The Developer’s Guide to Start Using SSH (Connect to Your Server Securely)

The Developer's Guide to Start Using SSH (Connect to Your Server Securely)

Learning how to use SSH to access your WordPress site is something you may not have considered. For most WordPress users, the most familiar way to connect to your site will be via the WordPress dashboard and admin screens, combined with SFTP and phpMyAdmin to access the database.

But SSH might just prove to be one of the most valuable tools in your WordPress toolbelt.

If you want to speed up your workflow, you’ll find that learning how to use SSH to connect to your WordPress site will make you more efficient.

In this post, we’ll show you how to do it.

What is SSH?

First, let’s start by identifying what SSH is and when you might use it.

SSH means ‘Secure Shell’. The SSH specs define it as:

“A protocol for secure remote login and other secure network services over an insecure network.”

This means you can use it to access your WordPress site remotely, from any computer and regardless of where your site is hosted, as long as you have the login credentials. Using this method is inherently secure.

SSH is designed to provide secure login, so you can be confident no one can access your connection while you are using it. It’s also quick and easy to use once you’ve got the hang of it. And if you want to interact with the WordPress REST API, it’s one way to send commands.

To connect to your server via SSH, you’ll need two things:

  • An interface.
  • Login credentials.

If you’re running Linux or macOS, you have an interface built into your operating system, so you don’t need to install an SSH client. But if you’re running Windows, you’ll need to install a client. I’ll show you how to do that in this post.

Tools You Need to Connect to Your Site via SSH

To start, you’ll need to use either the terminal or an SSH client. These work in very similar ways.

Connecting via the Terminal on macOS or Linux

The Terminal is an application that comes with Linux or macOS, that allows you to use the command line to send commands, either to your machine or to a remote server.

It isn’t a graphical interface so you won’t be using a mouse. Instead, you type in text commands. For a first-time user, it can be little disconcerting, as you’re probably used to seeing visual representations of your commands. But once you get used to it, you’ll find it quicker.

If you worked with computers in the days before graphical user interfaces, using systems such as Microsoft’s MS-DOS, you might be familiar with this kind of interface. The good news is that the Terminal gives you many more options than MS-DOS did!

To open the Terminal on Mac, open Spotlight and type Terminal. You can also access it via Applications > Utilities.

Finding

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This article was written by Rachel McCollin and originally published on Blog – Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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