FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used to exchanges files between computers on the Internet. Having an FTP account allows you to access your WordPress site’s files directly, without having to log in to the dashboard.
Note: This only allows you to access, edit, delete or transfer your WordPress site’s files, not its tables.
To access these files, you will need a third-party FTP client, like FileZilla or CyberDuck to access these files. Most of the time, your hosting account’s cPanel comes with a built-in FTP server that is easy to use.
In order to use an FTP client, you will need the following:
- Knowledge of which FTP protocol that your host is using- it could either be FTP, SFTP, or FTPS. Each is different.
- Host server- this should be in the form of an IP address (like 18.104.22.168), or ftp.yourdomainname.
- FTP username and password
- FTP client- either via your host’s cPanel, or a third-party FTP client like FileZilla
Finding your FTP credentials
These details would mostly have been sent to you by your hosting provider, via email as soon as you created a domain. However, if you can’t find these details, if you’re on any major hosting provider, one of these links should help you find your FTP details:
If you are unable to find your FTP details, you can create your own FTP account and associate it with your domain. To know how to create an FTP account, refer to our guide Managing FTP accounts.
Working with FTP
Once you have the details required, as well as a FTP client, you can use it to transfer, modify or delete files on your WordPress site. This gives you more power since you will also be able to access files such as wp-config.php which are inaccessible from the WordPress dashboard.
When you log in to your FTP client with the host and FTP credentials, you should be able to see the files on your website on the right hand-panel, and the directories on your computer on the left-hand panel. (For the purpose of illustration, we’re going to use FileZilla).
The default directory is generally /public_html/<sitename>. All WordPress files can be accessed from this directory.
To transfer files using FileZilla
- Run FileZilla.
- Enter the host name (e.g. ftp.blogvault.org)
- Enter the username (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) and its corresponding password.
- Click QuickConnect.
- Drag the required files from the left hand panel to the one on the right.
To remove files from your site using FileZilla, follow steps 1-4, and then select the files to be deleted from your site and press the ‘Delete’ on your keyboard.
If you’d like to modify or edit files on your site, you will have to do it offline, and then transfer the files using steps 1-4.