisca says:

    glad you like FireFTP – but I’m not the person who developed it ~ I merely wrote this tutorial :) Mime Čuvalo is the one who created it ;)

    Sorry – I’m not sure what you are trying to do with the dates here…
    Are you referring to the way the dates are displayed when viewing your file list in FireFTP ? ~ in that case, I think that FireFTp merely implements your system preferences for date formatting (just assuming here).
    So it might be worth checking the date settings for your system :)

  26. Gravatar lyndsey says:

    I’ve uploaded a project/slideshow onto FTP and tried veiwing it on the web but it keeps saying it can’t be found. When I copy the URL using my FTP login however, it will then open but it won’t when I try to copy it with HTTP. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. I’ve tried redoing the whole thing and reuploaded the project but nothing seems to be working. Any suggestions?

  27. Gravatar prisca says:

    sorry – I am not quite sure about what it is you are trying to do here, not sure what you mean when you say “copy the URL using my FTP login however”.
    Sounds like you are merely getting your file path wrong. If you managed to upload a working project – then you should be able to see it just fine. All I suggest is to double check the file path to the directory where yo uploaded your files to.
    Sorry I can’t be of more help…

  28. Gravatar Noel says:

    Hi, can anyone advise how to extract from the server directory. I tried all means but can’t seem to make it unzip my zipped folder. Strangely, it has a Extract function for the local directory but this function is disabled at the server directory. Help!

  29. Gravatar prisca says:

    Noel, I would double-check your server settings ~ or failing that contact the technical support of your hosting company. This sounds like a server setting to me ;)

  30. Gravatar Iain says:

    Thank you Prisca
    So simple
    Worked 1st time

  31. Gravatar gabonik says:

    With version 6 of Mozilla Fire FTP is not working, what can you do? Thanks

  32. Gravatar prisca says:

    Gabonik, it does work just fine with FF6 – you will just find it under a different menu item:
    top menu > tools > web developer > FireFTP

    (you might have 2 web developer items under tools if you use Chris Pederick’s Web Developer Toolbar addon as well ~ in this case, it will the second one on the list which will give you access to FireFTP)

  33. Gravatar sasa says:

    Hi, If I install FireFTP and Tor software on my PC, how to instruct FireFTP to connect to server through tor software? tor software is anonymous surfing, by torproject.org

  34. Gravatar prisca says:

    Sasa, sorry, I have no idea how to do that ~ don’t use any tor software.
    Sorry I can’t help you there…

  35. Gravatar Johnathan says:

    Oliver, all you have to do to make FireFTP a bookmark is open FireFTP in a new Tab, and then drag that Tab to your toolbar.

    The link is: chrome://fireftp/content/fireftp.xul

    Maybe you could make that a shortcut that open in Firefox? Not sure.

    Hope this helps!

  36. Gravatar Sean says:

    What a sweet plugin! There seems to be no end to the functionality of Firefox when mixed with awesome plugin developers. Thanks!

  37. Gravatar Rose says:

    Hi. sorry to bother you… Mozilla is releasing a new version of Firefox every 6 months, i sticked to an old 3.6 version but now i have to download version 7.
    my beloved FireFTP disappeared! i found out it can be re-downloaded from https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/collections/mozilla/webdeveloper/ but do i have to download it again or is there a way to restore the data? would i lose my FTP passwords and have to create all the accounts from scratch, if i download FF again? you suggestion please? thanks a lot

  38. Gravatar Migel says:

    I am currently a student. I am trying to create a new folder in my site using fireftp, but there does not seem to be an option for creating a new folder. I want the new folder to be outside the Public Folder. That is, a folder named XX that would be at the same level as the public folder. I tried right clicking … looking a the menu options … But, nothing. Help!!


  39. Gravatar prisca says:

    Rose, FireFTP should still work – bu its place in the menu has changed, confusing, I know ;)
    top menu > tools > web developer > FireFTP

    (you might have 2 web developer items under tools if you use Chris Pederick’s Web Developer Toolbar addon as well ~ in this case, it will the second one on the list which will give you access to FireFTP)

    Hope this solves your problem :)

    you might not have permission to create a folder outside the public folder. Your server’s setting have assigned this folder for you and therefore the permissions might only allow you to use this folder for uploads.
    Without the permissions your right-click will not work.

    Also, I can’t see a reason why you want to use any other folder but the public folder in the first place?

  40. Gravatar chad says:

    Hey! Iam having trouble..once I create the new account…it asked for user name and password? what user name and password do I enter? I dont remember making a user name for Fire http://FTP…where can I find how to find/change that user name and password.

    Thank you

  41. Gravatar prisca says:

    the account details referred to are your FTP details, ie your hosting details for domain, username and password; the account name itself is simply anything you want to call it, simply a reference for yourself.
    Hope this helps :)

  42. Gravatar Wayne Hammond says:

    I can no longer access FireFtp in Firefox. There is no menu item for FireFtp even though it is in the “addons” display. I have Firefox 7.0.1 installed.

  43. Gravatar prisca says:

    Wayne, have you checked under the top menu for tools (as mentioned above)?
    >> top menu > tools > web developer > FireFTP

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