I have had problem with this for a long time, and I just had the answer yesterday. If you were using WP 2.7, you know what I’m talking about. It’s about the automatic upgrade feature using FTP connection.
At first, I’m so happy for this feature. This means that I don’t have to download the new upgrade (ex: plugins, core upgrade, etc.), deactivate my plugin, upload the new content to my server, and activate the plugin again. These whole processes are fine, but it was just such a hassle to do all of that. However, my happiness ended when I could not figure out how to get the FTP upgrade work.
When you want to upgrade using your FTP, you will be asked hostname, username, and password of your FTP account. I have already entered all of the information correctly, but still it says that it could not connect to the FTP server. I think the problem was in the hostname. After many reserach on the internet, I tried so many different hostnames: hostname, hostname.com, www.hostname.com, ftp://hostname.com, ftp.hostname.com, localhost, localhost://hostname.com, and many others that I already forgot; but none of them are working. So, I decided to just do manual upgrade.
Yesterday, I noticed that WP just released WP 2.7.1 from my dashboard, so I tried to upgrade it. My admin page offered me 2 different ways: Automatic Upgrade or Manual Upgrade. I decided to try automatic upgrade; because if not, then I have to either delete my old WP files and replace them with the new one, or just overwrite the whole things, which I affraid will leave unnecessary files in the folder hence wasting my server storage. Sure enough, I could not get the FTP to work. FINALLY, I came across this WP support article in which, one of them suggested to use “localhost:21” Voiillaaa…..it worked like a charm. My WP 2.7 was upgraded to 2.7.1 just fine, and I updated several of my plugins using the automatic update with no problem. So, the key is to use localhost, as your hostname, and specify which port you are using. The rests, your FTP username and password, are the same like your normal FTP username and password.
I’m assuming that this setting will not work for every WP installation as different web server might have different settings, which require you to use different hostname. But for those of you that haven’t found the answer yet for your FTP problem, you might want to use “localhost:21” as your hostname. Who knows? It might be the answer you are looking for. Some people suggested to upgrade your PHP to version 5. I don’t know which one will work for you.
If you have had this FTP problem before, and now you have found a way to use your FTP automatic update feature, please share it here. It may be the right solution for some readers who also had FTP problem. Thanks.