How to Upload WordPress Files to Your Host Server

To upload the WordPress files to your host, return to the folder on your computer where you unpacked the WordPress software that you should already have downloaded. Using your FTP client, connect to your web server and upload all these files into the root directory of your hosting account.

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If you don’t know what your root directory is, contact your hosting provider and ask. Every hosting provider’s setup is different. The answer really depends on what type of setup your hosting provider has. When in doubt, ask!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you upload your files:

  • Upload the contents of the /wordpress folder to your web server — not the folder itself. Most FTP client software lets you select all the files and drag and drop them to your web server. Other programs have you highlight the files and click a Transfer button.

  • Choose the correct transfer mode. File transfers via FTP have two forms: ASCII and binary. Most FTP clients are configured to autodetect the transfer mode. Understanding the difference as it pertains to this WordPress installation is important so that you can troubleshoot any problems you may have later:

    • Binary transfer mode is how images (such as JPG, GIF, BMP, and PNG files) are transferred via FTP.

    • ASCII transfer mode is for everything else (text files, PHP files, JavaScript, and so on).

    For the most part, having the transfer mode of your FTP client set to autodetect is a safe bet. But if you experience issues with how those files load on your site, retransfer the files using the appropriate transfer mode.

  • You can choose a different folder from the root. You aren’t required to transfer the files to the root directory of your web server. You can choose to run WordPress on a subdomain or in a different folder on your account. If you want your blog address to be http://yourdomain.com/blog, for example, you’d transfer the WordPress files into a /blog folder.

  • Choose the correct file permissions. File permissions tell the web server how these files can be handled on your server — whether they’re files that can be written to. As a general rule, PHP files need to have a permission (chmod) of 666, whereas file folders need a permission of 755.

    Almost all FTP clients let you check and change the permissions on the files, if you need to. Typically, you can find the option to change file permissions within the menu options of your FTP client.

    Some hosting providers run their PHP software in a more secure format — safe mode. If this is the case with your host, you need to set the PHP files to 644. If you’re unsure, ask your hosting provider what permissions you need to set for PHP files.

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