WordPress

Kevin Dang
Kevin Dang
8,621 Points

How to gain access to back-end? (the code files, website assets, etc.)

Hi all,

I have inherited a WordPress site and need to make some slight adjustments and updates to the site.

My problem is that I cannot find the landing page in the 'Pages' section and the landing/home page can only be updated through the admin edit interface (Appearance/Customise). However, I think I need the actual code to make the changes requested.

Would I be right to assume that I can only gain access to this by using a program like FileZilla to copy the code files onto my computer OR is there another method I should be using? And would this be the correct procedure to make updates on WordPress? i.e. update the code files and dragging and dropping them back into FileZilla to update the site (?)

Thank you

1 Answer

Daniel Gauthier
Daniel Gauthier
14,997 Points

Hey Kevin,

You'll find the files you're looking for in the Editor section of the Appearance tab in the Wordpress admin dashboard.

Even if the name of the file isn't "index.php" there will be a set of parentheses under each file and one of them will identify the file as the index.php file.

You'll be able to make changes directly in the dashboard, but if you'd prefer a little more safety to avoid breaking your site, you may want to make a copy of the file before making any changes.

If you'll be working with the code a lot moving forward, it may be helpful to set up a local Wordpress install to test things out before pushing them to a live site.

Ftp definitely works, especially for large scale changes. If you only need to change a few lines of code, you could back the file you'll be working with up using the file manager provided by your hosting company, then make your changes to the existing file. This way, if something does break, you can just restore the file using the copy.

Good luck with the changes!

Kevin Dang
Kevin Dang
8,621 Points

Thank you for your response Daniel!

Hmm...I'm trying to follow your instructions but unable to get to what you're describing; I can't see the files but i'm pretty sure it's just that I haven't followed correctly).

So I would press customise to go into the editor section?

Screenshot of WordPress Appearance Tab; it says Themes, Customise, Widgets, Menus, Header, Background and Theme Options

Which would then take me to this edit screen:

Screenshot of WordPress edit mode on landing page

Where would I go to see what you're describing?

Daniel Gauthier
Daniel Gauthier
14,997 Points

Hey again Kevin,

What version of Wordpress are you using at the moment?

I'm using 4.5.1 (newest release) and have an editor option for both my live site and my local site as the last option in the Appearance menu, which would be right below where you have "Theme Options".

It looks like you're using an administrator account, but just to be thorough, it would be best to verify that as well.

Daniel Gauthier
Daniel Gauthier
14,997 Points

Hey Kevin,

I dug this up from the Wordpress help forums, since I've never run into this issue personally.

Possible Solutions

It's only a year old, so it could apply here, and it notes two possible solutions. Hopefully either updating your Wordpress or checking your wp-config file for:

define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);

then changing it to false solves the issue. Otherwise, the problem could be due to one of your plugins or the theme you're using, which would require a lot of trial and error. Let's hope for the former :D

Kevin Dang
Kevin Dang
8,621 Points

Thank you again!

I'm using the newest version too (4.5.1). I'll definitely check out the link you provided. But if there's no luck, I think I'll just go with the FTP route :)

Cheers!