Recently I took on a new client with an existing website, whose site was hosted on Amazon Web Services.
Something I’ve never worked with before.
When I asked for the credentials to access the website files, I wasn’t able to get all the correct login information.
Typically, when you work with a new client who already has a website, they provide their hosting account credentials so you can log in to their host and access site files.
Since I didn’t have access to the files, I couldn’t view the .htaccess or wp-config.php files to learn how the site was set up.
In addition, the site had no backup system in place.
You might think this was a road block for working on the client’s site.
But it wasn’t. I found another solution that allowed me to access the files I needed and set up backups.
If you ever have the situation I described, when you don’t have access to FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or web hosting credentials for a website, the File Manager plugin allows you to access the website files and folders.
Given you have WordPress administrative login access.
Note: this type of access is powerful and can cause issues. Use the File Manager plugin with caution.
The File Manager plugin lets you:
files and folders within the WordPress dashboard.
The plugin is free and has a five-star rating in the WordPress plugin repository.
Why I Like It
I needed access to the client’s website files. Without FTP or web hosting credentials, I didn’t have any options to access the site the way I typically do.
With File Manager installed, I was able to access the files quickly.
I downloaded the .htaccess and wp-config.php files so I could view the setup, get the database credentials, and start a site backup.
All within five minutes after installing File Manager.
The interface is easy to use, similar to File Manager in cPanel used by many web hosts.
Some other useful features in File Manager:
- Manage what files can be uploaded and downloaded
- Get file info details by right-clicking file and choosing Get Info
- Share files by email
- Search feature
- Works on tablet and mobile devices
File Manager also has a Pro edition, with more features including integration, editor, hiding files/folders based on role, and more.
How the Plugin Works
Once the plugin is installed, you’ll find a new WP File Manager option added to the Dashboard.
To access files, select WP File Manager.
You’ll be directed to the root directory of the WordPress installation, showing file listings. From there you can drill down into folders and select the files you want to access.
As I mentioned earlier, File Manager is a powerful plugin.
Be mindful of what files and folders you choose. You don’t want to delete required WordPress files.
For my client’s site, I chose to download the .htaccess and wp-config.php files. Then I deactivated the plugin and uninstalled it.
File Manager plugin is my recommended solution for when you don’t have file access to a website. The interface is clean and straightforward to use.
It’s a powerful plugin, be careful using it. For security purposes, remove it when you’re done.
Have you used File Manager? Or have you found another method to provide file access?