One of the first obstacles to running a website is getting files from your computer to your web host. In the past, I used a program called FileZilla, a free and open source FTP client.
FTP Clients work like this: You connect to your web site, navigate to a folder on your computer in the left pane, navigate to the folder on the web host in the right pane, and then drag files pane to pane.
While this is simple enough, when you’re working on a file that needs to be changed a lot, this can be a pain. When you want to save your changes you have to save the version on your computer, switch to the FTP client, drag the file from one side to the other, and wait for it to upload. It’s a slow process.
Worse, FTP is an insecure process. The data that you are sending back and forth are not encrypted in any way, which could lead to your server username and password being stolen and granting an attacker full access to your website.
SftpDrive solves both of these problems. SftpDrive lets you connect to a web server and mount it as a hard drive. Then you just treat it like any other hard drive. Upload files with Windows Explorer; edit them by opening them as if they were on your own computer. There’s no more drag and drop.
It’s also secure, since it uses the encrypted SFTP protocol. You give it the location and port number of your web host’s SSH server (instead of the FTP server), and it sends and receives files over that secure channel.
Navigating between folders is a little on the slow side, and it does make saving your files take a little longer (since it has to save and upload the file to the server). But it takes all the work out of the uploading process, so you don’t have to think about it any more.
It comes with a six week free trial. If you like it as much as I do, you can buy it from sftpdrive.com for $39.
(I have no affiliation with SftpDrive and am not being paid for this review; I just love the product.)