FAQs About FTP, SFTP, and SSH Credentials

Adding credentials for your site has huge benefits when you’re using VaultPress. It lets you restore your site, allows us to help you further if you run into issues, and overall improves the performance of the VaultPress plugin.

What are these credentials though? As a Happiness Engineer, I get asked a variety of questions every day about these credentials and thought it would be helpful to go over what they are, and why you should add them. I’ll also share some common questions we get about them.

What are FTP, SFTP, and SSH credentials?

For starters, I can tell you what they are NOT:

  • Your WordPress.org login
  • Your WordPress.com login
  • Your host’s control panel login

In short, these credentials are ways to access the files that make up your site. Rather than logging in using your WordPress.org login to access your dashboard, these login credentials let you access all of the files that make your site function. With these credentials, you can upload files, edit files, delete files, and more!

Where do I find these credentials?

Your host provides these credentials for you. Just contact them and they’ll point you in the right direction. You can also find them by referring to your host’s documentation, or by reading the email they sent you when you signed up.

Why does VaultPress need them?

We need credentials in order to restore your site or resolve some security threats, but not to back it up.

By adding these credentials, our team can better help solve any problems that arise by directly accessing the files that might be causing problems. Beyond just that, adding these credentials optimizes the performance of the plugin by giving the plugin a more direct route to the files and tables that we need to back up.

Which do you recommend adding?

We recommend SSH first and foremost as it’s the most robust and secure method you can add. If your host doesn’t allow SSH access, we recommend trying to get SFTP as it’s basically a more secure form of FTP. If you can’t get either, FTP will definitely still work.

Can I add all of them? 

While we only need one set of credentials, we do allow you to add multiple types of credential if you’d like.

How do I add them to VaultPress?

You can add them from your Settings page in the VaultPress dashboard. If you need a step by step, check out this post for FTP and this post for SSH.

Earn bonus points

  1. Make sure our IP ranges are whitelisted by your host as some hosts block access based on IP address. Whitelisting our IPs will ensure that we can access your server.
  2. Make sure the user you have provided us has full read and write access to your WordPress directory. Your hosting provider can help you with this step, if necessary.

As always, drop us a line if you have any follow-up questions!

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11 Responses to FAQs About FTP, SFTP, and SSH Credentials

  1. Pingback: Top Five Reasons Why Web Designers Should Host With FlyWheel

  2. Quique says:

    I presume the change from FTP to SSH access should be done after the backup process is complete or if done during that timeframe the process can get affected?

    • We can still backup your site without these credentials! As a result, we have fallback mechanisms to continue the backup process even if credentials are removed or changed.

  3. How would this work with a multisite installation?

  4. I am struggling with FTP credentials…

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