FTP Menu bar app idea. Anybody interested?


#1

Hi All,

I’m thinking about creating a menu bar application for FTP where you can just customize 2 things.

  1. The source folder of your Blocs exported site
  2. FTP settings for the target site.

Then in the menu you just click “deploy” and your Blocs site will be uploaded to the server.

Would you be interested in anything like this?

If you have any other ideas related to this just drop a comment :wink:


#2

I would think very carefully before going ahead with this. Working on various client servers, it has become evident that FTP is becoming downright tricky these days with all the server variations out there.

With my previous host Kualo, I was able to connect to my server easily with Yummy, but certain clients were on a different server with an SSL configuration that I couldn’t get to work, yet weirdly it would connect first time with Fetch and I was then able to import the bookmark into Yummy, which worked.

I ran a test on the same client accounts with Forklift 2 that failed, but then Forklift 3 worked fine with the demo and I was pretty happy about so I bought it. A week later I moved my sites to a new host and couldn’t connect for hours with Forklift, but it worked first time with Yummy…

The simple lesson I’m picking up is that FTP is becoming very fiddly, so I think you should seriously consider the potential difficulties before you take on a project like this. This is another reason why I think it would be a mistake for Blocs to include an FTP client if premium specialist apps are struggling at times.


#3

I think it might be helpful for some but I’m fine with using an external FTP Client.

Casey


#4

As an afterthought, I am also reminded of a previous VPS server where I was frequently locked out of all services (including email and cPanel) when transferring files, until I had Yummy limited to not allowing multiple connections. The firewall on my own server thought it was under attack and was blocking my IP.


#5

@Flashman @casey1823 Thanks for the feedback guys.

@Flashman I think it could work fine with e.g. 3 max concurrent connections and even one will be OK as the blocs pages are quite thin. I run about 10 VPS servers myself and usually transfering files over SFTP but was thinking to bring something back to the community.
The only issues I’ve experienced with FTP so far were related to passive connections.

Maybe you have some other ideas that can help the Blocs community to solve particular problems.


#6

I am sure there are lots of things that can help Blocs users and no doubt everybody needs good FTP; it’s essential. This is the very same reason I gave up on the built in FTP found with Rapidweaver, because it had endless issues.

A few years ago I was able to connect to any server first time without a problem, but over the last year or so there seem to be more difficulties in making connections to different servers. I think it’s mainly down to implicit SSL issues, forcing TLS and things like that.


#7

And now one paradox :wink: I host my home page csabakissi.com on Firebase hosting for free. Sure, you have to avoid PHP scripts like used by contact page but if you do not use such it’s good alternative.


#8

I had never heard of Firebase until you mentioned it. Just before Christmas I moved to cloud hosting and I don’t think it has a fixed IP, because the sites are stored across multiple servers. It’s all just becoming more complex than a few years ago with so many options and I suspect it’s no easy task creating an FTP app that “just works” as Apple like to say. If you can manage this I will be the first to say well done.


#9

I usually do Laravel stuff with MySQL backend so I use several VPS providers (DigitalOcean, BuyVM, Ramnode, VMhouse, Hetzner). You can get VPS with Hetzner for as low as 2.98EUR/month with 1GB RAM which is more than good even for low/medium traffic web site with DB backend.

This small VPS can easily handle extreme traffic for site created with Blocs. If you use Nginx as a web server you can handle 200K pageviews/day with easy. Just avoid Apache if possible.


#10

I had to smile when I saw this post. @ckissi I know you’re all gung ho on this, but take it from someone who has already built such an FTP program. It’s a nightmare of configuration issues, so be prepared for a lot of customer support time that will never stop. Just to point this out, Apache is used by almost every unix- based server for hosted accounts, so it has to be supported from the beginning :wink:
If you do it, support ONLY FTP & SFTP w/ SFTP as the default, as that’s good enough for 99% of the basic users.

Bill
BricsDesign


#11

@Bill My last 2 replies were off topic. Mostly followed my post reply where I mentioned the Firebase.
Seems there isn’t a demand for this and my idea was to create it for free. Of course, I do not have too much spare time to provide support especially if the app would be free.
I just wanted to put my 2 cents if somebody is aware of Linux he can run it on your own small VPS.


#12

@ckissi You have only heard from three forum members and there doesn’t seem like a lot of movement on the forum, which is understandable at this time of year. It might well be that others would welcome what you are suggesting, but I think @Bill is 100% right when he says there would likely be a lot of support requests.

If you planned on making this free I would make it absolutely clear this is supplied “as is” without guarantees. Should you decide to make it a commercial product I think it would require heavy marketing to a much wider audience and you could expect endless feature requests, unless you make it a $2 app.

Personally, I find FTP clients that simply upload are not sufficient, because there are times when you also need to delete or rename things, then at other times I copy items from one FTP sever to another. There are free options out there like Cyberduck, yet a good number evidently purchase software like Transmit or Forklift for the additional features and flexibility.

