How To Edit WordPress Files Without FTP

how to edit WordPress files without FTP.

UPDATE APRIL 2017 – This is a better plugin https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/file-manager/

Sometimes you need to edit some system files on your WordPress site, but how do you do this without access to FTP, the answer is a great plugin called WP-Filemanager.


In this post I will show you how to edit WordPress files without FTP.

What Is FTP

Just in  case you have not used FTP before, it stands for file transfer protocol, which is a techy way of saying we can upload / download , edit and delete files from your website using an FTP client such as filezilla.

Think of it as a file manager for your Website where you can upload / download files, edit them and delete them.  The problem is you need to know your your host name, login name and password, sometimes you don’t have access to this information, or don’t know how to use FTP.

Files Your May Need To Edit

When we talk about editing files for WordPress, we are not talking about data for posts and pages, that is all held in your database, but WordPress also has a series of files that you upload which may need to be edited, they include.

  • wp-config.php – the configuration file which controls your site.
  • .htaccess – often update for specialised plugins.
  • theme files – if you need to edit your theme files, some files are buried deep and cannot be edited from appearance -> editor.
  • Plugin files – if you want to custom code plugins.

My Usual Warning

I’m giving away guild secrets here, if you are not 100% sure what you are doing hire a certain company to do your WordPress techinical support.

Please backup, and please be aware you can crash your site if you edit files incorrectly like .htaccess or wp-c0nfig.php  To this day I’m crashing WordPress sites by editing theme files and adding incorrect php statements, you have been warned it happens to the pros too.

Installing And Configuring WP-Filemanager

Installing WP-Filemanager is like any other plugin, install it in the usual manner, BUT there is some technical configuration required.  I’ll show you exactly how to do this in the video, but to configure the files you need to know the document root of your website.

I like to use serverbuddy to find out the document root, you can download this at https://wordpress.org/plugins/serverbuddy-by-pluginbuddy/

Security Concerns

By adding wp-filemaager you are quiet literally leaving your keys in your car while you go to the shops, it’s not a good idea to leave this installed if you have multiple users on your site who could access and edit files.

If a hacker gets in they will thank you greatly for making their job that much easier.

Install and delete wp-filemanager as you need it.

VIDEO – How To Edit WordPress Files Without FTP.

Here is our video tutorial to install, configure and use wp-filemanager.


Video Notes

In server buddy we are searching for DOCUMENT_ROOT

Photo Credit: Vegansoldier via Compfight cc

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