Using FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

This document is deprecated! The information on this page refers to a Thesis version that is now obsolete. Please visit the Thesis Docs for current documentation.

Ordinary themes may be uploaded, unzipped, and installed into WordPress through its ‘Install Themes’ feature. Due to the occasionally erratic results of unzipping onto remote servers, however, it is recommended that you install Thesis by using an FTP (file transfer protocol) client instead. ‘File transfer protocol’ may sound mysterious to new users, but in fact, FTP is just a set of rules determining how files can be exchanged and manipulated over a network. After downloading Thesis to your local computer, you will use your FTP client to upload Thesis to the appropriate directory (or ‘folder’) in your account on your web host’s server.

Which FTP Client Should You Use?

There are many file transfer programs from which to choose, regardless of the computer platform you’re using. Some of them are free; others available as a free trial. Some are actual programs to be installed on your computer; others are plugins for browsers. Among the principal FTP clients available:

  • FileZilla: a free, open source FTP client for Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux.
  • Transmit: developed by Panic for use with Mac OS X, discounts for multi-user packs.

Configuring Your FTP Client

Whichever FTP client you choose, you will need to give it some info so that it can connect you to your web installation:

  • your server name
  • your username/login
  • your password

This info is usually given to you by your web host in a welcome email when you first set up your hosting account. If you don’t know it and have already thrown away that welcome email, ask your host for the info. Your web account’s knowledgebase can be of general help here with any FTP configuration tips particular to that hosting service.

Also, remember that your FTP client will have help files either built-in or located at its website.

Alternatives to Traditional FTP Clients

Users may opt for an alternative to standalone or browser-based FTP clients. Such alternatives will likely produce acceptable results if:

  1. The program allows for the uploading of folders as well as individual files. This is important, as Thesis is to be installed in a single folder to the appropriate location on your server.
  2. The program allows for the setting of *nix-style permissions as described above.

Example: The web hosting service Bluehost provides its users with a Java-powered “Unlimited FTP” feature. This feature provides all the necessary functions for uploading and configuring Thesis, and so no standalone FTP client is needed.

Additionally, web hosts may provide file managers with their accounts. These file managers may be successfully used to install and configure Thesis provided that they comply with the two points listed above.

Example: The web hosting service GoDaddy provides an FTP client in its Hosting Account Control which allows for uploading Thesis. However, this FTP client does not allow for setting permissions. This can be accomplished using a separate feature of the Hosting Control Center, the File Manager.