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How to enable SFTP and SSH Access for VaultPress

by Pradeep Mamgain
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VaultPress always back up your website. However, if you enable SSH access for VaultPress, it will not only speed up the backup process but also give you access to the restore functionality.

VaultPress is a real-time backup and security scanning WordPress plugin. It back up everything; every post, picture, page, comment, revision, and settings. By default, this plugin is configured to work through HTTP/HTTPS which is not the most efficient method because it might cause CPU time uses or account execution limits especially if your website is hosted on a shared resource. You can configure additional settings from the VaultPress database that allows you to enable SSH access for VaultPress — the secure and fastest method.

Learn how to enable SFTP and SSH access for the ValutPress plugin to efficiently and securely back up your WordPress website.Click to Tweet

Enable SFTP, FTP, and SSH Access for VaultPress

SSH stands for Secure Shell and gives you the ability to securely access a server. Enabling SSH access is not only the most robust and secure method, but it also allows you or the VaultPress Safekeeper to restore the backup with one click. The process described here is tested on Godaddy using cPanel. It should work on other hosts as well.

Apart from a User ID and password, VaultPress can connect to your server using the key-based authentication. In order to set this up, you need to add the public key to .ssh/authorized_keys file. In this article, I will explain how to set up both options.

Configure SSH for VaultPress

First of all, select Jetpack > VaultPress from the left pane of your WordPress dashboard. Now, click VISIT DASHBOARD in the right pane to open the VaultPress dashboard. Click Settings to display VaultPress settings.

VaultPress Dashboard for SSH access
VaultPress Settings

From the settings page, you can enable SSH, SFTP, and FTP access to VaultPress for fast and efficient backup as well as for seamless restoration. Click SSH to view the options and then click on Show Public Key. Copy the key and paste it in a text editor so that you can access it later, keep this tab open. You need to enter this public key into .ssh/authorized_keys file manually or using cPanel.

SSH access for vaultpress

Enable SSH Feature for Website

The next step is to enable SSH access for your server, if not already enables by the host. To do so, login to your host dashboard and enable SSH access from there.

Enable SSH Access
SSH Access Enabled

The cPanel user name and password will be used to connect the SSH service. Also, keep in mind that if you change the cPanel password, your SSH password will change as well. Note down the Port number. Godaddy uses port no 22 for SSH setup, your host may use a different number.

Manage SSH Public Key

Now, in a new browser tab, login to cPanel to access its home page. Click SSH Access. Now, click Manage SSH Keys. Next, click Import Key.

SSH Access
Manage SSH Keys
import SSH keys

Now, type a name for the key, you can leave it empty; the system will use default id_dsa. Type a Passphrase and note it down at a safe location. Now, paste the key we copied from the VaultPress dashboard in the public key field and then click Import.

ssh key

Now, you need to authorize the key. To do so, switch back to the previous page and click Manage from the Public Keys section. Next, click Authorize.

public keys

Switch to the VaultPress dashboard and set Server Address to your server name or IP address (for example (www.example.com), Port Number to 22 (check with your host about the port number they use for SSH access), Username to your cPanel user name and Password to your cPanel password. Next, click Save to enable the SSH access; notice that the SSH button is now active.

SSH Access

Configure SFTP for VaultPress

SFTP stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol and also referred to as Secure File Transfer Protocol. SFTP allows you to connect to your server securely but it only gives you access to files on the server, not the database. Configure both the SFTP and SSH services for VaultPress in order to efficiently and securely back up the data.

FTP is the most used protocol for accessing files on the webserver. However, you should limit its use because it is an insecure protocol. If you have access to SSH and SFTP, don’t use FTP at all. 

To enable, click the SFTP button. Next, set Server Address to your server name or IP address (for example (www.example.com), Port Number to 22 (check with your host about the port number they use for SSH access), Username to your cPanel user name and Password to your cPanel password.

SFTP VaultPress

Next, click Save to enable the SFTP access; notice that the SFTP button is now active.

Configure FTP for VaultPress

If you don’t have access to SSH, you can enable FTP access. To do so, you need the user name and password of the FTP account. Also, check the port number your host is using for FTP. Click FTP in the VaultPress dashboard and enter the credentials to enable the service.

That is all — now your VaultPress is configured to use SSH and SFTP for its backup and security scanning services.

Learn how to enable SFTP and SSH access for the ValutPress plugin to efficiently and securely back up your WordPress website.Click to Tweet
How to enable SFTP and SSH Access for VaultPress

Conclusion

As you can see, setting up the SSH and SFTP access for VaultPress may sound complicated but it is pretty straight forward. Remember — this is all it takes to enable SSH access:

  1. Enable SSH feature on your host
  2. Create an SSH public key
  3. Enter the SSH and SFTP credentials in the VaultPress dashboard

I hope this article helped you learn how to enable the SSH and SFTP access for VaultPress. If you liked this article, please subscribe to our newsletter. You can also connect with us on YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you are a foodie, please check our recipe grid.

Do you have any questions or suggestions about SSH and SFTP access? Ask away in the comments section below.

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