How to fix WordPress auto update permissions

If you ever had problems with the WordPress files ownership or permisions this might help you.

In my server I had different users and groups. I couldn't get the auto-upgrade (core, themes and plugins) to work.

I was being lazy about it. You know, it's one of that things that you keep avoiding until you stumble across the solution. So, all I had to do is change the ownership of the WordPress files to www-data.

Use the following command:

chown -R www-data:www-data /my-wordpress/folder


In some cases you might also need to change the file permision which can be done with the following commands:

All permisions:

chmod 777 /my-wordpress/folder

For security reasons you should restore the right permissions once you're done with the changes:

chmod 775 /my-wordpress/folder


I just found I can't surf my WordPress directory using FTP. I'm guessing it's caused because my FTP password doesn't have the right permissions since we just changed them to www-data.

I'm still looking at this, any ideas?

About Rick

Senior Front-end Software Engineer from Barcelona, Haidong Gumdo Instructor (korean martial art of the sword), street photographer, travel lover, TV addict, Boston Red Sox fan, and privacy advocate.

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