Unable to install plugins | WordPress.org

I am setting up a new website on my own Ubuntu 20.04 server with a LEMP stack. I have wordpress installed and want to start setting up a home page for the site, but need some plugins before getting started. Unfortunately, every attempt to install any plugin fails.

The first problem started with UpdraftPlus which required that I have an ftp server. (I don’t know why this is required because on my previous server it was not required.) Having installed an ftp server when I try to install updraftplus automatically I get installation failed – cannot find wordpress content directory. Attempting to install any other plugin I am forced to enter my ftp credentials and then it fails to install for the same reason.

When I try to install by upload the plugin’s zip files (downloaded from the site) I get a 413 request entity too large error message. (I already set the max file size for 100M in nginx.conf and php.ini_configuration files.)

1. On previous wordpress websites I have built I never had to use ftp, so why do I have to use ftp to install plugins now? How can I get around it?

2. Why doesn’t wordpress know where its own content files are and how can I fix that?

3. I only use updraftplus to backup my files. I want to move those backup files to a new computer and I know no reason why I should have to use ftp when I can move them with the old fashioned swivel chair interface (both servers are sitting hear in my basement.)

4. If updraftplus now demands ftp service to backup wordpress files, can someone recommend a reasonable backup utility that doesnn’t impose unnecessary demands?

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