WordPress allows users to upload their plugins and theme folders to the directory via FTP. FTP method comes in handy when you have downloaded plugins and themes from other unofficial websites and want to install them on your blog. FTP allows you to access the core files of your installation just like you would access to any file on your computer via the windows explorer window. It also allows you to modify, delete and download files from the directory. It is an effective way to create a backup of your complete blog files. It provided a simple drag and drop facility for uploading and downloading the files.
Why use FTP on WordPress?
- Although WordPress comes with a file manager, it is easier to upload and download files using FTP especially when multiple files are to be uploaded at the same time.
- When an incompatible theme or plugin is installed on WordPress, it might cause major errors on your blog so much so that you won’t be able to login into your WordPress dashboard leaving you completely helpless. You won’t be able to access the file manager to delete your files. When such situations occur, the only way to solve the problem is to use FTP to access the incompatible functional files and delete them. When you refresh the blog again, you will regain your login access.
- If you were editing a file to add some new functionality and if the functionality is poorly coded or if the code has been copied from web and directly pasted into the file, you will face login issues in the admin panel. Again, the best way to resolve the problem is to use FTP and edit the file.
FTP clients are available in market in free and premium range. In this article, we will discuss about a FTP client named FileZilla that you can download freely.
Setting Up FTP Client (FileZilla)
You can download and install FileZilla from here. When you run FileZilla for the first time, the application will look as shown in the snapshot below.
First, you must connect the FTP client to your self-hosted website domain.
- Host Name: It is the name of sever. It is usually in the format of FTP.yourdomainname.com
- Username: your username as in cPanel
- Password: your password as in cPanel
Keep the port field empty and press the Quickconnect button. If all details are entered properly, FTP will establish a connection with your WordPress blog and display all the files. Local computer files are placed on left end known as local site while server files can be seen on the right end known as remote site. The core files are placed in public_html folder.
Transferring a File from local computer to Server
As mentioned earlier, FileZilla provides a simple drag and drop facility for uploading and downloading files. From local site click on the folder that contains the files to be uploaded, say some new themes folder. The files inside the folder will be displayed on the lower file browser box. Next, under remote site, locate the themes folder and click on it. The file browser box below the remote site will display all the installed themes of your blog. Just drag your file from local site files location and then drop it onto box with other installed themes.
To download the files from server, the operation is just reversed. It may take few minutes for your files to be transferred between local computer and server. For uploading multiple files to the server, use the site manager located on the upper left of the application window.