How to Use Filezilla Client to Upload Files to WordPress

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Thirteen years ago, WordPress started as a free open-source publishing software and content management system (CMS) with each update introducing new features and functionality. WordPress has come a long way from its early days, but despite the progress it has made, it is still not able to handle file management very effectively. WordPress does not allow you to access your files directly from your web server. This is where an FTP Client, such as Filezilla Client, comes in.

Many people who use WordPress as a content management system (CMS) never actually end up having to use an FTP Client. For most WordPress users, an FTP client is used mainly for troubleshooting. For developers though, an FTP Client is a must because it allows them to modify the coding of their website.

Whether you are a developer or a casual user, Filezilla Client (or any other FTP software) may just be the tool that saves your WordPress website one day.

In this post, I hope to shed some light on what Filezilla Client is and how to use this FTP Client software.

What is Filezilla Client?

Filezilla Client is a very powerful and free FTP (file transfer protocol) software that allows you to transfer files from your computer over to the internet. In the case of your website, FTP allows you to transfer files from your computer over to your web hosting server.

You might be wondering why on earth you would want to transfer files from your computer over to your web hosting server in the first place?

Well, the answer is really quite simple.

If you try to copy a code you found elsewhere on the internet and paste it into a php file of your theme, you can accidently lock yourself out of your WordPress account. This can happen if the code is in the wrong place or if the code isn’t correct. You can also lock yourself out of your WordPress account if you install a plugin that is incompatible with an existing plugin. If you are locked out of your WordPress account, you will not be able to delete the problematic plugin nor will you be able to edit the code in your theme.

Filezilla Client is also useful if you have a child theme installed (highly recommended), but you don’t have all of the necessary files needed to make certain edits. In this case, you can copy a file from the parent theme and paste it into the child theme using FTP.

During times like these, you can either spend your time freaking out or you can learn about Filezilla Client beforehand and simply delete the plugin or file that is causing the problem.

Learning how to use Filezilla Client beforehand will save you a lot of time, energy, and stress. Having said that, I will now discuss how to use this FTP client software.

How to use Filezilla Client?

To start off, you can download Filezilla Client here. After you download and open Filezilla Client, you can log onto the remote server.

To log onto the remote server, enter your host name. The host name is the website you are trying to transfer or delete files from. Next, enter the username and password you use to log onto your web hosting account. For example, since I get my web hosting from Hostgator, I would input the username and password I use to log onto Hostgator.

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Next, click on quickconnect. By now, you should have accessed the remote site.

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You will notice that all of the files on your computer, the local site, will be located on the left and all of the files from the remote site, your website, will be located on the right.

To access your theme or plugin files, you need to find the public_html folder and then find the wp-content folder within the public_html folder. There, you will see a themes folder and a plugins folder.

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Now, you can delete certain folders or files from your remote site or drag-and-drop files from your local site into your remote site. You can also open up a file from the remote site and correct any errors in your coding if you know where the error is.

After you have corrected the error, your website should once again be up and running live on the internet.

Other FTP Clients to consider

If you are looking for other FTP Clients and decide that Filezilla Client just isn’t the FTP software that you want to personally use, there are many other great options to choose from. Here’s a list of other FTP Clients that are also good:

  1. Cyberduck (Windows and Mac)
  2. FireFTP (Windows and Mac)
  3. WinSCP (Windows only)
  4. Free FTP (Windows only)

Note: FireFTP is available only as an extension to the popular Mozilla Firefox browser, which means you will have access to FTP directly from the Mozilla Firefox browser. You will not be able to download the FireFTP extension if you use any other browser.

All of the FTP Clients listed above are free to use and free to download. Ultimately, your decision will be based on the features you need the most. There are many more options to choose from. Some of these options include premium, paid FTP Clients. However, if you are just a casual user, a free option will get the job done. If you are a developer, you might want to look into the premium, paid options.

Feel free to test any one of the above FTP Clients, including Filezilla Client, to discover which one you like the best.

Last words about FTP Client

Filezilla Client (or FTP software of your choice) is definitely a useful tool to learn if you are designing your own website or if you are changing any php files within the Appearance > Editor section of your WordPress Dashboard. Learning this software will easily allow you to fix your mistake within minutes of making it. You won’t need to stress or worry about what is causing the error on your website. You can simply log onto Filezilla Client and correct the file that is causing the problem. Another option would be to simply replace the file using Filezilla Client if you are unable to find the error in your file. Whatever you choose to do, remember that Filezilla Client can give you piece of mind if you accidently lock yourself out of your WordPress website.

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