Many times, when you are configuring your website, you will need to edit a file on the server. There are many ways you can do this. You can use the cPanel File Manager Editor, an FTP program, or a program like Notepad++ to edit files. In this guide, you can learn the steps for how to edit a file on your server.
NOTE: When updating files on your server, you may need to clear your browser cache to see the changes. For more information on clearing your browser cache, please see the article on How to Clear Your Browser’s Cache.
Use the File Manager in cPanel
You can edit files directly on your server using the File Manager editor. This is sometimes called “Editing on the fly“. Editing on the fly is usually reserved for minor changes. When editing files directly on the server, the change takes effect immediately. The problem with editing files directly on the server is that you are editing the live copy. When editing the live copy, your site can break if a mistake happens and you cannot undo the change after its saved. In order to edit a backup copy of your files, you will want to use FTP to change the files. Below is a general step by step on how to edit files though the File Manager.
NOTE: If you do not know where your files are located on the server, please see our article on What directory should I put my files in?.
- Log into your cPanel and Go to the File Manager in cpanel. Select your directory and click Go.
- Edit the file with the File Manager Editor.
Save the changes.
You can now view your live site and see the changes.
Using FTP to edit a file
Files can be downloaded and uploaded using FTP. Below are the basic steps to edit a file using FTP. For more information on FTP, please see our Getting Started Guide: FTP article.
- Connect with ftp.
- Download the file
- Edit the file on your computer with notepad or another code editor.
- Re-upload the file to the server and overwrite the existing file.
The changes should reflect now on your live site.
Connect with a program like Notepad++
You can edit files directly on your server using Notepad++. NotePad++ is a Windows based program that has FTP capabilities. For information on on editing your files with Notepad++, please see the article on Connecting to your server with Notepad++.
To see other articles available on how to manage your files, please visit How to manage your files on your server?.