How to Edit Your WordPress Blog Files by Using FTP - dummies

How to Edit Your WordPress Blog Files by Using FTP

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

You will run into situations where you need to edit certain files that live on your WordPress blog’s web server. You can download a file, open it, edit it, save it, and then upload it back to your web server. That is one way to do it. Another way is to use the built-in edit feature that exists in most FTP client software, by following these steps:

  1. Connect the FTP client to your web server.

  2. Locate the file you want to edit.

  3. Open the file by using the internal FTP editor.

    Right-click the file with your mouse and choose View/Edit. FileZilla, like most FTP clients, uses a program (such as Notepad for a PC or TextMate for Mac) designated for text editing that already exists on your computer. In some rare cases, your FTP client software may have its own internal text editor.

  4. Edit the file to your liking.

  5. Save the changes you made to the file.

    Click the Save icon or choose File→Save.

  6. Upload the file to your web server.

    After you save the file, FileZilla alerts you that the file has changed and asks whether you want to upload the file to the server. Click the Yes button; the newly edited file replaces the old one.

That’s all there is to it. Use the FTP edit feature to edit, save, and upload files as you need to.

When you edit files by using the FTP edit feature, you’re editing files in a “live” environment, meaning that when you save the changes and upload the file, the changes take effect immediately and affect your live website.

For this reason, download a copy of the original file to your local computer before making changes. That way, if you happen to make a typo on the saved file and your website goes haywire, you have a copy of the original to upload to restore it to its original state.