Securing Your WordPress Installation: A Guide to File Permissions

Dec 3, 2023 | Technology | 0 comments

WordPress is a popular and powerful content management system (CMS) that powers millions of websites around the world. However, its widespread use also makes it a target for malicious attacks. One crucial aspect of securing your WordPress installation is setting the correct file permissions. In this article, we will explore the importance of file permissions, the recommended settings, and how to implement them to safeguard your website from unauthorized access and potential hacks.

Understanding File Permissions

File permissions determine who can read, write, and execute files on your server. In a WordPress installation, there are three types of permissions: read (r), write (w), and execute (x). These permissions are assigned to three different entities: the owner, the group, and others.

Owner (u): The user who owns the file or directory.
Group (g): Users who are in the same group as the file or directory.
Others (o): Users who fall outside the owner and group categories.

Permission levels are represented by numbers:

Read (r) = 4
Write (w) = 2
Execute (x) = 1

The combination of these numbers creates a three-digit code (e.g., 644 or 755), where the first digit represents the owner’s permissions, the second digit represents the group’s permissions, and the third digit represents the permissions for others.

Recommended File Permissions for WordPress

Directories (Folders): Directories should generally have a permission setting of 755. This means the owner has full control (read, write, and execute), while others have read and execute permissions.

find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/ –type d –exec chmod 755 {} \;

Files: WordPress recommends a permission setting of 644 for files. This grants read and write access to the owner and read access to others.

find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/ –type f –exec chmod 644 {} \;

wp-config.php: This file contains sensitive information and should be well-protected. Set its permissions to 400.

chmod 400 /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-config.php

Uploads Directory: The uploads directory (usually located at /wp-content/uploads/) stores media files. It needs to be writable by the web server, so set its permission to 755.

chmod 755 /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/uploads/

Plugins and Themes: Directories for plugins and themes should have a permission setting of 755, and their files should have a permission setting of 644.

[code lang="bash"]find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/plugins/ -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \; find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/themes/ -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \; find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/plugins/ -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \; find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/themes/ -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;[/code]
find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/plugins/ –type d –exec chmod 755 {} \;
find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/themes/ –type d –exec chmod 755 {} \;
find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/plugins/ –type f –exec chmod 644 {} \;
find /path/to/your/wordpress/installation/wp-content/themes/ –type f –exec chmod 644 {} \;


Properly configuring file permissions is a crucial step in fortifying your WordPress installation against unauthorized access and potential security threats. By following these recommended settings, you create a robust defense mechanism that helps prevent malicious attacks and ensures the integrity of your website. Regularly review and update file permissions as needed, and complement this effort with other security best practices to keep your WordPress site safe and secure


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