How to use SFTP to access your blog’s theme, uploads and plugins
Though FTP is the more commonly used network protocol for file transfers, we make use of SFTP for the improved security features that it provides. By connecting through port 22 using an SFTP client, you will be able to access your file server. Here are a few options that we recommend:
- FileZilla Works on all operating systems
- FireFTP Works best on PC but also works on MAC after much patching
- CODA Paid software for MAC, but has awesome live edit mode
- Notepad ++ Works on PC only but has also has a great live edit mode
In order to log into the client you will need to know the hostname, the user name and the password. Your host name is either your temporary WP Engine site address or your WP Engine IP address.
Once you have your host name information it is time to get your user name and password. This is easy, just log into the user portal. Once you log in you will click on the link at the top left that says manage wordpress (or click account name, then manage wordpress). You will then want to click on the button that says SFTP. You will see a screen that looks like this:
Your first user will be your account_name for production, account_name-staging for the staging SFTP. All subsequent SFTP user names will begin with “account_name-” so whatever you fill in for the user name field will be automatically appended to account_name-
Then enter a password. We recommend using at least 8 characters along with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Here is a cool tool that you can use to check the complexity of your password: how secure is my password?
You can also choose to set a specific target path. By default this should be left blank so that you have access to all files and folders. For clients that wish to provide access to only certain directories, this is where you would enter the target path to the lowest level you wish the user to have access to. Don’t forget to select whether this SFTP user is going to connect to the staging SFTP or the production SFTP. Here is an example of what the SFTP user creation form looks like:
Production vs. Staging
When you are generating credentials you select the radio button for either production or staging. An interesting fact, you can log in to account_name.wpengine.com or account_name.staging.wpengine.com for the host name and they will take you to the same file server. The only thing that makes the difference is which credentials you are using when logging in. When you want to log in to the staging file server just log in with the staging credentials.