How to Upload WordPress ZIP Files to VPS and Extract them

If you have a VPS and you want to move your WordPress site or any other application, you will find it a time-consuming process without the cPanel. The reason is simple, you need to use a slow FTP client like Filezilla that takes a long time to upload a single file. The good news is that there is a free way to upload any ZIP folder, and then, extract it on your server, with a simple plugin.

Uploading ZIP files to WordPress faster

No matter what hosting you’re using, the WordPress migration will be easier now. Please note that this is the recommended method for people who don’t have the cPanel control panel that lets them extract ZIP files easily.

You need to download Cyberduck, which is a free FTP client software for Mac, Windows, and Linux. I’ve used the application to move the website to a managed VPS, and it worked faster than FileZilla and best of all, it comes with lots of options and great features. It’s used for different types of connections like:

  • FTP
  • SFTP
  • Web Dav
  • S3
  • Open Stack Swift
  • Windows Azure Storage
  • Google Cloud
  • Backspace

Of course, in the majority of cases, the VPS hosting requires the SFTP connection method to access your server and manage the files. So, you need to use that connection to secure your uploading and avoid problems.

After downloading the software, launch it from your desktop, and you will get the interface. You need to click the ”Open Connection” option at the top left corner of the menu, as the following screenshot.

Upload WordPress ZIP files to VPS

Now, you will get a pop-up window, select the connection type. For VPS, you need to use SFTP from the list. Add your website FTP hostname, or simply, the IP address of your site. Of course, you should add the username and the password, and next, click the ”Connect” button.

Connect to VPS with SFTP

Next, wait a few seconds to get your WordPress directory with all the files.

To upload a file to any directory, you need to open that location first, to avoid mistakes. Just open the folder as any file and you can see the content. Then, click the ”Upload” option from the right corner, and you will be able to choose the right folder or file from your local computer.

To save time and upload files faster, the ZIP compressed folders are the best option. You will notice that the upload is faster than the classic FileZilla method or any other application. If you have a fast Internet connection, you will notice no difference between this method and the cPanel file manager.

You need to wait until you see that the upload of that folder is successful. I’ve used the example of the below screenshot, where the folder will be uploaded to the ”wp-content” directory.

Uploading zip files

Now, you’ve successfully uploaded the ZIP files, but you need to extract them in your VPS.

How to Unzip files in WordPress VPS

There are lots of plugins that let you browse the WordPress files, and even edit them. But only, one tool lets you compress and unzip files there. You need to download a plugin called File Browser, the plugin hasn’t been updated for years, but, it still works well without any problem.

I couldn’t find any other working tool that unzips the file, if you have one, share it in your comment and I’ll add it here.

After installing and activating the plugin, you will find its menu link under the ”Tools” section of the WordPress menu, as the below screenshot.

WordPress file browser plugin

Now, you can see your WordPress files, find the folder that you’ve uploaded in the ZIP format, you just need to click on the right directory and it will be opened. Next, hover over that folder and you will get the ”Unzip” option that you should click on it.

Unzip files

That’s it, the file will be extracted, and you can delete the ZIP folder if you want.

Finally, when you’re happy with your site and you don’t need any other uploads, you can deactivate the plugin and delete it. I recommend removing plugins that you’re no longer using to protect your blog. People can use unused themes or plugins to hack your site and that’s what you don’t need. Now, it’s the time to share this tutorial with your friends, I’ll appreciate that.

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About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of 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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