How To Edit WordPress Themes and Code

Just joined Digital Ocean and I want to install Ubuntu and follow this tutorial: (which I will use the newest version)

My question is: 1. After installing everything and getting WordPress set up, can I access the multiple websites and the Ubuntu server from any computer or do I have to work on the computer that I installed Ubuntu and WordPress?

2. Once I have WordPress installed and am working on a theme, do I have to edit the coding files from my computer (where I installed WordPress) and then upload them via FileZilla (or other), or can I edit the WordPress code files after uploading? I just want to know if I can use any computer.

I found this from

“If you’re editing your own theme, which is specific to your site and was developed especially for it, then you can make edits to the theme directly. But if you’re working with a third-party theme and want to edit that, you should create a child theme to avoid losing your changes next time you update the theme.” ** 3.** What does it mean by ‘editing your own theme’?

Sorry, many questions.

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Hi, @mfuggz

As everyone else already explained the WordPress installation will be hosted on your server and you can access it from any computer at any time.

  1. You can access your server from any computer as long as you have enabled PasswordAuthentication or if you have copied your shs-key to the machine you will connect from to your droplet/server.

  2. You can edit the files (if this is needed) both locally and on the server itself. I will recommend to stick with either one of the option as it will be easier for you to manage it. For example you can edit the files on the droplet and keep a local copy of the files before and after each change.

  3. As the others already mentioned this depends. I will recommend you to edit the WordPress theme via the WordPress admin area in the Appearance --> Theme menu as this is the recommended way to modify your theme.

Hope that this helps! Regards, Alex

Hi @mfuggz,

Let’s start from the beginning, as soon as you install a wordpress website, it will be on your server. The files will be there as well as the database. Any edits you want the world to see will need to be done there. I’ll start answering your questions as you’ve asked them:

  1. As long as you have a way to authenticate to your server either via a public key added or via a password and you haven’t disabled your SSH port you would be able to. Having said that, it’s best to deny any password authentication and don’t allow your SSH port to be accessible publicly. The best practice would be to use one computer.

  2. You can edit the files as you like and whichever is easiest for you. You can edit them directly on the server or edit them locally and then upload them via FileZilla or another program.

  3. Editing your own theme can mean two things mostly. The first would be to edit the theme via WordPress’s admin area. The second would be to edit it directly in the files. Usually, you would do the first rather than the second option I described.

Regards, KFSys


  1. If you followed the tutorial above, I assume that you created a DigitalOcean server (droplet) with the latest Ubuntu version, and you have installed WordPress on that server, not on your computer. Depending on how you have configured SSH access, you can log in to the Ubuntu server from your computer or any computer. The most convenient method is using only your computer to log in and manage your Ubuntu server over SSH.
  2. You can directly modify your WordPress plugins and themes in the WordPress Dashboard. After logging in to your WordPress admin account, navigate to the Plugins Editor Screen or the Appearance Editor Screen to start editing.
  3. If you coded your WordPress theme from scratch, then it is your own theme. In your case, I guess you are using the default theme that came with WordPress or a free/paid theme from somewhere. It’s not your own theme, but you can still modify its code files. Later, however, if you update it, WordPress will replace your modified files with the new version of those same files. That means any changes you made will disappear.

To set up and manage your websites on a server environment, you should have a basic understanding of how Linux works. You can read the Introductory Topics of this great course: Making Servers Work: A Practical Guide to Linux System Administration