FTP: How to Upload New Files To Your Blog
Yesterday we talked about WordPress Themes and some of the various places you can find them. Chances are, you found one that tickles your fancy but now you’re torn because it’s not one of the ones that came ready-installed with your copy of wordpress! But don’t freak out, you can learn how to upload new information–including new WordPress themes–simply and easily by using FTP, or File Transfer Protocol.
The FTP program I use is called Fetch, and it is made specifically for Mac. If you are using a PC, you can try FileZilla, which is a freeware program for PCs that works in a similar way to Fetch. Basically, you sign onto your web server using Fetch and it’s more or less like saving files on your hard drive, except for that the files are being saved on a remote computer. When you want to install another WordPress Theme (or Plugin, or just add files to your site), you need to make those files available on the internet. By uploading them to your site via FTP, you are making it possible for those files to be accessed by the internet.
In order to use Fetch, you will need the following information from your web hosting company:
- Your server’s name. This is the remote server on which you have leased space. It will probably be called [something].nameofhostingcompany.com, or something like that. For example, I have space on a private server at dreamhost, and my server is ps662.dreamhost.com.
- Your login and password for the server. This may or may not be the same username and password you use to sign into your web hosting company’s server. If there is a different login, it should be called admin user or something like that, and if you go to your hosting company’s web site and sign in, you should be able to locate this information by rooting around in the “users” panel, if you don’t know it already.
- Select “connect using FTP from the dropdown menu. There are other ways of remotely accessing your site, but we are just dealing with FTP today, so don’t worry about them right now.
Input all that information, and you’ll soon see your site appear as a set of file folders. Now, FTP can be used to upload all kinds of different things to your site, but today we’re dealing with Themes, so the following steps are to be used to upload a new theme (that you find on the internet somewhere) onto your site.
- Download the file of the WordPress theme you want to use to your computer. Usually, I just download to my desktop to save time. Once you’ve downloaded the file, you will need to unzip it by clicking twice, unless your computer does this automatically for you (as mine does). After downloading and unzipping, you will have one new folder on your desktop that is named after the WordPress theme, as well as the original zipped file that you downloaded.
- In your Fetch window, navigate to the folder where you will save the theme. The main folder you will see is probably called yoursite.com. Click on that. Then find the wordpress folder, or if you are already in the wordpress folder (you probably are), find the wp-content folder and click on that. Inside that folder, you should see another folder called themes. Inside the themes folder, there should be a bunch of different folders named after themes. This is where you will be saving your new theme. For example, I go to abdpbt.com–>wp-content–>themes to change my theme for ABDPBT.
- Upload the new theme to the themes folder on your website. All you have to do is drag the folder from your desktop into the themes folder in your Fetch window. Fetch will do the work for you, and when it’s done, it will say something like “file transfer complete.”
- You’re done with FTP. That’s it. All you have to do to activate the theme once it’s uploaded is to navigate to your WordPress Dashboard, and go to Appearance–>Themes–>NameofNewTheme and click on “activate.” Provided all the files were transferred correctly, WordPress will do the rest for you.