Connecting to Windows Azure Web Site via FTPS

There’s some outdated (or just wrong) information out there regarding how exactly to establish an FTP(S) connection to a Windows Azure Web Site. After some trial and error, I was able to get my connection going.
The main points are:
  • Use a decent client that supports the various FTP modes listed below – FileZilla is a good, cross-platform choice.
  • Use passive FTP mode
  • Prefer FTPS (FTP over SSL) instead of plain FTP
  • Use implicit FTPS
  • Get your username and password from your site’s publish profile. The username provided on the site’s dashboard didn’t work for me.

Publish Profile

On your site’s dashboard download the publish profile.
Azure Web Sites Dashboard
Now open the publish profile with a text editor. The publish profile is an XML file, but it won’t be formatted for human reading. Look for the publishProfile element that has the publishMethod attribute set to FTP.  You’ll find every connection parameter you need here:
FTP Publish Profile

Setting up FileZilla

Because of all of the unusual options that need to be set, you’ll need to create a connection in FileZilla’s site manager:
Select “Require implicit FTP over TLS” for Encryption and “Normal” for Logon Type. Copy the host (sans scheme), user and password from your publish profile:FileZilla Site Manager General Tab
On the Transfer Settings tab, select the “Passive” radio button.
FileZilla Site Manager Transfer Settings Tab


The first time you connect you’ll get a chance to make sure that Azure’s SSL certificate is legit. FileZilla shows this window to let you painstakingly ensure that every certificate in the chain is authentic:FileZilla Unknown Certificate Window
If you feel good about Azure’s certificate, mash that OK button. Now you can browse your site’s file system. You’re site’s meat will be found in the wwwroot directory:
Remote Server File System
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