WordPress file and folder permissions error is a commonly seen error that is easy to identify. When such an error occurs, you will have problems interacting with your WordPress site. Depending on the permissions error of a specific file or folder, you may not be able to modify files, or create folders. WordPress will show you a warning message for the failure.
If you have learned about WordPress file permissions, you should know that the proper permissions are critical to the security of your website because you will never want anyone else except for the administrators to get excessive access, for example, to the core files.
However, you must give WordPress itself enough (but not excessive) permissions so that it can work as it should be. If WordPress is not allowed to do things like creating posts, pages or folders, you will get the permissions error. Since there are a large number of files on your server, it is difficult to spot the specific issue. And if you are faced with such a problem, there is a quick fix for you, fortunately.
Fix the Folder Permissions Error in WordPress
For the folders of your WordPress site, you can fix the permissions error by simply changing their permissions to 755 which is secure and reasonable enough. The numeric value 755 means you have full privileges to read, write and execute the folders, and all others can only read and execute the folders.
To change the folder permissions, you first need to access the folders. There are commonly two ways to do this – via FTP, or via cPanel. Remember that no matter which way you choose, you should always make a manual backup before carrying out any change in case that anything unexpected happens.
For cPanel, after logging in, you should find the File Manager to access the WordPress root folder which is usually your site name, public_html or www. Then open the root folder.
If you have multiple sites on the same hosting account, you should next find the site with permissions trouble and open it. If there is only one site, you will see several folders and files in the root folder. Select all the folders, right click, and then select “Change Permissions”.
In the “Change Permissions” popup, make the numeric value to be 755 by ticking the right permissions as shown below. At last, save the changes.
If you choose to change the folder permissions via FTP, then you should also choose to apply the permissions to directories only.
Fix the File Permissions Error in WordPress
Since there are numerous files on a site, we suggest you change the file permissions in bulk by using FTP instead of cPanel because FTP clients like FileZilla provides a good feature. To change the permissions of all files quickly, you need to select all the files and folders in the root folder of your WordPress site and right click to choose “File permissions”.
In the “Change file attributes” popup, enter 644 as the numeric value. This means you can read and modify the files, while others can only read them. After doing this, choose to apply the permissions to files only. This option will change the permissions of all the files in the folders while not affecting the folder permissions. cPanel doesn’t offer such a feature.
After taking the steps above, you should visit your WordPress and make modifications without the file or folder permissions error. But to increase your website security, you can further restrict the permissions of some certain files. For example, the permissions of wp-config.php could be 600 and those for .htaccess could be 604.