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 now the backup solution provisioned for all new Jetpack plan purchases (excluding Scan, Search and CRM).

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 Shell), SFTP (SSH 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.

File access permission

Note that when creating new SFTP/SSH credentials to use with Jetpack Backup, you need to set the correct access permissions (full read and write access) to the WordPress directory.

File access permissions are a set of instructions that dictate who can access and modify WordPress files and folders. 

It is important to set the correct permissions to your WordPress install to allow your Jetpack Backup to save your files (backup write access) and restore the files (read access).

The required settings could vary depending on your host, so we can’t provide the exact permissions you’ll need. 

Your hosting provider can help with this, and they may even provide instructions in their support documentation.

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 (note: Currently only unencrypted private keys are supported. That means keys without a password or passphrase). 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.

Note that when creating new SFTP/SSH credentials to use with Jetpack Backup, you need to set the correct access permissions (full read and write access) to the WordPress directory.

The required settings could vary depending on your host, so we can’t provide the exact permissions you’ll need.

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 Manage → SettingsJetpack. 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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