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How to upload files to WordPress via FTP using Commander One

What is FTP, and do you need it for WordPress? In this article, we’ll explain how to FTP into WordPress, one of the world’s biggest website management systems, with Commander One – an advanced FTP client for Mac.

File manager for Mac - Commander One

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What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a Content Management System (or CMS for short) which lets website owners make changes to the content on their website.

There’s a hosted version (, which is like a website builder with limited functionality. Then, there’s a self-hosted version (, which gives designers, developers and admins advanced features and the most control over their website.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the self-hosted ( version. Unlike some other Content Management Systems, WordPress is free to use. There are ready-made templates (called themes) on which a website can be built instantly. WordPress is designed for blogging, but because it’s open-source, it can be customized to accomplish specific goals, with bespoke designs.

Out of the box, it lets you add pages, edit text and upload images – but with special add-ons called plugins, the core abilities can be vastly expanded: ecommerce, forums, calendar systems – the list goes on.

Deep customization can only be achieved on the self-hosted version of WordPress. This means that you need to buy a domain for your website, and pay for a server to host the website on.

You’ll then need to upload the WordPress website files to the server via FTP. Once installed on the server, files can be uploaded and managed in WordPress through the admin area – but there will be instances where you’ll have to update WordPress via FTP.

What is FTP and what is it used for?

What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is used to send files over a computer network. It is also the method used to transfer website files from a computer to a hosting server, over the internet.

If you’re initially uploading files or want to install custom themes on a self-hosted WordPress website, you will need to use FTP for WordPress.

FTP will also be required if you need to roll your WordPress site back to a previous backed up version. Some users have found WordPress asking for FTP credentials when an error is encountered in the filesystem. Thankfully, WordPress FTP setup is quick and simple when you use a reliable FTP client.

How to use FTP to upload files to WordPress

To FTP WordPress files, you’ll need a host server and an FTP client. The best FTP clients are ones with a graphical user interface – which work like a file manager on a computer (similar to Finder for Mac or File Explorer on Windows).

Advanced users can use the command-line in their operating system, or use their web browser directly by entering commands. If you need to update WordPress via FTP, for most people, a dedicated FTP client is the best solution.

An intuitive graphical user interface doesn’t just look good – it simplifies file transfers with drag and drop, just like moving files on your own computer. It saves time and improves your workflow, so be sure to choose an FTP for WordPress with solid design principles.

Choose an FTP client that has a useful suite of tools for moving multiple files at once. We recommend Commander One – it’s a free WordPress FTP client for Mac that's flexible, powerful and safer to use than open-source FTP alternatives.

How to FTP into WordPress

To upload to WordPress, you’ll need to enter the name of the FTP host, your username and your password. Let’s show you how to connect to your WordPress website via FTP, and how to upload files to your WordPress website via FTP – with Commander One.

How to use Commander One as a WordPress FTP

First, download and install Commander One for Mac.

Launch Commander One.

Commander One main screen

To gain WordPress FTP access, you’ll need to make a new connection.


In the dropdown menu, choose the connection type (in this case, FTP).

new connection

In the “Server” field, enter the IP address of the server or the domain name.

FTP connection
Next, input your cPanel username and password (you’ll get a choice to store this in Mac OS Keychain).
Choose between a Passive or Active FTP mode, and a home directory for connection.
Click the “Connect” button. Your server will be displayed just like a local drive in the Commander One window.
Now, you can select your WordPress upload files in the second panel and drag them into the destination folder on the server.


WordPress is a flexible and powerful Content Management System for websites – but to unlock the full potential, you’ll need to use FTP. Hopefully, with the help of this article, you now know how to upload files to WordPress with an FTP client. While there are many ways to use the File Transfer Protocol – and a world of free FTP to WordPress solutions – Commander One remains the best FTP client for Mac available today.

That’s because it’s easy to use, has a powerful dual-panel view and gets regularly updated. The extensive feature set goes way beyond what’s expected of free software. The PRO version (priced at just $29.99 for a single user) adds even deeper customization, mobile device mounting, cloud integration and more. It’s an exceptional FTP for WordPress users – and as one of the few FTP clients to run natively on Apple’s M1 processors, it’s also one of the most advanced.

Frequently Asked Questions

To access your WordPress FTP, you need an FTP client (like Commander One for Mac), as well as your username, password and port number from your hosting provider.
Yes – the self-hosted version of WordPress uses FTP to upload and manage files on the host server.
Using an FTP client, like Commander One, connect to your self-hosted WordPress server with your username, password and port number (this information can be supplied by your hosting provider). Choose the files you want to upload and drag them into the destination folder on your server.
FTP means File Transfer Protocol. In WordPress, FTP is used to transfer website files from your computer to your host server – like custom themes or the initial upload of your website to the server.
Your FTP credentials are supplied by your hosting provider when you sign up. You can access your FTP credentials through the cPanel dashboard in your hosting account. Contact your hosting provider if you’re having trouble finding your FTP credentials.
If you use the WordPress control panel to automatically install, upgrade or delete plugins, WordPress must make changes to files on the filesystem. If WordPress does not have the necessary permissions to modify the filesystem directly, you will be asked for FTP information. This is more common if you’re using shared hosting (rather than dedicated hosting).

Commander One

This dual panel file manager for Mac is fully compatible with MacOS 10.12 and later. Requires 58.68MB of free space, latest version 3.3(3508). Released 5 Sep, 2021.

4.5 rank based on 90+ users, Reviews (15)
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