How to Use the FileZilla FTP Client for Your WordPress Site

While there are auto-installation tools at many web host providers to get WordPress installed, many people like finer control of the installation process. The best way in that case is to use an FTP tool. FileZilla is one of the more popular tools so in this article I will walk through some steps of using it for various WordPress related tasks.

More than just installing WordPress, an FTP client can be used for miscellaneous file uploads and downloads, and in some environments also allows file and folder permissions to be set. If you are selling or hosting digital files on your site then FileZilla can be a very useful tool for you too.

When you FTP into a web site using a tool such as FileZilla you are essentially connecting to the portion of the server’s hard drive that houses the files used for your WordPress web site. Here you can add (upload) and delete files. To edit files, a common procedure is to download a file, make the changes locally, then re-upload the file to the server, overwriting the existing one. But this of course is only after creating a backup of the original first.

Downloading and Installing FileZilla

Watch in the video below as I download and install FileZilla to my computer. Below the video are near identical steps to those presented in the video.

  1. Go to https://filezilla-project.org
  2. Click the Download button to download FileZilla to your computer. Make note of where the file is being downloaded to.
  3. Open the install file by double clicking it.
  4. Walk through the install steps. You aren’t required to install the extra software (like WinZip) so you an decline those if desired.
  5. Click Finish and FileZilla will launch.

Adding a Site to the Site Manager in FileZilla

Adding a web site to the FileZilla site manager is just as straightforward as the installation process. Don’t be put off by all of the varying fields when adding a site. While security should be of concern, all that is really required when adding a site is the name or IP Address of the FTP server, the username, and the password. I will be explaining how to add a site in the standard way.

You can get all the settings needed from your web host, one way or another (within the Control Panel, in the welcome email, or by contacting support). Look for secure FTP (or SFTP) settings and use those whenever possible. SFTP offers an “upgrade” from the plain text packets that are used with standard FTP, which can potentially be intercepted over a wired or wireless network.

Since non-secure FTP is most typical I will provide an example with that in mind in the video below.

  1. Open FileZilla.
  2. Click File >> Site Manager.
  3. Click the New Site button.
  4. Specify the values provided by the web host.

Uploading Files to Your WordPress Site Using FileZilla

The following shows you how you can upload files to your WP site:

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