FTP Client WordPress: File Access and Management 101

The administrator dashboard seems to be an almighty assistant since it helps you handle nearly everything on the WordPress website. However, when it comes to safe file transferring, FTP is more of what you should take into consideration. What is a FTP or a FTP client supposed to be?

FTP client is a software that enables you to connect your WordPress site to a remote server to transfer your files. Besides, you can make edits directly on your files, which is hardly done with the WordPress administrator dashboard.

Thanks to the assistance of FTP clients, the file transferring and organizing process has never been easier.

Let’s find out 5 best FTP Client software and how to operate them.

5 Best FTP Client Software

#1 FileZilla

Recommended by WordPress, FileZilla is probably one of the most recognized open-source FTP Clients software. Due to its oversimplified interface, FileZilla comes as the best FTP client for newbies. Moreover, it operates on both Windows and Mac.

FileZilla offers users a large transfer file capacity of more than 4GB, which gives it an advantage over other FTP clients. Its side-by-side display supports the drag-and-drop comparison quite well. With FileZilla, you can easily locate your files thanks to the bookmark and remote file search functions.


Ultimately, FileZilla has an active community where you can interact effectively with other users and developers. FileZilla’s support is superb since it has development help, FAQs, a support page, and a forum.

As this is a free FTP Client software with good features, we will use this to guide you through.

#2 Cyberduck

Despite its compatibility with both Windows and Mac platforms, Cyberduck seems to favor MacOS. It helps MacOS users locate files in Finder and store login credentials in Keychain.


The coolest thing  is that Cyberduck supports third-party cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft Azure. It also prioritizes security as your files and transfers are encrypted by the Cryptomator. In addition, you can share files with third parties thanks to the Cyberduck’s URL generator.

#3 ForkLift

Cyberduck is a solid choice but if you want a premium genuine Mac software, ForkLift could be an option. ForkLift is an icon among Mac users as it tightly integrates with the MacOS operating system, right from the design. Although it costs at least $29.95, ForkLift encourages learning by offering reasonable education discounts.

Similar to other FTP clients, ForkLift has a dual-panel interface to support the drag and drop module. Multiple remote connections and protocols remain, especially Dropbox.

Additionally, you can select and rename a group of files through the multi-rename tool. This is what makes ForkLift stand out.


#4 WinSCP

Obviously, users can already tell WinSCP’s target platform is Windows. Most users find this fascinating because of the compatibility between the software’s entire development and the operating system. Particularly, WinSCP provides users with:

  • Better user support
  • Many transfer methods such as WebDAV3, S3, SFTP, SCP, FTP and FTPS
  • File encryption
  • Text editor integration
  • Task and script automation
  • Free interface customization
  • Administrative restriction setup


With basic interface and outstanding features, WinSCP deserves to be a top choice of open-source FTP clients for Windows lovers.

#5 Transmit


Compared to another MacOS representative – ForkLift, Transmit is a preferred FTP client software, especially among web developers. What are the reasons?

  • Transmit is frequently up to date, which means its functionality and performance are constantly getting better.
  • The software has discounts for repurchases.
  • Transmit has a faster drag-and-drop module for downloading, uploading, and syncing files.
  • Users can manage files through multiple servers.
  • Transmit handles complicated folder searching and multithreading well.
  • In case something goes wrong with servers, the Transmit Panic Sync tool will lock the data.
  • Transmit presents a clean interface with well-displayed information.
  • For emergency file edits, users can operate code editor

4 Steps to Connect Your WordPress Site to FTP

Step 1. Install FileZilla

  1. Visit FileZilla website and click on Download FileZilla Client button. FileZilla provides the Download button based on the detected OS.
  2. Choose between FileZilla and FileZilla with manual and proceed to download.
  3. Open and run the installation file once you finish the download. Complete the steps to finish the installation.

Step 2. Backup your files

Since the FTP settings make permanent changes directly to your files, you may run into troubles at any time. Thus, backing up files is highly necessary. WordPress website contains 3 factors that you should be mindful of: the WordPress core, the wp-content folder, and your database.

There are 3 ways to backup your files: by WordPress plugins, by third-party software, or by your host’s built-in backups. Each method has its own advantages.

Step 3. Login/Connect

  1. Open FileZilla after finishing your installation and file backup.
  2. In order to login and connect to your remote server, fill out these fields: Host, Username, Password and Port. You can gain these credentials from your web host. All you need to do is to ask your host about the credentials. Moreover, you can find it by logging in your personal account and checking the host’s dashboard. Don’t forget even your welcoming email.
  3. Once you have the information, return to FileZilla, paste them into the fields and click Quickconnect.
  4. If there is a connection via SFTP requirement, go to Site Manager in FileZilla.
  5. Paste your credentials in the fields and leave others at default then click Connect.

Step 4. Manage your files

Finally, it’s time to transfer files, starting with Uploading:

  1. Firstly, find the directory which includes data for uploading in the local pane
  2. Now, navigate to the wanted target directory on the server (using the server pane’s file listings).
  3. To upload the data, select and drag the wanted files/directories from the local and drop in the remote pane.
  4. The files will be added to the transfer queue at the bottom and disappear once the upload successfully.
  5. The uploaded files/directories should now be in the server content listing at the right side of the window.

Once finished, to Download, drag the files/directories from the remote pane and drop them at the local pane, opposite to the Uploading procedure.

Alternative Ways to Manage WordPress Files

Using FTP clients is not the only way to manage the files on your WordPress site. It is just the most optimized way of all. For your reference, we’ll introduce 2 more solutions:

#1 Activate the WP File Manager Plugin


File Manager is a free WordPress plugin with a well built structure and interface to manage files in WordPress. It has an Advanced version for you to create private folders and control file access for different user roles. With File Manager, you are able to:

  • Drag and drop to move files
  • View, copy, paste, rename and delete files
  • Edit codes and check syntax
  • Create, archive, and extract files

Overall, if you desire to manage files/folders directly on your WordPress admin dashboard, File Manager is not a bad idea. It can cover your concerns of budget, time, and simplicity.

#2 Use the cPanel File Manager


cPanel refers to a Linux-based web hosting control panel to simplify and manage websites. It authorizes users to organize websites and web files, manage domains, and many more.

The cPanel File Manager tool gives you useful options to effectively manage your web files via HTTP. It has all the basic actions upon files such as creating, duplicating, moving, deleting, editing, compressing, and restoring.

Although cPanel seems not to be a prioritized way to manage web files, it still handles all the necessary jobs quite well.

What to choose?

As observed, there are only 3 known methods and tons of software and technology on the market nowadays. The criteria that should help you choose your file manager are: security level, interface, features, and price.

Did we help you decide your file managing solution? Please let us know.

You may be interested in how to upload files using FTP.