Unable to Locate WordPress Content Directory (wp-content) Problem Fix

If you’re moving your WordPress blog to another hosting company, you may find some errors when installing plugins or updating your existing plugins. The most popular error message will look like the following one.

Unable to locate WordPress Content directory(wp-content).

Or, in other cases, depending on your WordPress version and settings, it can look like the following one.

Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads

These errors related to the WordPress content directory are caused by the parameters on the server, especially, in the Linux operating system. But, we will fix this problem together; this tutorial is for beginner bloggers who started their WordPress blog, and who are not familiar with editing files directly in the control panel, of their web hosting accounts.

The error message will look like this:

Unable to locate wordpress content directory (wp-content)

At the same time, you can’t upload plugins, and WordPress shows an option to use your FTP client to upload files. So, to solve this problem we need to set up the auto-update function, directly in the wp-config.php file in the home directory

Steps to fix the wp-content directory problem

Find the FTP username and details in the web hosting account

You should know your FTP username and password to use later, generally, you can find more than one FTP user, and here is the problem. But, only one user will work and make the WordPress update work again. So, log in to your cPanel account and click on the ”FTP Accounts” icons in the following screenshot.

Find FTP logins

Then, forget all the FTP accounts, and focus on one account only. You have to find the one with the person’s icon like this.

FTP in cPanel

That’s is your default FTP account that will work with WordPress, when changing hosting. Just find it and then click on ”Configure FTP Clients” at the right. You will get the details of your FTP account username and the server (host).

Your password is the same as your cPanel login. Save your login details and move to the next step.

Edit the wp-config.php file in cPanel

To get started, you have to log into the cPanel, and click on File Manager, or, ”Legacy File Manager”, both will work. You need to open all files in the ”webroot” directory, such as the next screenshot.

File manager

On the popup window, click on Web Root Directory, and check the ”Show Hidden Files”, as next.

Open file manger

On the next page that will be opened in a new window, locate the file ”wp-config.php”.

Find the wp-config.php

To edit the ”wp-config.php” file, you need to select it first, then, you can click the ”Edit” option at the top of the page. Follow the next screenshot example.

Editing the ''wp-config.php'' file

Now, you just need to add the following code anywhere in that file that you’ve opened and change the details with your own.

define( 'FTP_USER', 'userhere' );
define( 'FTP_PASS', 'passwordhere' );
define( 'FTP_HOST', 'ftphosthere' );

Note: “FTP server” is the same as “FTP host” in most cases.

Of course, you need to replace the username, password, and host with yours.

Then, click the ”save changes” button at the top right corner of the page. Now, come back to your WordPress dashboard and update plugins, and WordPress core, or do what you want; it should work now.

You can also use an FTP client like Filezilla. It allows you to edit your site directories and find any file. At the same time, you can easily change permissions or anything else.

If for any reason, you still get an error, and you can’t solve it, then, make sure to contact your web hosting provider, for more details and information on their server settings. They will solve the issue, it happens sometimes that the server settings and add-ons cause this problem. Or simply, change to a premium and professional hosting like WP Engine that I recommend, and forget all the problems.

An expert technician will manage your site and the server, and you can focus on your content, instead of wasting time with settings and fixing settings. Best of all, they are the fastest WordPress hosting, and nothing is better than a blazing fast loading time. It helps rank better in Google and offers a better user experience.

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About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress and Blogging tips to build a better blog and succeed online.

Disclosure: The recommendations on this page are my own based on my tests and analysis. We may earn a small commission from web hosts and other partners if you use my referral link to make a purchase. That’s what helps us to maintain the site and add fresh content, Thanks for your support.

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