FileZilla It is difficult to imagine trying to build and maintain a web site without a decent FTP client. Amazingly, the current standard in FTP client software is the free and open source Filezilla.


Filezilla began its existence in 2001 as a semester final project by Tim Kosse and two other fellow students during their senior year as software engineering students in Germany. Since then, Kosse has been maintaining, developing, and enhancing, FileZilla, and distributing it under the GPL open source software license. FileZilla is downright ubiquitous within its specific sphere of functionality. Binary installation packages for FileZilla on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS/X, and source code archives are all available from its project page.

There are reviewers on commercial software web sites who don’t like the FileZilla user-interface. As a user of FileZilla however, it is a tool that is so straightforward I rarely consider aspects of its user-interface about which some reviewers quibble. With FileZilla, the settings for each server from which one needs to transfer files are available within a - sites - setup dialog box. Once the settings are setup for a given site, and they are correct, opening a connection to an FTP server requires just a few mouse clicks. After that, moving files to and from a server is a mere matter of drag and drop. FileZilla also supports drag and drop from a Windows Explorer window, not just between its own child window panes. It is difficult to imagine how using it could be much easier.

There are probably other FTP clients around that might be worthy of investigation, but since FileZilla gets the job done reliably, there isn’t much incentive to invest the time needed to investigate them. There is a comparison list of FTP Clients available on Wikipedia, but getting past a review of the list to the time required to install and test additional possibilities has yet to arise. With a simple tool such as FileZilla around, it is possible to stay focused on the task at hand, whether its uploading an updated version of a Drupal module to a web site being maintained, or downloading a web site backup from a server.