Chris Schutte

March 1, 2023

How To Fix File and Folder Permissions Error in WordPress

Reading Time: 4 minutes

WordPress is one of the top content management systems in the world, and while it is incredibly user-friendly, there are still some errors that can occur. One of the most common errors is the file and folder permissions error WordPress.

It can be frustrating to come across this error, especially if you’re pressed for time. But, don’t worry, it’s relatively easy to fix. In this article, you’ll learn what this type of error is and how to fix it.

What Is the File and Folder Permissions Error?

The file and folder permissions error is a common WordPress error. This error means that WordPress doesn’t have enough permission to access or write to your files.

You may have stumbled across this error when trying to install a plugin or theme, or even when trying to update WordPress itself. The error will look something like this:

“Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads. Is its parent directory writable by the server?”

This means that WordPress is trying to write to the uploads folder but doesn’t have permission to do so. Incorrect permissions can also cause WordPress to be unable to create folders or files, which can lead to errors when trying to install or update plugins and themes.

This type of error can harm your site’s security since incorrect permissions can give hackers access to sensitive information, or even allow them to take over your site entirely.

How To Fix the File and Folder Permissions Error

Here are the steps to fix the file and folder permissions error when you encounter it:

Use an FTP Client

An FTP client is a software that allows you to upload and download files from a server. For WordPress, it’s better to use an FTP client since you can easily navigate through your server’s file structure and make changes as needed.

This tool typically comes with a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to use even for beginners. You can use any FTP client for this purpose. It’s best to use one that you’re comfortable with so that you can easily find your way around.

Modify File and Folder Permissions

Once you have an FTP client installed on your computer, open it and connect to your server using the login credentials provided by your web host. Once connected, go to the root directory of your WordPress site. This is typically the /public_html/ folder.

From here, you can begin making changes to file and folder permissions. In general, it’s best to keep things as restrictive as possible. That means setting files to 644 and folders to 755.

If you need to make a file or folder writable, you can set the permissions to 666 and 777 respectively. However, you should only do this if absolutely necessary since it can pose a security risk.

Confirm Changes and Refresh Your Site

Once you’re done making changes, close the FTP client and refresh your WordPress site in your browser. The file and folder permissions error should now be fixed.

If you’re still seeing the error, there’s a chance that your web host has set stricter permissions on the server. In this case, you’ll need to contact them and ask them to make the necessary changes.

What To Do To Prevent the File and Folder Permissions Error

These are the things you can do to avoid the file and folder permissions error:

Limit Access to Certain Files

One way to fix the file and folder permissions error in WordPress is to limit access to certain files. You can do this by creating a .htaccess file in your WordPress root directory. This file can contain directives that will allow you to control who can access what files on your server.

Limiting access to certain files is a good idea if you have sensitive information in your WordPress site. For example, you may want to limit access to your wp-config.php file so that only your account can read and write to it.

Another benefit of using a .htaccess file is that it can help improve the security of your WordPress site. By limiting access to certain files, you can make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your site.

Assign a Master Administrator

Ideally, there should only be one user assigned as the administrator of your WordPress site. This will prevent any errors with file and folder permissions from happening in the first place.

You can set them as the primary point of contact for your site by going to the Users tab in your WordPress Dashboard and selecting their user account. Under the “User Role” drop-down menu, select “Administrator.”

With this, other users should go through the administrator whenever they want to make changes to your WordPress site. By doing so, you can avoid any file or folder permission errors since no one can make changes to your site easily.

Scan Your Site Regularly

Performing regular audits can also help prevent file and folder permission errors. If you regularly do website maintenance and check your WordPress site for potential issues, you can catch and fix file permissions errors before they cause any major problems.

You can use a security plugin or check your server logs manually to watch out for this type of error.

Say Goodbye to File and Folder Permissions Error WordPress

Maintaining your WordPress site might seem a bit overwhelming, especially when errors pop up. Fortunately, Launch Digital, a trusted small business marketing partner in Johannesburg, South Africa, has comprehensive WordPress care plans that provide support to entrepreneurs who need it most. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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