Join Carrie Dils for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up an FTP account, part of WordPress and Genesis DIY: Setting Up Genesis.
- As we talked about in the previous movie, we need to be able to gain access to the hosting account through FTP so we can manage files on the server. I mentioned that it's a good idea to set up unique FTP credentials for each site or project, and I'll tell you a couple of reasons why. First, before it's all said and done, it's likely that you'll have multiple sites set up on the same hosting account. Each of those sites will live under its own folder. Now, if you have that single FTP account, it's really easy to log in and get to the wrong folder and put something where you don't mean to put it.
I've done that a time or two. Worse yet, you might actually delete something that you don't mean to delete, so if you have one FTP user per site, you'll be able to specify which folder they see when they log in, and that will ensure that you always land in just the right spot. A second reason it's a good idea is for security. FTP is not 100% secure, so when you're working in a coffee shop or maybe the airport, that's an insecure connection, and it's possible that some mean person can manage to pick up your password.
Now, if you only have that single FTP account and it has access to all the folders on your server, well, you're in big trouble, but if you've gone and set a separate user per site or folder, then that person getting in can only access a limited amount of information. As you can see, I'm logged into the admin panel at SiteGround, and I've navigated to cPanel. Now, there's a ton you can do here in cPanel, but for this course, we're just interested in setting up our FTP accounts. Navigate down to FILES, and there it is, FTP Accounts.
If you're not using cPanel and don't see something called FTP Accounts, don't worry. You still have a similar tool. It might just be named something a little bit different, like FTP Manager or FTP Users. Let's go ahead and click FTP Accounts. In order to create our FTP User Account, we'll need to provide a Login, or username, a Password. We're going to have to verify that password, and then we're going to set the Directory that that user gets dumped into whenever they log in via FTP.
While I'm creating this FTP User Account, I'm also going to open up FileZilla and transfer the information one item at a time to make sure that this connection works. In FileZilla, I'll go to my Site Manager and create a New Site. I'm going to call it WPDIY. First, we need the host. That's typically either your domain name, in our case, wpdiy.net, or it could also be the IP address of your site. We'll go ahead and type in wpdiy.net.
Let's go back over here, and we'll call our Login Username wpdiy, and you can see that it automatically appends at our domain name to the end of that. Our complete username is firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's put that information over onto FileZilla. Our Logon Type will be Normal, and our Username is email@example.com. The next step is to create a Password, and luckily, there's a Password Generator in here so we don't have to do any heavy lifting.
I can't emphasize strongly enough how important it is to use a strong password. This is not the place to put your kitty cat's name or your birthday as your password, so let's go ahead and copy our password, and we're going to check this option that we've copied it and put it in a safe place, and we'll go ahead and Use the Password. Now, while we've still got that on our clipboard, let's go put it into FileZilla. Now, the final step here to create our FTP User Account is to specify the Directory.
As you can see, when I created that Login, it went ahead and appended that to the folder path. Now, I actually want to put my WordPress install in the root directory, and that's this public HTML. I'm going to delete this extra Directory. Let's go ahead and create our account. All right, so here's our new FTP User. You can see our LOGIN Username, the PATH we'll have access to when we log in, the USAGE/QUOTA, which is just how much data you can upload and download, a place to Change your Password, Change that Quota, or Delete this account.
Lastly, you can Configure the FTP Client, which we're already ahead of the game on that one. Let's go back to FileZilla and make sure our connection actually works. It looks like everything worked correctly, and if you're following along at home doing the same thing, you might see something similar. This cgi-bin is something you really don't need to worry about. It's an auto-generated folder, and you want to go ahead and just leave it there. Also, we have the ftpquota, which is the Quota for this new FTP User we created.
In theory, if this works, we should be able to navigate to wpdiy.net in our browser and see what's in that folder. Perfect, so here we are at wpdiy.net, and we can see that cgi-bin. Now, of course, when we install WordPress, we won't be seeing this directory structure anymore. We'll see our WordPress install instead. Once we're sure that we can access the files on our web host via FTP, which we've already done, it's time to go ahead and upload those WordPress files to the host.
Ready for the next stage? Find more courses in this series by searching for Wordpress DIY.