FTP Credentials Unexpectedly Required When Installing Plugins or Upgrading in Wordpress

I went to install a plugin on a newly created Wordpress site and rather than just do it, suddenly a screen appeared asking for FTP credentials. I had never seen this before and was a little surprised. Why would it be so different?

The problem? I had forgotten to change the ownership of the folder in which the Wordpress site sat. Being still owned by root, it no longer had permission to make changes.

The solution? A quick:

chown -R www-data:www-data folder-name

as root.

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