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6 Best FTP Clients for Mac and Windows WordPress Users

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Recently while discussing how to use FTP to upload files to WordPress, one of our users asked us to recommended the FTP clients for Windows and Mac.

There are plenty of free and paid FTP clients available. In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best FTP clients for WordPress beginners. The goal here is to find the most reliable, secure, and easy to use FTP tool for all your WordPress file editing and uploads.

Best FTP clients for Mac and Windows WordPress users

What is an FTP Client? Why You Need it?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows you to upload files from your computer to your WordPress site. In order to use FTP, you will need an FTP client which is a desktop app that connects your computer to your WordPress hosting account.

It provides an easy to use graphics user interface, so that you can perform all FTP functions such as copy, upload, delete, rename, and edit files / folders on your WordPress site.

It is not necessary to install an FTP client to use WordPress. However, an FTP client can help you quickly fix common WordPress errors when you are not able to access WordPress admin area.

How to Use an FTP Client?

You will need a FTP username and password in order to connect to your WordPress site.

This information can be found in the email you got when you first started your blog and signed up for a web hosting account.

You can also get this information from your web hosting cPanel dashboard or ask the support, and they will email it to you.

Once you have this information, you can connect to your website.

First, you will need to launch your FTP client and enter your FTP username, password, host (usually your website address e.g. wpbeginner.com), and then click on the connect button.

Connecting your FTP client

Host is usually your website’s URL (e.g. wpbeginner.com).

If you do not enter anything in the port field, then your FTP client will connect using the plain FTP protocol on port 21.

You can use port 22 to connect to your server using SFTP which encrypts information before sending it to your web server. This reduces the chances of hackers stealing your FTP password or sniffing on information.

For more details, you can see our guide on how to use FTP to upload files to WordPress.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best FTP clients available for WordPress users on different platforms.

Best FTP Clients for WordPress Users

There are several paid and free FTP clients available for different platforms and operating systems. Each one of them comes with an easy to use interface and additional features that will make it easier for you to edit WordPress files.

1. WinSCP

WinSCP

WinSCP is one of the most powerful and easy to use FTP client for Windows users. It feels like there are too many things on the user interface, but it is actually quite easy to learn.

On your left, you have the files on your computer and on the right, you see the files on your server. Just click on a file to download, upload, or edit it.

For advanced users, WinSCP has all the features that you would need from a powerful FTP client. It supports SFTP, SSH, and of course the plain old FTP. Handling files and assigning default editors is quite easy with WinSCP.

Platform: Windows
Price: Free

2. Cyberduck

Cyberduck

CyberDuck is an extremely easy to use FTP client suitable for beginners as well as advanced users.

It is available for Mac and Windows computers. Unlike other cross platform applications, it actually integrates beautifully with your native Mac environment. It also supports Mac features like storing your login credentials in keychain and locating files in finder.

You can select your preferred code editor and open files for editing with the click of a button.

Platform: Windows, Mac
Price: Free

3. Transmit

Transmit

Transmit is the most popular FTP client for Mac, particularly among web developers. It comes with an extremely powerful set of features like folder syncing, disk feature, and higher speeds.

Transmit beautifully integrates into your native Mac environment which makes it super easy for Mac users to learn quickly. You can add your transmit shortcuts to Finder as favorites and quickly access them.

It supports SSH, SFTP, FTP, FTPs connections. It also comes with a neat code editor for quick file edits.

Platform: Mac
Price: Free, Paid version for $34

4. Free FTP

Free FTP

Free FTP by Coffee House is a popular FTP client among Windows users. It is very beginner friendly and quite easy to use.

It supports FTP, SFTP, FTPS, and beautifully integrates into your operating system. It has a history feature which allows you to remember where you stored a file.

There is a paid version available as well which is called Direct FTP. It has extra features like code editor, autocompletion, image viewer, etc.

Platform: Windows
Price: Free, Paid version for $39

5. FileZilla

FileZilla

FileZilla is a popular free FTP client for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It is perhaps, the most easy to use FTP client. However, the reason we have placed it on the fifth position is because Windows users have reportedly found adware or spyware packaged into FileZilla downloads.

You can uncheck the box during the installation to opt-out from adware, but since many of our users are beginners, we are afraid that they may miss it and eventually end up with an adware on their computer.

Our experienced users can install FileZilla from official website. Linux users will find Filezilla available in their distro’s official repositories.

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free

6. WS_FTP Professional

WS_FTP Professional

WS_FTP Professional is a popular commercial FTP client for Windows. It offers enterprise grade security with SSH, and 256-bit AES, FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography and OpenPGP file encryption for transfers.

It comes with powerful file search, drag and drop transfers, faster speeds, scheduled transfers, and many more advanced features.

