What is an FTP?

Last modified: February 23, 2020


FTP is the acronym for File Transfer Protocol. It is the internet protocol that is used when files are transferred from one computer to another using the internet. For instance, when you’re installing a new plugin, or theme on your website, you are most likely using an FTP system to do this. Sometimes this is done without you even realizing that it is taking place.

In order for you to manually upload files from your computer to your website’s server, you need to have an FTP client. There are numerous FTP clients available, your website host might even have their own version. However, there are some popular, free clients you can use such as Filezilla and WS FTP. These are easy to use and excellent ways to learn the basics of FTP.

FTP is essential for WordPress. It offers you a lot of control over your website, including a lot of the background files and processes that can be causing trouble. Sometimes there can be a fatal error in the coding of your site and you’re presented with the white screen of death. When this happens, you need to log into your FTP and disable all your plugins (by renaming the plugin directory ‘plugins_deactivate’) and then rename the file: ‘plugins’.

Alternatively, you can use FTP to fix compatibility issues by just logging into your website’s servers and deleting any code/plugin/theme that is harming your website.

While many people think that it is hard to use FTP, in reality is no harder than using your file explorer system on your PC/Laptop. You can even use FTP to undertake some backup processes. However, remember that this won’t save your SQL database. This would need to be done separately in order to preserve your website.

Another benefit would be using FTP to remove lots of old media that are no longer relevant to your website and can be removed. When dealing via WordPress, this can be time consuming. However, with FTP, the process is simple. You just find the media you want to remove, highlight it all and then press delete.

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