Smooth WordPress Updates Using FTP with wp-config.php (or just use iControlWP)

By 5th April 2013 December 19th, 2016 WordPress Guides, WordPress News and Updates

iControlWP WordPress Management LogoThere are some WordPress web hosting configurations that just cause problems or fix them – depending on your perspective.

Often, unless you change your web hosting there’s no way around certain restrictions. There are some things though, that WordPress helps you to work with.

One of these is file system security.

Have you ever tried to do a WordPress plugin/theme/core update and you’re presented with the WordPress Connection Information screen?

WordPress Connection Information Screen

WordPress Connection Information Screen

You’re not alone, and if you’re hosting on Plesk, or with certain web hosting providers, this is common.

The most common option to “work around” this is to add your FTP details to your WordPress wp-config.php.

That might start ringing a few alarm bells in your ears, which is understandable. Do you really want to put your FTP details in your wp-config.php?

It’s not ideal, but if you’re following good security practices on your web hosting and your WordPress, this really isn’t a problem.

Another option is to use a service like iControlWP and store your details relating to your site there. As with all sensitive account data, they are encrypted and not human readable.

Below I’ll show you how to update your wp-config.php file to support FTP if you want to do it directly. Then, I’ll show you how easy it is to do the same thing using iControlWP.

Update WordPress wp-config.php with FTP details to allow easy updates

If you check with the WordPress codex, there’s loads of settings you can do here.

But, you don’t really need them all. Or, at least, you can try with a smaller subset of the settings.

I’ve outlined the main ones below.

Open up your wp-config.php for editing and add the following lines to it anywhere, but before the line that reads

'/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */'

Important wp-config.php FTP Settings

define('FS_METHOD', 'ftpext');
define('FTP_HOST', 'host');
define('FTP_USER', 'username');
define('FTP_PASS', 'password');
define('FTP_BASE', '/path/to/public/html/on/ftp/');

Then, save your file and upload it back to your site.

Remember to always have a backup of your files so you can recover it in case you edit your file incorrectly.

If you try this and it doesn’t work, then you could try removing the FTP_BASE value – it seems that sometime it can work without this value defined.

Update WordPress site FTP details within iControlWP to allow easy plugin/theme/core updates

All sites connected to iControlWP can store their respective FTP details. iControlWP uses these for 2 things currently:

  1. To connect to your site to perform automated backups for sites protected with WorpDrive backups.
  2. To pass through FTP details so your sites can update plugins, themes, and even the WordPress core automatically.

You can simply enter your FTP details into the appropriate FTP panel for your site, and if your site needs file system write permission, iControlWP automatically pulls them in and uses them for any actions you perform on your WordPress site.

Now that is complete automation!

It’s easy.  See the screen-shot below:

iControlWP FTP Details Makes WordPress Updates Easy

Supplying FTP details makes WordPress updates easy

iControlWP offers you complete automation for your WordPress sites management

We’re working hard here at iControlWP to make it the easiest, most complete WordPress management tool available.

Sure, there might be other options, but we have features that the others guys haven’t even thought of yet.  Sure, they sometimes catch up, but we’re always innovating.

Sign-up for a free trial and add unlimited sites. There’s no reason not to try!

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