On the question of servers, it’s staggering how much traffic can be handled by a low end VPS if you have static html sites like Blocs produces, though in some instance websites will actually be faster on shared hosting. I had an unmanaged 1 gig VPS with Hetzner about 8 years ago that cost €12.90 a month without cPanel and they must be cramming in huge numbers of users at €2.98 a month with throttled resources I would guess.

Since then I had a more powerful managed VPS at Futurehosting that was fine, but it was costing me too much. The problem I’ve always found with shared hosting plans is reliability with unexpected slow downs or downtime, despite all the claims they make. The recent move to cloud hosting, following a suggestion from another forum member is looking good so far, but I was still awake at 2.00am on the first night struggling with FTP error messages about missing directories that made no sense.


#13

@Flashman Yes, FTP is challenging sometimes. This is why I personally never install FTP server and use SFTP over SSH instead. For the last 12 years I use this and I never had any issue.

When it comes to Hetzner at 2.98EUR it’s actually a cloud and the outbound speed is quite good for EU region.
They have a bit slower SSD storage (about 300MB/s sequential read) than e.g. VMHaus but faster than e.g. DigitalOcean (Did quite a lot of tests).

I personally was never able to get better speed on shared hosting as most of them use Apache which is ideal for shared hosting and works best with cPanel, unfortunately cannot compete in speed and resources with Nginx or Litespeed (use it on 4 of my VPSs).


#14

My last web host Kualo was shared hosting, but I was on a business plan that included Litespeed with Railgun integration through Cloudflare on most domains. I moved there from the VPS primarily to save money and it did that, however there were clearly more reliability issues with shared hosting and that’s not good for business. In terms of speed it was clearly slower at first but just about OK after making a lot of adjustments.

I have just moved to something called shared cloud hosting, which runs Litespeed and Quic enabled. They promise 100% uptime. So far I would say the speed is better, despite losing Railgun and probably as good as the VPS I had, but it costs 5 times less. Time will tell how it runs over the longterm.


#15

@Flashman Hope it’ll go well for you with the new host. BTW, can you share its name if not a secret?


#16

It’s not a secret, I learned about them here on the forum. https://www.guru.co.uk

I have the impression they work a lot with web developers. When you look at cPanel it has less options in some areas than at Kualo, but everything seems to work well and no reliability issues or slow downs so far.


#17

@Flashman Thanks. It’s a bit more expensive than the VPSs I use, but if you’re satisfied that’s OK.


#18

It’s roughly the same price as I was paying at Kualo, but this has the advantage of faster speeds and no risk of single point hardware failure, which can happen with a VPS or traditional shared hosting. With Guru everything is stored across a cluster of servers and scalable if needed.

For anybody else reading this thread, I think it is important to find hosting that is appropriate to your requirements. There is a huge choice of web hosts with big variations in costs, features, reliability and customer support.

The cheapest shared hosting probably has speed & reliability issues that will hurt your search ranking and possibly lose you an important job, plus you are likely to lose time dealing with support. Don’t even think about an unmanaged dedicated server, unless you are comfortable with WHM/cPanel and have to deal with massive levels of traffic.

When choosing Guru recently, I simply spoke to a couple web designers, who said they were always fast and the servers never go offline. I’ve been messing about with servers for the last twelve years and decided I would rather leave server management to the web hosts, so I can concentrate more on my business. If Guru can maintain the speeds and reliability I’ll be more than happy like that.


#19

@Flashman I agree with you. The stability is a must.

I do a lot of backend stuff with shell scripts so shared hosting isn’t an option for me.
I was quite comfortable with dedicated servers too. It was in days when I had about 230K daily unique visitors on my sites. Of course, the server was running RAID10 with hot-swap drives to prevent outages (got 2 HDD failures btw), the network was fully redundant so I’ve experienced no downtime in 3 years period I was with the provider.

I’ve never used cPanel as I prefer a clean system installation with manual configs. But as you’ve said it requires a lot of time and experiences to run everything yourself.


#20

230K daily unique visitors is a lot of traffic. The only time I got close to those numbers was with a website that was directly accessible through the O2 mobile portal with 12 million users at the time. This was just before the iPhone first appeared, when mobile browsing was effectively limited to the phone provider’s portal. At the time I had a dedicated server through Leaseweb and going offline was not an option.

I would doubt there are any web designers here involved with your levels of server complication, unless they are also acting as resellers with hundreds of clients. These days I just want everything as simple as possible and not have to think about the server at all.

The VPS at Futurehosting had a decent spec with 5 gigs of ram, but it was costing me $60 a month and that really adds up over a few years if you can manage with something less. Apart from the expense I started finding it a pain to keep checking the server for updates and security etc. Server backups were extra and there was no professional grade spam filtering like spam experts.

Some of the resource figures quoted by web hosts in shared accounts can be confusing and users think they are only able to have 20-30 visitors online at the same time because of the processes allowed, but this only applies to sites like Wordpress. In the case of a typical Blocs site you could slam them with traffic and not have to worry, but on the other hand your website could still go offline even with no visitors if other users are consuming too many resources.