Giving a Client Access to a WP Engine Site on a Reseller Account


Written by

Dave Warfel

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4 minutes

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WP Engine’s control panel has changed since we wrote this article. For a more updated look at how to manage users & collaboration, check out our comprehensive WP Engine review.

WP Engine is one of the leaders in managed WordPress hosting, and if you’re a marketing agency or design shop, you might have 10, 20 or even 50+ clients hosted on your account. In most cases, you’re probably the one managing all the technical stuff. But what if you have a tech-savvy client who requests access to their site (beyond using the WordPress admin)?

Thankfully, WP Engine provides a way to give your client access to both SFTP & their MySQL database.

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Client Access to WP Engine SFTP Account

NOTE: SFTP stands for “Secure FTP.” It provides the same function as normal FTP, only it is a more secure way to transfer files. Make sure your client knows to use SFTP when they setup their FTP client.

The WP Engine admin portal has a place dedicated to creating SFTP accounts. This is where you can add an account for your client, without having to give away your username & password.

Once logged into the portal, the SFTP management area is located on the “Overview” screen. The URL will look like this:[nameofinstall].

1. Click the “Add Login” button

WP Engine - Add SFTP User

2. Enter your desired info in the form

  • Name will be used to create the SFTP username. Whatever you enter here will be appended to “yourinstallname-“.
  • Password is self-explanatory. Please make it a secure one.
  • Path is optional. You can leave it blank to provide access to the root of your install. But it might be a better idea to limit your client to only the /wp-content/ folder, so they can’t mess with core WordPress files. Your call.
  • Environment should be set to either “Production” or “Staging.” If you want to give your client access to both the live site AND the staging site, you need to create 2 separate SFTP accounts.

WP Engine - Add SFTP User Form

3. Click “Add Login,” and you’ll see it appear in your list.

WP Engine - Add SFTP User List

NOTE: When providing the SFTP info to your client (and for yourself, too), I prefer to use as the hostname. This way, if you ever upgrade to a dedicated IP address, you don’t need to worry about switching the hostname in your FTP client.

Client Access to WP Engine MySQL Database (via phpMyAdmin)

If your client is really tech savvy, you might need to grant them access to their site’s MySQL database. There is currently no way to give them access to the database only, but you can grant them access to all the features in the WP Engine admin portal (which includes direct database access).

1. Click on the “Users” link in the top navigation. Then click the “Add User” button.

WP Engine - Add User To Account

2. Enter your desired info

  • For Account access, choose “Partial (no billing)”
  • For Install access, select which install you want to give them access to
    • You can choose multiple installs, if you client has more than one website hosted with you

WP Engine - Add New User Form

FYI: Will Smith is not an actual client of ours. — But Will, if you’re reading this & you need a site… holla atcha boy.

3. Click “Add User,” and you’ll see them show up in your “All Users” list

4. They will then receive an invitation email that looks like this:

WP Engine new user email invitation

5. It tells them to enter their email & password, but they don’t have a password. There was no place for you to create one for them. So…

6. You can either have your client do this, or you could do it for them. Go to the WP Engine admin login screen, and choose “I forgot my password.” Enter in your client’s email address (the one you just added). This will fire off another email to them with a link for them to change their password.

WP Engine password reset email

7. Once they’ve changed their password, they will be automatically logged in.

8. If they go to the “Users” link at the top, they will see that you are the account owner, and they’ll see their account just below that with “Partial (no billing)” access.

WP Engine user list in client view

9. When they navigate to “Installs,” they should see all the installs that you gave them access to, over in the left-hand column. For accessing the MySQL database, choose “phpMyAdmin.”

WP Engine client view of "Installs"


Important Notes

Setting up a new user with “Partial (no billing)” right will give them access to all of the features for that install. This includes:

  • Accessing the MySQL database through phpMyAdmin
  • Creating, editing & deleting SFTP accounts
  • Creating & restoring backup points, as well as downloading .zip files of backups
  • Setting up redirect rules
  • Toggling the CDN on & off
  • View the visitor & bandwidth data, as well as download a CSV of usage

Currently, there is no way to restrict access to particular features.


  • On the “Home” page, your client will see “Your Usage This Period” & “Overages Last Period” at the top of the screen. Unfortunately, this information shows stats from your main account, which includes ALL INSTALLS, not just the one(s) that the client has access to.
    • Update: Dec 14, 2013 – WP Engine confirmed there is no way to remove this.

WP Engine - Client's Dashboard Stats

Dave Warfel

LinkedIn  •  X (Twitter)Dave has been working with WordPress since 2011. He's built 100s of client sites and almost a dozen of his own. He's tested almost every plugin you can think of, hosted with at least 10 different companies, and gone down every SEO rabbit hole you can imagine. When's he's not tinkering with new software, you'll find him in the mountains of Colorado, trail running, summiting peaks, and rippin' downhills on his mountain bike. 🏔️🏃🚴🤸

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