How to Setup File Permissions on Your Website

One of the most core subjects in developing websites is using an FTP client to upload files.  With all the information out there about different CMS systems, setting up PHP.ini files and changing specific configuration files it only makes sense to talk about setting up file permissions.  File permissions for those of you who may not be aware are set so that you can read, write and execute files in specific ways.  Depending on what the file you are setting the permission on does there are a number of permutations you can have on a file dependent to your needs.

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Today I am going to show you how to do this using FileZilla, a free FTP client that I use whenever I need to add or upload files to a website.  It’s a personal favourite of mine but you can use other FTP clients available on the market that should address this issue.

Once you are in the FileZilla FTP client you are going to notice a number of windows and for the purposes of this article we are going to focus on the “Remote site” aka “The site we upload things to” site.  As you can see in the screenshot above it shows us what the current file permissions are on the files in a specific directory on our website.  Great stuff right?  Well what if I need to change the permission of a directory or file on my remote website?

To change the current file permissions shown on your directory or file within a directory it’s pretty easy to change so let’s have a look and see how we can do this.

Step 1: Right click on the file or directory you want to change permissions on and select the “File Permissions” option from the drop down menu just like the screenshot below shows…

Step 2: Now that we’ve selected the “File Permissions” option, you are going to notice the following pop-up screen for your file or directory’s permissions and make the needed changes.

When setting these permissions you can make the permission as permissive or restrictive as needed by configuring the Owner, Group and Public permissions.  Also note that if you are changing permissions for a directory you can apply these changes to all sub-directories and files to save time using the “Recurse into subdirectories” checkbox and select the appropriate radio button option.

This becomes a particularly useful when working with anything on the web from a pesky Joomla installation and configuration issue or modifying a PHP.ini file.  I hope also that I was able to take a somewhat dull subject and breathe some life into it and that you’ve found it helpful.

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