How to Use FTP to Upload Files to Your WordPress Website
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Are you looking to enhance your WordPress website management skills? Understanding how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) can be a valuable asset. FTP provides a fast and efficient method for uploading files from your computer to your WordPress site.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of using FTP to upload files, helping you gain more control over your website.
1. What is FTP?
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a standard method for transferring files between a local computer and a remote server. It serves as a file management system for the internet. While you can upload media files, plugins, and themes directly through the WordPress admin area, FTP offers an alternative approach that can be useful in various scenarios. For instance, it allows you to manually upload files when troubleshooting WordPress issues.
2. Choosing an FTP Client:
To begin, you’ll need an FTP client, which is software that facilitates the connection between your computer and your website’s FTP server. There are several FTP clients available, such as FileZilla, WinSCP, and Cyberduck. In this tutorial, we’ll use FileZilla as our FTP client of choice.
3. Connecting to Your WordPress Site Using FTP:
To establish an FTP connection, you’ll need your FTP login credentials. You can typically find this information in the welcome email you received when signing up for your WordPress hosting account or in your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard. If you can’t locate your login credentials, don’t hesitate to contact your hosting provider for assistance.
Once you have your FTP login details, open FileZilla and navigate to “File” > “Site Manager.” This will open a window where you can input your website information. Click on the “New Site” button and provide a title for your website.
Next, enter the login details you obtained earlier. Choose the appropriate protocol (SFTP or FTP) based on your hosting provider’s support. Enter your host (usually your domain name) and select “Normal” as the Logon Type. Finally, input your FTP username and password.
After entering the required information, click on the “Connect” button. FileZilla will save your website settings for future logins and establish an FTP connection to your WordPress site. If this is your first time connecting, FileZilla may display a certificate popup. To prevent it from appearing in the future, select “Always trust certificate for future sessions” and click “OK” to continue.
4. Uploading Files to Your WordPress Site Using FTP:
With the FTP connection established, you’re ready to start uploading files. In FileZilla, you’ll see two columns: the left column displays your local files (on your computer), while the right column shows the remote files (on your website).
To upload a file, locate it in the left column (local files) and ensure that the target folder on your website is visible in the right column (remote files). Right-click on the file and select “Upload” from the context menu.
It’s important to avoid using drag and drop for file uploads, as it can be less reliable. Accidentally dropping a file into the wrong folder on your website can cause issues since WordPress expects specific files and folders to be located in designated locations. For instance, media files should be uploaded to the “/wp-content/uploads/” folder, themes to “/wp-content/themes/”, and plugins to “/wp-content/plugins/”.
To illustrate this further, let’s manually upload a plugin to your WordPress website. Start by downloading the plugin and extracting it to reveal the plugin folder. Make sure the plugin folder is visible in the left column of your FTP client. Then, navigate to the “wp-content/plugins/” folder in the right column (remote files). Now, upload the plugin folder from your computer to your website by right-clicking on it and selecting “Upload”.
Please note that uploading a plugin may take longer than uploading a simple test file. Once the upload is complete, you need to activate the plugin from your WordPress admin area by visiting the “Plugins” page.
5. Downloading Files from Your WordPress Site Using FTP:
FTP not only allows you to upload files to your WordPress site but also enables you to download files for editing or backup purposes. To download a file, simply right-click on it in the right column (remote files) and select “Download” from the context menu. The file will be transferred to the folder you’re currently viewing in the left column (local files).
You can also utilize FTP to create backups of your WordPress files. Select all files and folders in the right column (remote files) and download them to your computer. However, it’s essential to understand that this only backs up your website files and not the content stored in your WordPress database. To create a complete backup, including your content, it’s recommended to perform a manual backup of your WordPress database.
Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to use FTP to upload and download files to and from your WordPress website. FTP provides you with greater control and flexibility in managing your website’s files, allowing you to troubleshoot issues, upload custom themes or plugins, and perform backups.
Remember, while FTP can be a powerful tool, it’s crucial to exercise caution when manipulating files on your website. Always make sure you’re aware of the correct file locations and follow best practices to avoid any unintended consequences.
By mastering FTP, you’ve expanded your skill set as a WordPress user and gained a deeper understanding of website management. Now, you can confidently leverage FTP to enhance your WordPress experience and take full control of your website’s files. Happy uploading and downloading!
We hope this comprehensive guide has been helpful to you. If you’re interested in further expanding your WordPress knowledge, be sure to check out our step-by-step WordPress security guide for beginners and our curated list of must-have plugins to grow your site.
Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to experiment with FTP and explore its various functionalities. Embrace the power of FTP, and elevate your WordPress website management skills to new heights.