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WordPress files and folders

While WordPress is an easy way to manage your website and requires no code to work with it, this doesn’t mean you won’t run into technical issues. This is where knowing a bit more about the inner WordPress comes in handy.

Core Files & Folders

WordPress is fundamentally an assortment of files and folders, each with a different function and task. After installing WordPress via cPanel express install or manually, you’d see the following folders and files in your File Manager directory:

  • wp-admin
  • wp-content
  • wp-includes
  • .htaccess
  • index.php
  • license.txt
  • readme.html
  • wp-activate.php
  • wp-blog-header.php
  • wp-comments-post.php
  • wp-config-sample.php
  • wp-cron.php
  • wp-links-opml.php
  • wp-load.php
  • wp-login.php
  • wp-mail.php
  • wp-settings.php
  • wp-signup.php
  • wp-trackback.php
  • xmlrpc.php

All files with the exception of .htaccess, which is a hosting-related file, are WordPress files. While all have an essential function, there are some files and folders that have special importance due to the fact that they may require some intervention on your part to fix common issues or perform tweaks and manual changes.


This is one of the configuration files from Apache-based servers, and arguably one of the most important ones. It contains the settings that are applied to the directory and subdirectories it’s located at.

These settings can include HTTP redirections, the applied PHP version, as well as options and their values, specific functions for plugins, rules for access to the server, and much more.

This file starts with a dot, which means that the file is hidden and can’t typically be edited using FTP or non-root kinds of access.


One of, if not the most important files in your WordPress installation. It’s located in the root of your WordPress file directory and contains your WordPress configuration details, being responsible for connecting your core files with the database.