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How To Configure Server File Permission Settings

This tutorial is part of our WordPress installation and WordPress management step-by-step training, where we show you how to install and manage your WordPress website or blog with no coding skills required.


Different files and directories on your web server require permissions to be set that specify who can read, write, modify, and/or access your information.

This is important because WordPress may need to access files in your wp-content directory in order to enable certain functions and if these files or directories are not enabled, errors can occur, or WordPress may simply not be able to save your website changes.

This tutorial explains how to configure file permission settings on your server.

We recommend doing a backup of your WordPress site (files and data) before modifying any files. If you don’t want to do manual backups, then consider getting professional support, or use a backup plugin.

You can learn more about a WordPress backup plugin that we recommend using to automate file and data backups here:

How To Configure File Permission Settings On Your Server

The chmod (abbreviated from change mode) is a command that lets a user tell the system (or server) how much or how little access it should permit a file or a file directory to be given. It changes the file system modes of files and directories, including permissions and special modes.

Basically, file permissions specify what can and can’t be done to your server files and directories.

(Server file permissions specify what can and can’t be done to your files)

Setting File Permission Settings Using ‘CHMOD’

You can view security permissions for files and folders by completing the following steps:

If you are using an FTP program, you can normally change file permission settings on your server simply by accessing your server, locating the directory or file whose permissions you want to change, and then right-clicking on the file and selecting ‘Properties’ …

(File Properties)

The CHMOD options should display in the menu. If not, access the help section of your FTP client and search for chmod, permissions, or change mode. Most FTP programs have this feature readily available.

To change or set permissions for your files, simply check or uncheck the permission boxes (for Owner, Group, or Public), or add the desired permission setting number in the Manual display field, then click OK to save …

(Setting CHMOD File Permissions)

Common WordPress file and directory permissions include the following settings:

Setting directory permissions to make your files writable depend on your web hosting environment. For example, to make a file or directory writable, you would normally set (chmod) file permissions either to 777 or 755.


Congratulations! Now you know how to set permissions on server files.


"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now