Platform: Windows
Price: From $49.95

We hope this article helped you find the best FTP client for uploading files to WordPress. You may also want to take a look at our beginner’s guide to pasting code snippets in WordPress.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

41 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Mrteesurez says

    What is the difference between FTP and File manager ?
    I used to use File manager for all tasks on my Cpanel.
    What are the really benefit of FTP over File manager ??

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Not all hosts offer a file manager, most file managers are built in FTP tools for users so you do not need to understand how to use FTP. There is not a benefit for using one over the other.

      Admin

  3. A Owadud Bhuiyan says

    I have just recently used the FileZilla and it was my first.

    A client gave me the SFTP access. Is it more secure than FTP?

    I am really a beginner regarding this.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      SFTP is FTP with an added layer of security on to it. You can still use FTP clients with SFTP credentials without any concern.

      Admin

  4. Tomer says

    Thanks for the list! Is there still a free FTP client out there?
    FileZilla seems to be paid nowadays…

  5. Sef says

    Hi there i was wondering if anyone could help me out. I’m having issues with my uploads.Whenever in upload a file (media) it does not show in my cPanel on WordPress, but it shows on the FTP application that it’s been uploaded. I’ve tried using both FileZilla and WinSCP

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For the moment we would only recommend adding new media through the built-in WordPress uploader, otherwise, you would need a plugin to sync your uploads to the WordPress media area.

      Admin

  6. Haresh says

    Dear sir .I have buy a domain hosting from host gator .I have installed a theme in its.there are so many custom template in theme ..now I have downloaded free template.of word press .I want to add or install in my web or theme..if how my new template can see on page attribute..how can I add this template in my new pages.pls guide..I am not from it field..

  7. Amal says

    Hello! this website has been very helpful to me however I have a potentially dumb question. I am not using a web hosting service yet but would still like to edit my site. How can I do that and if I need to use an FTP client still how do I connect my site to the FTP client without a web host.

  8. Jack says

    My computer won’t even let me go to the site that hosts Filezilla. Just gives me warnings and red pages and refuses to go there. LOL Now I know why. I used to use Filezilla a lot. But I think I’ll try the others now. I tried Cyberduck but found it difficult to use. One of the issues I had with it is that despite my best efforts to highlight the folder I wanted it kept uploading files to the “etc” folder or elsewhere in the file manager than where I wanted it to go so I had to move files again after uploading. I also found it got in it’s own way a lot. I recall using Smart FTP a while back but now I have a Mac I’ll try one of the other Mac ones.

  9. Ed says

    As Richard noted there is a definite and long standing issue with Filezilla and password security which the author has no intention of ever fixing.

    Fortunately now there is a fork of the original called Filezilla Secure.

  10. Sami CHANGUEL says

    Hi,
    Nice post. The best FTP client is winscp : you can set a master password when saving your FTP passwords. Even if a hacker steals the .ini file – where accounts are saved – he can’t do anything ! I used to work with filezilla but oneday a hacker stole my config file and hacked all my websites !! So be careful when saving passwords !!!

  11. Erik says

    Filezilla should be removed from any recommendation list as long as they pack spyware or any other malware with the product.

  12. Achilles says

    Its funny to see that Cyberduck is a free open source software on their official site but it charges 23 USD on Mac App Store. I wonder why? Is it a different package?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You can download the free version from CyberDuck’s official website. Look in the left sidebar, you will find a download link for mac, just above the Mac store button.

      Admin

    • Joey says

      YummyFTP is really good and I used it happily for years. I started with Transmit but didn’t like it very much. It was v3 though, and it changed a lot since then.

      Now my favorite is ForkLift. It’s so good that I don’t even try anything else : it suits my needs perfectly.

  13. Connor Rickett says

    Filezilla’s throwing in spyware? Lame. That seems to be the life-cycle of great freeware, though, doesn’t it? Sooner or later, enough people are using it that someone offers them a bunch of money to slip in a little extra software, and then there’s the slow slide into obscurity.

  14. Michael Carnell says

    I have been a fan of Transmit and Filezilla for a long time, but recently I have been using sFTP app for Chrome. Liking it because it can go with me most everywhere I have Chrome, including my ChromeBook! No affiliation or anything, just find it really handy.

  15. Jason Rhodes says

    SmartFTP is one of the best around and I’ve used it for years now, after trying many of the others around. Surprised you didn’t include that.

  16. Richard says

    The adware problem in FileZilla is caused by sourceforge, that site has been repacking quite a few software packages and filling them full of crap to make money off the back of popular software. A quick search for sourceforge adware will give you quite a few results. The version from the FileZilla site is free of any added programs.

    Another note on FileZilla is that will it is easy to use you should not save your passwords in it as they are saved in plain text and if you do get malware on your computer the usernames and passwords for all your sites can be easily stolen.

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