How do I load my files onto D.O.

December 13, 2015 1.9k views
WordPress DigitalOcean PHP

I was left high and dry by a project developer who moved my files from GoDaddy to Digital Ocean, but I do not understand anything here. I do have the files from this previous developer/programmer that are php/wordpress, but I am a novice to the computer industry and do not understand any of this server / backend stuff. Can someone assist me or point me to a programmer/developer who can assist me?

Thank you

1 Answer

While I am not able to recommend a developer for you I can assist you in getting access to your files.

DigitalOcean provides droplets which are KVM VPS servers. This means that each one acts as it's own server for which you have root (administrative) access to.

By default you can access your droplets via SSH which is a command line protocol that allows you to log into your droplet. Along with SSH access SFTP access is available. This is a protocol that works similar to FTP but operates over the encrypted SSH connection making it much more secure.

To access your droplet you will first need your root password (It is possible to create a droplet without a password and use a key instead but for this response I will assume that this was not set up. If you do not have the root password for your droplet you can reset it from the control panel.

If you have your root password you can skip to the "Connecting with Filezilla" section below.

Log into and click on your droplet in the list that is displayed. On the page displayed you will see a button to reset your root password. Once you do this a new pasword will be emailed to you.

For security reasons this password is only good for your first login via ssh, you'll be prompted to change it when you log in. Once we've set a permanent password you'll be able to use an SFTP client like Filezilla to access your files.

First we'll need an SSH client. If you are on Windows you can download PuTTY. This guide will help you get connected to your droplet with PuTTY.

If you are on a Mac, you can open the Terminal app and type in:


where is your droplet's IP address shown in the control panel.

When you log in you will be asked first to enter your temporary root password (the one you just used to connect), you will then be asked to enter a new password twice. Note: When entering passwords on the command line in Linux there is no visual feedback (no ****** is shown), this is normal and your password is still being received. Once you've done this, you can close Putty and open Filezilla.

Connecting with Filezilla

In filezilla select the site manager (top left icon) and click on "New Site".

In "Host" place your droplet's IP address.
In "Port" enter 22
In Protocol select SFTP
For Login Type choose "Normal"
For user, enter "root"
For Password enter the password for your root user.

You should now be able to save the new connection settings and connect to your droplet. By default you will start out in the directory /root. Your web files for WordPress will usually be in /var/www/html so you'll first have to change up a directory by clicking on the .. entry and then navigate to /var/www/html where you will be able to upload or download files to the root of your Wordpress installation.

PuTTY is an open-source SSH and Telnet client for Windows. It allows you to securely connect to remote servers from a local Windows computer. This tutorial will cover how to connect to your Droplet from your local Windows computer using PuTTY.
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