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How to use FTP to upload files to WordPress

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Do you want to know how to upload files to your WordPress website using FTP? FTP, or file transfer protocol, is a quick and easy method of uploading files from your computer to your website. In this article, we will demonstrate how to upload files to WordPress using FTP.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

File transfer protocol is abbreviated as FTP. It enables you to copy files from your computer to your website hosting account.

You may be thinking that there is already a media uploader within the WordPress admin area for uploading files such as images, video, audio, PDF, and others.

What is the point of using FTP?

FTP is required to manually upload files to WordPress that may not work due to a site error.

Uploading files normally does not require the use of FTP. The WordPress admin area allows you to easily upload images.

Uploading WordPress Files Through FTP

To begin, download and install an FTP client on your computer. A FTP client is a program that allows you to connect to your website and transfer files via the FTP protocol.

Here are some of the most popular FTP clients available for download.

  • FileZilla (Free for Windows, Mac, and Linux)
  • WinSCP (Windows | Free) is a file transfer program that allows you to transfer files between computers.
  • (Mac | Free) Cyberduck


FileZilla will be used for the purposes of this tutorial. You are free to use any FTP client you want. Regardless of the software you use, the fundamental concepts remain the same.

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Using FTP to Access Your WordPress Site

When you launch your FTP software, it will prompt you to connect to your website with your FTP login information.

When you sign up for a WordPress hosting account, your FTP login information is sent to you via email. Your FTP account information can also be found in the cPanel dashboard of your hosting account.

If you are unable to locate the login credentials, you can contact your hosting provider for assistance.

Once you have the login information, launch FileZilla and navigate to File » Site Manager.

This will open a pop-up window where you can enter the details for your website. Click the ‘New Site’ button and give your website a name.

You will be asked to enter your host in the following column. Typically, this is your domain name.

Note: If your hosting provider supports SFTP, you should select it in the protocol section.

Select ‘Normal’ in the logon type field, and then enter your FTP username and password.

You can now proceed by clicking the connect button. FileZilla will remember your website settings for future logins and establish a new FTP connection to your website.

If you are connecting to your website for the first time from this computer, FileZilla may display a certificate popup.

To proceed, check the box next to ‘Always trust certificate for future sessions’ and click the OK button.

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FileZilla will now try to login to your website with the credentials you entered. Once connected, the ‘Remote site’ column will display a list of files and folders on your website.

The files and folders on your website are displayed in the remote site column, while files on your computer are displayed in the local site section.

You can use the Local site feature to find the files on your computer that you want to upload to your website. Then, right-click the file and select upload from the menu.

FileZilla will now copy the file from your computer to your WordPress website.

WordPress, on the other hand, requires specific files and folders in specific locations in order to function properly. This means that you can’t just drop a file anywhere. You must understand where to upload a file to your WordPress site.

For instance, suppose you want to manually upload a plugin to your WordPress website. Then you must first download the plugin to your computer.

After that, you must unzip the plugin file. The plugin folder can be found within the zip file. WordPress searches the /wp-content/plugins/ folder for plugins.

To begin, navigate to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder in the Remote site column. Then, from your computer, upload the plugin folder to your website.

After you’ve uploaded the plugin, go to the plugins page in your WordPress admin area to activate it.

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Similarly, if you wanted to upload a premium theme to your website, you would first need to download and unzip the theme folder on your computer. After that, upload it to your website’s /wp-content/themes/ folder.

FTP is used for more than just uploading files from your computer to your WordPress website. It can also be used to download and edit files from your website.

Simply right-click on the files or folders you wish to download in the ‘Remote Site’ column and select the download option.

You could also backup all WordPress files using FTP. Simply select all of the files and folders and save them to your computer.

Keep in mind, however, that this is only a backup of your WordPress files and does not include your content (Database). If you want to backup your content as well, you can do so by manually backing up your WordPress database.

We hope this article was useful in teaching you how to use FTP to upload files to WordPress.

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