Could anyone help me with this please? I am trying to install my wp theme Recital (it came out quite recently), but when I upload the zip and press install, it says Could not create directory...

What am I supposed to do?

  • This is probably a permissions issue, is your 'wp-content' directory writable?
    – Gaffen
    Dec 19 '13 at 12:29
  • 1
    Have you previously installed themes from the same vendor on this particular WordPress installation? Sometimes, vendors give you a link to a zip that needs to be unzipped as it contains other items that may not be part of the theme file structure. Have you checked in the zip folder to see that it follows the appropriate conventions? Dec 19 '13 at 15:43

If you can log into your host with SSH or FTP, it's an easy fix. Like the comments said before, check your permissions for the Wordpress directory. For example, if you check the hosting directory with ls -al (typically /var/www, as on DigitalOcean), they should look something like this:

drwxrwxr-x  6 www-data www-data 4096 Nov 14 17:00 wordpress

That means both the user and group has write permissions set. To make sure those are set correctly, you can use this command on the directory:

sudo chmod ug+w wordpress

Also, make sure the user and group ownership is set correctly. In the above example, the server daemon is run under the www-data user and group (it could also be httpd). To set the directory's ownership to www-data you can run the command chown like this:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data wordpress

If you're using an FTP client, try right-clicking the wordpress directory and using its Permissions functionality to set the permissions and ownership (will vary from FTP app to FTP app).

Hope this helps!


CentOS7 or Ubuntu 16


WordPress uses ftp to install themes and plugins.
So the ftpd should have been configured to create-directory

vim /etc/pure-ftpd.confg

and if it is no then should be yes

# Are anonymous users allowed to create new directories?
AnonymousCanCreateDirs       yes


sudo systemctl restart pure-ftpd


Maybe there is an ownership issue with the parent directories. Find the Web Server user name and group name if it is Apache Web Server

apachectl -S

it will print

User: name="apache" id=997
Group: name="apache" id=1000

on Ubuntu it is

User: name="www-data" id=33 not_used
Group: name="www-data" id=33 not_used


sudo chown -R apache:apache directory-name


Sometimes it is because of directories permissions. So try

sudo chmod -R 755 directory-name

in some cases 755 does not work. (It should & I do not no why) so try

sudo chmod -R 777 directory-name


Maybe it is because of php safe mode. So turn it off in the root of your domain

vim php.ini

then add

safe_mode = Off

For not entering FTP username and password each time installing a theme we can configure WordPress to use it directly by adding


to the wp-config.php file.

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