For a few days now, I’ve been working on a wordpress based website where I have to edit quite a few files directly on the server. I used wordpress’ theme and plugin editors for the first day, but it soon became too difficult to edit the files that way and I had to look for an editor that would allow me to edit files live on the server.
Notepad++ has a great plugin called FTP_synchronize that allows you to edit your files directly on the server. With the plugin installed, editing files on the server doesn’t feel any different from editing files on the local machine.
Here’s a list of steps on how to set up Notepad++ to edit files through FTP.
- If you don’t already have Notapad++ installed, download the binaries from here and install.
- Download the FTP_synchronize plugin from here and install it by copying the DLL into Notepad++’s plugins folder. (You’ll have to restart Notepad++ to be able to use the plugin.)
- Open the FTP_Synchronize interface by clicking the “Show FTP folders” button or from the Plugins option in the menubar.
- Click on settings on the FTP folders interface, and enter the login details. The address is your domain name, and the username is the one your hosting provider gives you. (In Bluehost, for instance, it’s usually (not always) the first 8 characters of your main domain’s name.) Set the port to 21.
- Now click on the connect button and choose the FTP profile you’ve created. The folder you’ve selected in the settings gets loaded in the FTP synchronize sidebar, and you can edit the files on the server the same way you would use an IDE to edit a project stored locally. FTP Synchronize automatically syncs your files when you hit Ctrl+S.
It’s been working great for me so far, and unless you’re editing unusually large files, Ctrl+S synchronizes the file almost instantaneously. The only thing that irritated me about the plugin was that it wouldn’t alert me when the FTP connection gets disconnected, so more than once I’ve wondered why there was no change on the site when I changed some code.
How do you edit files on the server? Is there a better option I could use? I’ve heard that the feature’s been added to NetBeans, but haven’t really checked it out. Should I be trying it out?