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FTP Integration for Web Applications

Monday, December 11th, 2017 by Servage

FTPOn some websites, you need the ability to modify files stored on a web server. You might want to upload new files, rename them and download some to your computer. In general, there are two choices for implementing this: FTP or a file manager GUI embedded to a web page. This time we will focus on a hybrid solution between these two, which allows you to integrate an FTP client as part of a website.

Method 1: net2ftp

Let’s start with a rather old but de-facto web-based FTP client. net2ftp is indeed quite old and has not been updated since 2013. However, it has been the only viable solution for integrating FTP with a website for a long time. The good news is that setting up net2ftp is very easy. Let’s have a look at that right now.

To get started, you have to download the project from www.net2ftp.com. You can choose between a full version or a more lightweight version. Once you have downloaded the ZIP file, go to the files_to_upload folder and open settings.inc.php. As the name suggests, this file contains some global settings of net2ftp. You should at least set the admin username and password fields to your liking. If you leave the admin password empty, the admin features will be disabled.

Once you have customized the settings, you can upload the whole files_to_upload folder to your web server using FTP, SCP or any other method your web server supports. When the uploading is done, you can navigate to the folder with your web browser. As long as your web server has PHP installed, you should be able to connect to any FTP server inside your website.

It is also possible to set up automatic login to your own web server by storing the credentials using global PHP variables, but this is outside the scope of this guide. However, it’s good to know that the net2ftp installation can be customized for your needs. You can also customize the user interface using skins to make it look more modern depending on your needs.

Method 2: MonstaFTP

A more recent and modern solution to doing the same is MonstaFTP. The installation process is almost the same: download the FTP client from www.monstaftp.com, extract it and upload it to your web server. MonstaFTP supports roughly the same features as net2ftp, which includes uploading, downloading, renaming and editing text files. It also comes with a more modern user interface. You can also easily set up automatic logins using special URLs.

While MonstaFTP may sound like a clear winner with its modern UI and active development, it should be noted that the product is not completely free. There is a free version and a trial version available that allow you to try the client for an unlimited time. If you are looking for a more modern out-of-the-box FTP client and aren’t worried about the price tag, go with MonstaFTP. If you prefer something free and open source, regardless of its age, net2ftp is still a popular choice.

FTP Integration for Web Applications, 4.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
Categories: Software & Webapps, Tips & Tricks

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