FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and simple way to upload files from your computer over to your web-hosting server to be used on your WordPress website. While for the most part WordPress makes uploading media content and plugins easy, there are times when you will find yourself having to rely on an FTP client in order to add certain files to your site. This could anything from uploading a favicon to troubleshooting incompatible plugins that have prevented access to your dashboard.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to get started with FTP and how to upload files from your local environment over to your WordPress folders.
Getting Started with FTP
The first thing you’ll need to do is download an FTP client. There are plenty out there and all are very similar in the way that they work. The one we recommend is FileZilla as it is free and very easy to learn. However, FireFTP, Cyberduck (Mac) and WinSCP (Windows only) are also good choices.
Once you have yourself an FTP client, you will need to log in to your hosting cPanel and look for the option for ‘FTP Accounts’ or ‘FTP Access’. This is where you will create your FTP login credentials (username and password). These credentials will be used to access your WordPress files via FTP.
Connecting to Hosting Account
How you connect with your WordPress files stored in your hosting account will differ slightly depending on the FTP client. For example, FireFTP will ask you to create an account first. The information you need to provide, however, is the same regardless of the client you use.
With FileZilla, you can access your files using the ‘Quickconnect’ option. This simply requires you to enter the domain name or server IP address in the ‘Host’ field and the username and password that you created earlier. The Port is 21 and will be filled in automatically.
Click on ‘Quickconnect’ and you will now be connected to your website.
On the left half of the screen, you will see files from your local computer and on the right half will be your WordPress files. All you need to do to upload files to your WordPress site is to drag and drop from left side to right – just make sure you drop them in the right location.
All your theme files (which are what you are most likely to need access to) are located within the wp-content/themes folder. You can check if files such as images have been uploaded correctly by clicking on the URL after uploading.
That is all there is to it! You can even use FTP to make backup copies of your content in just a few seconds by moving files over to your local computer.