One advantage of having your own web server like a VPS (Virtual Private Server) instead of using a shared hosting provider or service, is the ability to install apps such as cloudware (software that runs on a remote web server rather than on a computing device) on your server. If you’re on a Linux server with some additional webspace and some extra time then you should definitely try out MonstaFTP.
MonstaFTP is an open source script under a GPL license that runs on PHP/Ajax and puts a FTP file management client on the cloud, allowing the user to access it anywhere via web browser. It works with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari but it works best with Chrome because it supports drag-and-drop functionality even for complete folders, making uploading files much more easier.
The requirements are very minimal and installing it is very easy. Just download MonstaFTP and upload all files anywhere on your website as long as it can be accessible via URL. Once you’ve uploaded all files, open your web browser and point it to your MonstaFTP installation like this – http://mydomain.com/monstaftp/index.php. You can also use a subdomain for it but that is only optional.
Enter your FTP login details – FTP host, username and password. You can also specify whether to use a more secure connection using SSL, Lock session to your IP address, Advanced interface and whether to save your Login details.
Once logged in, you can now use MonstaFTP to upload/download files on your server.
You can also change file permissions (CHMOD) and edit text files with its built-in text editor.
You can specify which type of documents that can be edited in the text editor via the index.php file. The default list includes – asp,ashx,asmx,aspx,asx,axd,cfm,cgi,css,html,htm,jhtml,js,php,phtml,pl,txt and xhtml.
I came across MonstaFTP more than a couple weeks ago but it was only the other day that I was able to install it on my server and try it out. I had no problems uploading and installing it on my server. However, I did encounter some issues with uploading stuff and creating new files or folders. Whenever I tried it, I would get an error saying that the file can’t be uploaded or created. Thanks to Jacob Tirey, I was able to figure out the problem – file ownership & permissions. What happened was I uploaded the MonstaFTP files using my root FTP account and logged in using a dummy account so technically, the files were “owned” by the root account so the dummy account had no permission to use/edit any of those files. After the file ownership and permissions were fixed, I was able to use it without any problems.
Although you can use MonstaFTP to connect to a Windows server, it can only be installed on a Linux server. There is a chance though that the developers would release a version that could support PHP for Windows.
MonstaFTP can be useful for folks who are always on the go or someone who uses FTP for work. It can also come in handy in case you forgot to bring your laptop and you needed to upload/download something from your server. If you already have MonstaFTP installed on your server, you don’t need to install an FTP client, just open up your web browser and you’re good to go.
Btw, MonstaFTP comes with brute-force protection so that it can’t be used for brute-force attacks against other servers by hackers and malicious individuals.
What do you guys think of MonstaFTP? Would you use it as your FTP client? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.