How to Upload Your WordPress Files - dummies

How to Upload Your WordPress Files

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

To upload the WordPress files to your host, return to the folder on your computer where you unpacked the WordPress software that you downloaded earlier. You’ll find all the files you need in a folder called /wordpress.


Using your FTP client, connect to your web server and upload all these files to your hosting account into the root directory.

If you don’t know what your root directory is, contact your hosting provider and ask. Every hosting provider’s setup is different.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re uploading 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 different 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 have later:

    • Binary transfer mode is how images (.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, it’s a safe bet to make sure that the transfer mode of your FTP client is set to autodetect. 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 make the choice to run WordPress on a subdomain, or in a different folder, on your account. If you want your blog address to be, you transfer the WordPress files into a folder named /blog.

  • Choose the right 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 in the menu options of your FTP client.

    Some hosting providers run their PHP software in a more secure format called 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.