Using SFTP to Connect to Your SpinupWP Servers

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is still a popular way to connect to a web server and manage files on the server. FTP applications like Cyberduck and FileZilla allow users to connect to the server using a GUI interface similar to a computer’s file explorer application. SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol or Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a more secure version of FTP that allows the same level of file management. At SpinupWP, we disable the standard FTP ports and only allow this type of access via SFTP.

Requirements

To connect via SFTP applications like Cyberduck or Filezilla, you can use the site user, which is enabled for SSH and SFTP access. This access can be configured to connect either using SSH key authentication or using a password. We recommend SSH key authentication as it is the most secure method.

Configure The Site user

To enable SSH Key authentication for your SpinupWP site user, you need to create an SSH key pair on your local machine and assign it to the site user. We have extensive documentation on how to create and add your SSH key. It is important to note that you need to add the SSH key to a site user and not a sudo user.

Once you’ve added the SSH key to the site user, you can set up your FTP application.

SFTP With Cyberduck

Connecting to your server using Cyberduck requires you to create a new connection bookmark. Click on the + button to create the new bookmark.

Cyberduck add new bookmark

Select SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) from the dropdown, and enter your server IP address in the “Server” field. Enter the site Username, and then select your private key for the “SSH Private Key” field.

Cyberduck configure SFTP bookmark

Once you have configured the details, click on the saved bookmark, and Cyberduck will connect to your server.

Cyberduck connnected

SFTP With FileZilla

Connecting to your server using FileZilla requires you to add a new site by clicking on the Site Manager icon.

FileZilla

To create a new site, click the New Site button. The new site will appear under the “My Sites” list as New site. You can click on the New site to edit the site name. Then, in the General tab, select SFTP – SSH File Transfer Protocol as the “Protocol”, and enter your server IP address for the “Host”. Leave the “Logon Type” as Normal, and enter the site username for the “User” field. Then click OK to save the site.

FileZilla add site

To connect, click on the down arrow next to the Site Manager icon, and select the site from the list. Filezilla will detect that the server requires SSH key authentication and automatically use your local SSH key to connect.

FileZilla connected

A Note on Directories

While most FTP clients will automatically connect to the correct site user directory (/sites/{domain}), some may connect to the server root /. It’s therefore important to navigate to the correct site directory for the site. It is usually possible to configure your FTP application to connect to the correct server path.

In Cyberduck, when adding or editing a bookmark, click on the More Options icon and enter the user directory path in the “Path” field.

Cyberduck path

In Filezilla, when adding or editing a Site, click on the Advanced tab and enter the user directory path in the “Default remote directory” field.

Filezilla remote directory

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