FileZilla is a real nice FTP utility that competes well with WS_FTP, CuteFTP and other popular tools. The best part about FileZilla is that it is a free download from Source Forge.
The only issue I have with FileZilla is that the user interface is designed more for seasoned professionals and tends to stump users who are not familiar with FTP utilities. In this tutorial lesson we will show you how to set default directories in order to make your file transfer connections simpler and more efficient.
Setting Default Directories for Downloading
When you set default directories, every time you make a connection using an FTP utility you are assured that both the local (your PC) and the remote (the server) directories will be set to the root directories or wherever you want to start. This avoids the annoying task of having to navigate to the correct directories every time you want to transfer files.
To set default directories:
- Open FireZilla.
- Select the Site Manager button on the left side of the toolbar.
- Single click to select (do not start the connection) an FTP site you already have set up from the Site Manager menu.
- Click the Advanced button near the bottom.
- When the Advanced screen opens, use the button with the three dots to navigate to the local directory on your PC where your web site files are located. Select that directory. The path will display in the Default local directory box. Your path will look different from mine. The working copies of my sites are all on an in-house development server that is designated as Z on my network. The working copy of your site most likely will have a local path on your C drive.
- You may or may not need to manually fill in a directory in the Default remote directory box. If you are already connected to the root directory when you make the FTP connection to your web site, you do not need to fill in this box. If however, you are in connected in a directory that is above the root directory, you may have to fill in the server name for the root directory. On most servers running apache, this will be public_html or html. If you see either of these directory names in Remote Site box in FireZilla’s main screen, you are probably not in the root directory, so you will have to enter the name of the root directory. The information you received from your hosting company when you set up the account should explain this.
- Click OK.
- Click Save and Exit.
When you start the next connection FileZilla should use the default directories that you designated. That means you will no longer have to navigate through your hard drive to find the files you wish to transfer.