How to Edit Permissions in Managed WordPress Hosting

If you’re using managed WordPress hosting, you’re in for a treat. Not only do you get to enjoy the reliable infrastructure and expert technical assistance that WPEngine and other managed hosting providers offer, but you also get to edit the files directly on the site rather than having to rely on a third party for these tasks. That’s a major time saver and makes a world of difference when you’re trying to get more done.

However, before you start fiddling with the files on your site, it’s important to note two things. First, make sure that you have the necessary permissions set in place. Second, be careful when editing these files as making a mistake can lead to potential problems.

Fortunately, both of these items are fairly easy to handle. In this guide, we’ll talk you through the steps necessary to give you the freedom to edit your site as much as you want without risk of breaking something essential.

Step 1: Ensure You Have The Proper Permissions

To ensure that you have all the proper permissions you need to be able to make changes to the files on your site, log in to your WordPress dashboard and visit the Settings section. Here you’ll see a number of options that you can tweak to change the way things work on your site. Depending on the type of changes you’re making and the permissions you have previously set, you may see some additional options on this page.

To give you the freedom to edit as much as you want, without worrying about breaking something important, you need to take the liberty of changing the permissions for the following directories and files on your site:

  • wp-content
  • wp-includes
  • wp-admin
  • upload
  • vendor
  • includes
  • admin
  • config
  • php
  • mysql
  • phpmyadmin
  • settings
  • logs

Step 2: Be Careful When Editing Files

Now, you might be tempted to start editing the files on your site directly, but you should really wait until you’ve taken the necessary precautions. If you start making changes without having the correct backups in place or testing them thoroughly on a staging site, you’re risking damaging your site. To avoid any mishaps, it’s best to follow these basic steps:

  • Make a quick copy of your site in case something goes wrong (this could be particularly beneficial if you’re doing something major, such as changing the theme or installing a new plugin).
  • Backup your site regularly (at least once a month).
  • Do your edits on a staging site (if possible), or at least on a site that’s been previously tested and known to work.
  • Revert back to a previous state of your site’s files (using a tool like Git or SVN) in case you mess up.

These steps will ensure that you have everything prepared beforehand and that if something does go wrong, you can easily restore your site to its original state. With these steps in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the ease of use and flexibility that comes with using a managed WordPress host without having to worry about losing your site due to oversights or accidental changes.

Step 3: Changing The Files On Your Site

As previously mentioned, you can access the Settings section of your WordPress dashboard to change the permissions for the directories and files mentioned above. To give you the freedom to edit your site as much as you want without worrying about breaking something important, you need to change the permissions to read & write for both Users and Plugins. This will allow you to install plugins, themes, and backups that you’ve downloaded from reputable sources (like WordPress or Automattic) without any restrictions. To change the permissions for these directories and files, simply click on each item and change the permissions as shown in the following screenshot:

As you can see, we’ve changed the permissions for wp-content, wp-includes, wp-admin, upload, vendor, includes, admin, config, php, and mysql to read & write for both Users and Plugins. Now, you can start installing plugins and themes directly from your WordPress dashboard without worrying about permission errors later on.

Step 4: Testing The Changes You’ve Made

Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments and changes on your site as described above, you can test them out by logging in to your WordPress dashboard and looking for the Performance tab. Here you can track your site’s loading speed and examine how various changes affect the way your site performs. For example, if you were to switch from a theme to another or change the way images are displayed, you can easily see the results of these changes by clicking on the Performance tab and looking at the Overview section.

As you can see in the following screenshot, our Performance tab is now displaying the Results for our test:

As you’re looking at this, it’s important to remember that these results will change based on how you’ve edited your site (specifically, the WordPress theme used and plugins that you’ve activated). For example, if you’ve switched from one of the free WordPress themes to another or if you’ve changed the way images are displayed, the results of your tests will change accordingly. To get reliable, repeatable results, you should conduct your tests on sites that are as similar as possible to what you’re planning to go live with. If possible, you should conduct your tests on a different server than your live site to ensure that you’re seeing the results purely because of the changes that you’ve made and not due to other factors (like caching or heavy traffic).

Step 5: Remember Where You’ve Come From

Last but not least, it’s important to remember where you’ve come from. Remember that you aren’t experienced in web design or tech-related matters, and it’s safe to say that the changes you’ve made may not necessarily be the best ones. To avoid any missteps, you should take the time to research and read online tutorials or watch YouTube videos related to the specific topic at hand (in this case, changing the default WordPress files and settings). Remember that you’re dealing with technical things, and even though they may seem obvious to you, there’s probably still a lot you don’t know.

To give you a better understanding of what’s going on, here’s a quick video tutorial about how to edit the default WordPress files and settings

How to Edit Permissions in Managed WordPress Hosting

Now that you’re equipped with the basics, it’s time to start installing plugins and themes that will change the face of your site. Whether you’re a pro or an amateur, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to WordPress. With that in mind, happy editing!