When we install WordPress for clients, we often include a nice selection of themes and some essential plugins. However, many people want to change the look of their site- by uploading new themes- or add new functionality to WordPress using Plugins. Here is how you update your WordPress install using FireFTP a free plug-in FTP for Firefox.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and the FireFTP extension for Firefox is a free, open source solution- other programs that do the same thing on a Mac are Fetch and Transmit. On a PC, you can get SmartFTP or FTP Explorer. FireFTP will do everything you need- and it’s free.
First you have to have Firefox installed- go to www.getfirefox.com to download a copy (if you haven’t already). Install Firefox- and don’t worry, it can reside peacefully next to Internet Explorer or Safari- you can have multiple browsers on your machine. It’s our opinion that you should make it your primary browser- and import all settings from your current default browser- but that is up to you.
Once in Firefox- go to TOOLS>ADD ONS
This will take you to the page where all the extensions are listed. Find the Search box- and type in FIREFTP- it should take you to this page: https://addons.mozilla.org/search.php?q=Fireftp&type=E&app=firefox
Click on FIREFTP, and then the “Install now” button. Restart Firefox and you should now have a little seahorse in your tool bar- and “FireFTP” as an option in your TOOLS menu.
The icons: back, forward (dimmed), refresh, stop, FireFTP (the blue seahorse), Sage, autofill, new tab.
Now that you have FireFTP installed- you have to set it up for accessing your WordPress installation.
First- click on the “Manage Accounts” text on the left side- create new account.
Account Name: What ever you want to call your site.
Host: url.tld (example: websitetology.com)
Login: your site login, will be different than your WordPress login
Password: your site login, may be different than your WordPress login
Connection type tab:Â
Check “Passive mode”
Local: a folder on your computer where you will keep your WordPress files.
No need to enter anything in these- although you can decide on how you want your file names to be structured- either Leave Case Alone, convert to lower case, orÂ CONVERT TO UPPER CASE (note- all files must not have spaces in them.)
There will be a long list of files on the server- with a lot of them starting with WP – this is your WordPress install- the only, ONLY, folder you will move things in and out of is your wp-content folder.
Inside it you will find three folders,Â Uploads, themes and plugins.
These are where you place your content- respectively.
Uploads is where the WordPress upload tool will place your files- using a year, month, date file hierarchy. Sometimes you may go in here to update a file, or check a link structure. Most of you will never have to access this folder.
The Themes folder is where you will copy the entire folder of a theme that you have downloaded to your computer from someplace like the WordPress Theme Viewer. To upload the file from your computer to the server- have the closed folder that contains your theme on the left, and the themes folder open on the right- select the theme on the left- and click the right arrow button in the center-FireFTP will begin the upload process.
Once the files are done the FTP process- you log into your WordPress admin panel- the Desktop, click on the presentation tab- and activate your new theme.
To upload Plugins- you do the same thing- only upload them into your Plugin folder.
If you have any questions- or run into problems with these instructions- please comment below- and I will update or clarify the instructions.