Long story short, my client has a website with another company. They didn't make him an admin, but he does have access to the dashboard. I can't tell what his role is, but it's probably along the lines of editor. There's no "appearance, plugins, settings, etc." menu options. But he can make posts and pages.

Basically the company is not returning his calls, emails, etc. He wants to save his content, media, etc. But he has no permissions.

We don't have access to the FTP or database. I can't even install a plugin. Is there anything else I can do to try and get the old stuff off the website?

BTW, the domain and site is 100% owned by him.

  • 1
    It's best if he/you just consult the hosting support and ask their help to let him/you access FTP. Or ask them to fix the role, or create a new admin account for him/you.
    – Sally CJ
    Feb 5, 2019 at 23:35
  • Yep. He did try that. I did a DNS lookup and this company is self-hosting the website. Unfortunately, they're not even getting back with him. He's even gone there and there's no one there to help.
    – Lz430
    Feb 5, 2019 at 23:50
  • Wow, if I were him/you, I would have filed a legal complaint against the company... But I think you can try @fuxia's second suggestion - use a website copier/scrapping software to scrap the (public) content of the website in question. It takes time and you may not be able to retrieve private content, but it's probably your only option now.. Good luck.
    – Sally CJ
    Feb 6, 2019 at 0:26
  • Actually, there's also the WP REST API, if it's enabled on the site. But then, it may not be enabled for certain custom post types, taxonomies, metadata, media, etc.
    – Sally CJ
    Feb 6, 2019 at 0:45
  • The REST API is a no go. There are a few custom post types. Can anyone tell me about a good scraper?
    – Lz430
    Feb 6, 2019 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


You cannot make yourself an admin in the admin section of WordPress. That would be a privilege escalation – and a serious security issue.

You have only two options:

  1. Get FTP access, and either create an admin user per PHP, or just export the site to another host.

  2. Try a content scraping program and get the content this way exported. Then move to another host.

  • Unfortunately, there's no way to get FTP access. The company has completely stone walled him and is all but out of business. Guess I have to start from scratch. Thank you so much!
    – Lz430
    Feb 6, 2019 at 18:07

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