How to Edit Files Using FileZilla FTP - dummies

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

You will run into situations where you need to edit files with FileZilla that live on your web server. Download a file from your web server, open it, edit it, save it, and then upload it back to your web server. Or, you can use the built-in edit feature that exists in most FTP client software by following these steps:

  1. Connect your FTP client to your web server and then locate the file you want to edit.

  2. To use the internal FTP editor, right-click the file and choose View/Edit.

    Your FTP client may name this command something like Open or Edit. Usually, the FTP client uses a program that already exists on your computer, such as Notepad (Windows) or TextMate (Mac), to edit the files. Occasionally, depending on the FTP client software, it may have its own internal text editor. FileZilla uses a text-editing program that’s already on your computer.

  3. Edit the file to your liking, click the Save icon or choose File→Save to save the changes you made to the file, and re-upload the file to your web server.

    After you save the file, a window opens in FileZilla that alerts you that the file’s been changed and asks whether you wish to upload the file back to the server.

  4. Click the Yes button.

    The newly edited file replaces the old one.

That is really all there is to it. Use the FTP edit feature to edit, save, and re-upload files as you need to.

When you edit files using the FTP edit feature, you edit files in a live environment, meaning that when you save the changes and re-upload a file, the changes take effect immediately and affect your live website. For this reason, it’s strongly recommended that you download a copy of the original file to your local computer before making changes.

That way, if you happen to make a typo on the saved file and your website goes haywire, you have a copy of the original to re-upload quickly to restore it to its original state.