Tag Archives: Windows

Free FTP Programs and Text Editors for Mac and Windows

New users will often try to get by with using their host’s cPanel software for file transfers and NotePad or TextEdit for editing the custom.css and custom_functions.php files. It’ll work, but it’s clunky and frustrating, at best.

There’s a better way. Two new articles just posted recommend free FTP and text editor programs for both the Mac and for Windows computers. These programs perform just as well as their paid counterparts and introduce a whole new level of productivity to the new Thesis user. The articles are:

Take a look!

FTP Programs and Text Editors for Windows Users

For more than casual work on Thesis, you need to get separate programs for FTP file transfers and for editing your custom.css and custom_functions.php files. Once you have used separate programs on your computer for FTP and program file editing, you will wonder how you ever did without them

There’s an ongoing survey in the Announcements part of the DIYthemes Forums about which FTP programs and text editors people use. Based on the response of many Windows PC users, I feel confident recommending the following two free programs:

FileZilla for FTP file transfers

FileZilla is a free FTP file transfer program that will take the place of your having to do file transfers on your host’s cPanel or similar software. Using a separate program is a lot easier and more flexible, besides its having many more features than cPanel.

Although FileZilla is free, that doesn’t mean it’s crippled: it has a full list of features that compare favorably with paid programs. In particular, it:

  • Has an interface familiar to Windows users
  • Is easy to use, with drag-and-drop file transfers from and to your computer
  • Has all of the essential tools of site management
  • Allows easy changing of file permissions (essential for Thesis users)
  • Supports remote file editing (an advanced way to edit files directly on the server)
  • Supports a full range of transfer protocols

Here is a small screenshot to give you an idea of how it looks. You can see more screenshots on the site:

FileZilla main screen
FileZilla main screen

Notepad++ text editor

Although you could use NotePad on your computer to edit custom.css and custom_functions.php, it really wasn’t designed for editing source code files and shows it. Even Thesis OpenHook’s editor is very basic, and not suitable for more than occasional work.

A much better alternative is Notepad++, a free programming editor for Windows. Once again, just because Notepad++ is free doesn’t mean it’s not powerful and full-featured. Among the things you will most appreciate are:

  • Syntax coloring
  • Auto-completion
  • Multiple documents and views can be open at the same time
  • Full drag-and-drop support

This small screenshot gives you an idea how the syntax coloring and line numbering look. There are many more screenshots on the Notepad++ site:

Notepad++ HTML editing example
Notepad++ HTML editing example

I hope you have been encouraged to get separate FTP and text editor programs. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed by either of these two recommended pieces of software. Please feel free to make a comment, or to email me using the “Contact” button at the top of the screen.

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