Hello, thanks for the suggestion,but I've done this and it takes me to my server instead. is that the same place? I tried running commands there but it kept failing. Like when I tried getting to the root directory as I was asked to do, it just said permission denied (publickey)
okay i understand - as you mention you are getting the error of permission denied,
then you must need to contact your server hosting provider , and ask them for the access rights.
once you logged in with the server you need to go to your magento 2 root directory. by running cd your directory name , you can reach your magento 2 root directory.
so ask your hosting provider for access rights and permissions for your account.
You can check below ubuntu forum for your query or ask your hosting provider for public key ssh issue so hosting provider will suggest you for your server query.
Other link is,
Please take a look lesson "First login to the server with Putty" in scope of Magento2tuts.com training. It's explained how to connect to SSH.