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How to Edit Files in WordPress without FTP

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Sometimes you don’t have the full server access since the client has lost the login data or doesnot even know he has them. But what if you urgently need to work on aclients site and edit a plugin or theme file?

Your only then is that file edititng is allowed but what if not? And what if you need to clean up other files as well and delete moved folders or other remains of the past? Or what if you simply want to manually backup the themes and plugins folder?

There are many situations where FTP is needed and if you don’t have it here is some help for you:

FIRST OF ALL: If PHP has no file access then you will be lost nontheless. The mentioned solutions only work if at least direct PHP has read/write files access.

Config Constants: A plugin for editing wp-config.php values

Config Constants

Sometimes PHP has read/write access but editing file sis disabled by a constant in the wp-config.php file. With Config Constants you can change the according values directly with a simple backend. All changes will be correctly written into the wp-config.php file so you can safely delete the plugin after activating file access for instance. Config Constants is a great simple ans clean plugin that helped me in many situations without FTP.

After activating the following values you will find the according „edit“ menu right under „Appearance“ and „Plugins“:


Since the new wordpress code editor is preatty neat. This solution is almost as good as your local editing equipment and quick fixes in the functions.php can now be easily made.

WordPress File Manager

File Manager

The File Manager is an almost complete PHP based FTP solution for the wordpress backend. You can move, copy and delete files and folders (fast!). Zip and unzip and much more. This tool helped me a lot with more complex problems and even manual and bigger site backups. It even smoothly manages uploads of bigger files such as backup archives.

I recommend disabling plugin after using it since it might nbe a security risk if leaving it unattended and available for others.




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