WordPress File Upload plugin has the ability to perform FTP uploads and store the uploaded files using FTP protocol. This feature is useful in two cases:

  • When we want to store the uploaded files to an FTP server other than the website,
  • When we want to store the uploaded files to the website but permission issues force the use of FTP.

It works like this:

  1. The files are first uploaded to a temporary directory on the web server using normal HTTP upload (browsers do not support direct FTP transfers).
  2. The plugin transfers the files from the web server to the final destination using FTP protocol and credentials provided in the upload form shortcode.


Here are instructions how to configure FTP uploads with WordPress File Upload plugin:

1. Activate FTP method

To do this open the visual editor of the shortcode, go to General tab and select ‘ftp‘ option in Folder Access Method attribute:

The right-hand FTP attributes will be enabled.

2. Enter the FTP credentials

In order to connect to an FTP server a username, password, FTP host and optionally a port are required. These are entered in FTP Access Credentials attribute in the following format:


For instance for the following credentials:

username: nickolas
password: 123456
FTP domain: ftp.iptanus.com
port: default

the syntax is:

Here are some extra tips about this attribute:

  • If the username or the password contain the characters : or @ then they must be preceded by a double backslash \\ in order to avoid confusion with the attribute’s separators, e.g. if the username is nickolas@domain.com then FTP Access Credentials attribute should be: nickolas\\@domain.com:123456@ftp.iptanus.com
  • Port number is optional and can be omitted
  • Secure FTP (sftp) protocol is also supported, provided that the required libraries are installed on the web server. To use it put character ‘s’ before the port like this: nickolas:123456@ftp.iptanus.com:s22
  • Use only the clean FTP domain in this attribute, without any folders added after the domain.

3. Enter the FTP Upload Path

In case that the files are not stored in the FTP root path but in a subfolder, define it in Upload Path attribute like this:

Using the above example, files will be stored to ftp.iptanus.com/uploads/inbox.

  • If attribute Create Upload Path is also activated in the shortcode, then the upload path will be created automatically if it does not exist already.

4. Activate FTP Domain Attribute

In most cases attribute Use FTP Domain must also be activated, in order to let the plugin know that files will be uploaded in another FTP server, not the website.

5. Other FTP Options

Another two options are provided, passive mode and permissions of uploaded files:

  • FTP Passive Mode: enable it in case active FTP mode is not allowed by the FTP server.
  • Permissions of Uploaded File: by default the uploaded files will inherit the permissions of the parent folder, usually 0755 (octal). Other permissions can be defined in the form of a 4-digit octal number.

Please note that FTP mode does not work with chunked uploads for the moment. This means that when FTP mode is enabled the size of the uploaded files is limited by the restrictions of the web server.

For any questions or information, please contact us.

The Iptanus Team

FTP Uploads of WordPress File Upload Plugin

18 thoughts on “FTP Uploads of WordPress File Upload Plugin

    1. Yes, open the visual editor of the plugin, then go to Notifications tab and activate Email Notifications. Then configure the recipients, subject and message. An email will be sent to the recipients whenever a file is uploaded.



  • Hi,

    I’ve pro version of this plugin and I’m trying to upload files via SFTP. FTP works fine and my user has the access the SFTP file transfer. However, when I try to upload files via this plugin, I get the error “The web server doesn’t support SFTP.” Can you please assist me with this?

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi, this means that your web server does not have the required SSH2 libraries installed to handle SFTP transfers. Please read this article about the required libraries. Perhaps you need to talk with your host about it.



      1. Hi Nickolas,

        Thanks for your reply. I’ve asked my hosting provider to add the respective library. However, I would like to mention that I can connect and upload files using FileZilla using same credentials. Do you still think it because of the SSH2 library? If so, I’ll wait for my hosting provider to add the respective library. Otherwise, can you please suggest any other solution?

        Thanks in advance.

        Kind Regards,

        1. Hi, Filezilla is a desktop application and it already has all necessary libraries installed. I think SSH2 libraries are unfortunately required for SFTP to work from the plugin. Is using FTP instead of SFTP an option?


          1. Hi Nickolas,

            Thanks for the reply. Yes, it makes sense now why we need the SSH2 libraries. Yes, we need to use SFTP which is one of our value proposition. I’ve asked the hosting provider’s customer support to install the required libraries. Will update you once it’s working.

            Kind Regards,

          2. Hi Nickolas,

            They’ve installed the SSH2 library and the error is gone. However, now I’m getting the following error:

            Upload failed!
            Targer folder doesn’t exist.
            Failed upload path: sftp://:@:22/public_html/wp-content/sftp_uploads/

            The above folder exist in the server. Still, it’s not picking them. I’ve tried leaving the upload path empty, and I’ve tried multiple paths, but nothing works. Can you help me here?

            Thanks in advance.

  • Hi, I have the same problem, can I get some help?

    They’ve installed the SSH2 library and the error is gone. However, now I’m getting the following error:

    Upload failed!
    Targer folder doesn’t exist.
    Failed upload path: sftp://:@:22/public_html/wp-content/sftp_uploads/

    The above folder exist in the server.

    1. Hi Olga, unfortunately not, so file size is restricted by web server limitations when uploading to FTP. Some times you can change these limits by changing PHP directives upload_max_filesize, post_max_size, max_execution_time and max_input_time.



    1. Hi, you can do it like this:

      1. Activate attribute “Attach Uploaded Files in Post” which you can find in Interoperability tab.
      2. Add the shortcode [gallery] inside the page. This is the default gallery functionality of WordPress and it will show a gallery of the images that are attached to that post (or page).



  • Hi Nickolas,

    I have the same problem.
    I want t upload to SFTP server but I get the message
    “Error. The web server does not support sftp.”
    My provider said that ssh2 is enabled.
    FTP is for security reasons no option.
    Can you help me here please?

    Another question:
    My idea behind is to provide my customers the upload function on my website which should automatically upload to a nextcloud directory via webdav.
    Do you provide webdav soon?

    Have a great day.

  • Hi. I can’t make the plugin to work. By web seem that the server block the ip and by ftp don’t enter seems that if there is a ] in the pasword it get confused? remedy?

    My server has the ftps option it doesn’t work with your plugin, right?

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