Transfer files, Install Plugins and solve problems with FTP

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used for transferring files from your computer to a server and vice versa. If you want to edit wp-config.php or upload new themes/plugins to wp-content folder, you need an FTP client. If you’re going to make changes directly to a theme you downloaded from WP Theme Directory or somewhere else, then don’t do that. Create a child theme instead.

Install FTP client

  1. Download and install FTP client to your computer. I personally recommend Cyberduck (
  2. Click “Open Connection” (Or similar in other FTP clients)
  3. Fill in your (S)FTP-details and click Connect. At Pilvia, you’ll find FTP details easily for every site

Uploading and downloading files

You are now connected to a site/server via FTP. Simply drag and drop files from your computer or server. Browse to /wp-content for Plugins and Themes.

Install theme or plugin via FTP

  1. Connect to server via FTP
  2. Move unzipped theme or plugin folder to a corresponding folder (/wp-content/themes or /wp-content/plugins)
  3. Login to /wp-admin of your site and active plugin or theme

How to fix “500 internal server error”

Deactivate plugins via FTP

Sometimes you might encounter conflicts which might require you to deactivate Plugins from your site. It is always safe and recommended to deactivate and debug your site for Plugin conflicts. If you’re not able to login to your site for Plugin deactivation, use ftp:

Deactivate all Plugins

  1. Connect to your server and browse to /wp-content/
  2. Rename plugins folder to “plugins-x” or “plugins.backup” etc.
  3. Create new empty folder named “plugins”
  4. (Simply delete the new folder and rename “plugins-x” back to “plugins”)

Deactivate Plugins one by one with Pilvia Platform

Pilvia allows you to deactivate/activate Plugins right from the Platform. This is handy when you want to solve a conflict without logging in to a site.

If you are still having problems, try different theme and find out what is wrong in your current theme.

Debugging WP site

Connect to your site/server via FTP and open file called wp-config.php and add these lines:

// Enable WP_DEBUG mode
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

Now open your site and you will see error messages on it. Based on error messages you will know which Plugins or themes are causing the problems.