Hosting

Alternatives to Using FTP

There are a lot of things you can do without using FTP. For more information, continue reading.

Sites that have a plugin-enabled plan have access to SFTP. You can learn more about SFTP in this guide.

Table of Contents

Uploading Images and Documents
Uploading Custom Themes
Uploading Plugins
Troubleshooting Plugin and Theme Uploads
Transferring Your Site
Making Changes Locally
Adding Code Snippets
Additional Information


Uploading Images and Documents

To upload images and documents, first check the accepted files support page to make sure the filetype you would like to add is allowed. If it is, you can upload files directly from the editor when you create or edit a post.

For more information on uploading documents and images please see these support pages:


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Uploading Custom Themes

This section of the guide applies to sites with the WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plan. If your site has one of our legacy plans, this feature is available on the Pro plan.

We invest a lot of time and creativity into our theme collection. We are confident that you will find a theme that works perfectly for you from the hundreds of themes in our collection.

If you have a plugin-enabled plan, you can upload a third-party or custom-made theme by going to My Site → Appearance Themes, then use the Install Theme button.

For more information on alternatives to uploading custom themes please see this page.

While it is not necessary to use FTP to upload custom themes, plugin-enabled sites do have the option to access SFTP. Learn more about this here.


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Uploading Plugins

This section of the guide applies to sites with the WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plan. If your site has one of our legacy plans, this feature is available on the Pro plan.

Plugins are tools used to extend the functionality of the WordPress platform. At WordPress.com most functionalities are already available out of the box.

If you have a plugin-enabled plan, you can add plugins like WooCommerce through My Site → Plugins in your dashboard. There’s more information on adding plugins here.

While it is not necessary to use FTP to upload custom themes, plugin-enabled sites do have the option to access SFTP. Learn more about this here.


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Troubleshooting Plugin and Theme Uploads

Sometimes you may see an error when uploading a custom plugin or theme, such as “Destination Folder Already Exists.” If you are experiencing errors, please contact support and we’d be glad to help you out.

While it is not necessary to use FTP to upload custom themes, plugin-enabled sites do have the option to access SFTP. Learn more about this here.


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Transferring your Site

  • If you are trying to transfer your blog and its content to a new host please check out this support document for more information.
  • Find a new home for your site with these great hosts.
  • If you have a plugin-enabled site, you may be able to use a migration plugin to move your content over. Please be advised third party plugins are not developed by us and therefore we do not provide customer support for them.

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Making Changes Locally

This section of the guide applies to sites with the WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plan. If your site has one of our legacy plans, this feature is available on the Pro plan.

We recommend making code changes to the theme away from your live site. You can do this by installing a local copy of WordPress on your computer and then uploading your theme back to your site when you’re done.

Creating a local server on a Mac or Windows using MAMP

Installing WordPress on your local server from a zip folder

Create a WordPress locally by using Local by Flywheel


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Adding Code Snippets

This section of the guide applies to sites with the WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plan. If your site has one of our legacy plans, this feature is available on the Pro plan.

Apart from creating a child theme and editing its files, you can also use a third-party Code Snippets plugin:

https://wordpress.com/plugins/code-snippets/

WordPress uses hooks which are functions that you can use in order to add your own functionality to WordPress or remove/modify the existing one. WordPress hooks are found in the WordPress core, themes, and plugins. Generally, whenever you want to perform any of the aforementioned actions on your WordPress.com site via code, you would either:

  • Edit the file where you need to make the change
  • Use WordPress hooks to add your own function into the functions.php file

The former method is not something we would recommend because any changes made to the theme or plugin file will eventually be removed as soon as you update the theme or the plugin. For that reason, if you’re using this method to make the changes to the theme, always make sure to create a child theme first and make the changes there. Nevertheless, if the functionality you wish to affect uses WordPress hooks, you can hook on them with your own code.

Even though file access is restricted on WordPress.com, you can still modify the functionality of your site by creating a child theme and making the changes there or by using the Code Snippets plugin and applying your own PHP code. If you’d like to learn more about WordPress hooks and PHP, we can recommend the following links:

https://developer.wordpress.org/plugins/hooks/

https://www.learn-php.org/

https://www.w3schools.com/php/default.asp

https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/php-tutorials-aspiring-wordpress-developers-should-walk-through

Also, please see more about supporting your child theme here.


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Additional Information

  • If you come across a WordPress tutorial that mentions accessing the FTP of the site, then that documentation is for self-hosted sites running the open source version of WordPress available at WordPress.org.
  • WordPress.com is a hosted service where you can get a free WordPress site with options for paid upgrades, while WordPress.org is the open source software that you can download and install on your own web hosting account.
  • Please see the WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org help page to learn more about the differences.
  • If you’re on a plugin-enabled plan, you may be eligible for SFTP access.

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