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This question was inspired by this one.

I want to load open data into the backend of my system. That is, I want the data to be accessible to my developers, but not the public. I was told by an IT professional that I need an "FTP" (file transfer protocol). Is this correct? If not, what is the appropriate tool?

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Wordpress is the backend of Wordpress sites.
You can use an FTP connection, but you do not have to have one.
I run WordPress blog, and various installations for clients/development on my server, which has been configured to run PHP (WP is (mostly) PHP). I can log into my wp blog at http://mywpblog.com/wp-admin which is public facing, but only pre login.
Boring (and archaic!) details of my setup, but as you can see I don't need/use an FTP here.

Wordpress offers many solutions (including hosting, development, etc.), as well as can be configured to offer any variety of others...my point is, you don't necessarily have to have any one thing to do this, except for Wordpress.

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your IT professional was right. You will need to have an FTP account that your developers can access and change where needed. You are able to set up FTP accounts through your ISP (internet service provider) or from the control panel where you "host" and/or bought your website.

I am studying web development and can verify that what you have been told is correct. If you need any more information please feel free to contact me.

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