Support » Themes and Templates » Online Theme Editing

  • “If this file were writable you could edit it.”

    I’m the admin and that’s the message I get for any and all theme files I view in the WP theme editor (where there are no buttons for saving changes). None of the files is “read-only” on my computer and I can alter them on my HD using Arachnophilia.

    I uploaded WordPress to my site with WS-FTP LE and
    I sure would like to be able to edit themes online. Can anyone tell me how to fix this?

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  • There is nothing to “fix”. Say “thanks God” they are not writable – otherwise every hacker kid would be able to screw your website.

    With your FTP client you should be able to change the permissions of the files on the server (which has nothing to do what is on your computer!!!).
    To make them writable change to permissions (aka chmod) to 666 on the file you want to edit.
    After that change it back immediately to 644.

    I find it unhealthy for my sites to edit theme files online – there is no undo button! So, you should rather learn to edit the files on your computer in a plain text editor (after making a backup copy, just in case…) and upload the modified file.

    Thanks for the help–including the info about the undo since I haven’t seen any of the editor’s buttons. Does the FTP client change the files to read only? or is that a default property of servers? I don’t find any way to convert the permissions with WS FTP but I haven’t checked yet to see if my site’s file manager will (don’t use that very much).

    My first (free) site at Geocities had an online editor. What I did there was to change the code with Arach then copy and paste it into the online editor. Never had a problem with anyone hacking it though. Was a much speedier way to preview changes over dial-up :-)–years later still have dial-up so the idea appealed.

    Seems strange that if online editing is unsafe/undesirable WordPress would include a provision for it in its program . . .

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