Support Home > Backups and Restores > SSH, SFTP, and FTP Credentials

SSH, SFTP, and FTP Credentials

For Jetpack to perform restores and security scans, you’ll need to add remote access credentials for your site. You can also use them to connect backups when the initial connection doesn’t work.

Jetpack Backup is currently only available for Jetpack sites hosted at Pressable or DreamHost and for those who have purchased the Jetpack Backup product.

What are SSH, SFTP, and FTP credentials?

Every site is hosted on a server – this is where the files, directories, programs, and services that make up your site are located.

SSH (Secure Socket Shell), SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) are different types of server credentials. These credentials allow you, or a service like Jetpack Backup, to directly access the server that’s powering your website.

SSH and SFTP establish secure server connections, whereas FTP does not, and for that reason, it is not recommended if SSH or SFTP is available.

Server credentials are unique and separate from:

  • Your WordPress.org login
  • Your WP Admin login
  • Your WordPress.com login
  • Your host’s control panel or dashboard login

SSH, SFTP, and FTP credentials provide a unique way to transfer files from one host to another. The manner in which this happens is unique to each method.

Why does Jetpack need them?

We need credentials in order to restore your files and data. We can also use these to connect for backups if the Jetpack connection isn’t working. It is by far the most efficient and reliable way to back up the potentially large amounts of data involved with running a site.

We will never use these credentials for anything other than backups and restores without asking your permission first.

Which do you recommend?

We recommend SSH, as it’s the most robust, secure, and efficient. If your host doesn’t allow SSH access, we recommend SFTP as the next best option as it provides some security beyond what FTP offers. If you can’t get either, FTP will also work.

When creating a user account to use for Jetpack Backup, be sure that it has full read and write access to your WordPress directory. Your hosting provider can help with this and they may even provide instructions in their support documentation.

Where do I find these credentials?

Your host provides these credentials for you. You will often receive these details via email when you first create a hosting account.

You can often find these credentials by referring to your host’s documentation. You can also contact them directly and they’ll point you in the right direction.

How do I add them to Jetpack?

You can configure Jetpack to use your credentials starting at your site’s WordPress.com dashboard, then navigate to Tools → Activity. We’ve explained the process in more detail in Adding Credentials to Jetpack.

Have any questions? Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to assist!

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