Installation and configuration of WordPress 2.8.4


  1. What is WordPress? #

    WordPress is a blogging software (weblog script). In their own words, “WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability”.

    Using WordPress software, you can setup and start publishing your own blog in minutes. For more information about WordPress and downloading the free software, visit the WordPress website.

    WordPress is by far one of the easiest blog scripts to install, upgrade and configure. WordPress is the blog script used by the majority of our customers and we even use it for Laughing Squid, on our art, culture and technology website.

    WordPress uses PHP, MySQL, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and validates as XHTML. WordPress is developed and supported by an active open source community, under a GNU General Public License (GPL).

  2. Do you meet all of the minimum requirements to run WordPress? #

    Since Laughing Squid is one of the web hosts recommended by WordPress, we meet all of the minimum requirements to run WordPress. Here are more information on our system specifications.

  3. How do you install WordPress? #

    First you’ll need to download WordPress and read through their installation instructions.

    If you need help installing WordPress, please follow our Laughing Squid WordPress Installation Tutorial.

    For more information, please see WordPress’s online documentation, support forum and WordPress Codex.

  4. How do you upgrade WordPress? #

    First read through the WordPress upgrade instructions. The latest version of WordPress includes a built-in upgrade feature.

    For more information, please see WordPress’s online documentation, support forum and WordPress Codex.

  5. How do you change the appearance of WordPress? #

    If you want to change the appearance of your blog, there are some great themes and plug-ins available for WordPress. Themes can be easily modified to match the look and feel of your website just by editing the XHTML and Style Sheet.

  6. Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another weblogger will use to refer to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message.

    By default, WordPress permalinks will look like this: The “p=1″ part of this example URL refers to a blog post (”p”) with an ID of “1″. Some of you more advanced Padawans may recognize this ID from the original Hello World! post that came fresh with WordPress when you first installed it.

    If you want your permalink URLs to look something more like this:
    then you are wanting what are called pretty permalinks, for obvious reasons. In this case, you should create an .htaccess file.

    Here are instructions on how to create an .htaccess file:

    1. On your local computer, create a blank Wordpad or Notepad document. (For Mac, create a blank TextEdit file)
    2. Save the empty file as “.htaccess

      Some operating systems do not allow the creation of a file named “.htaccess” because of the initial dot (”.”). You can always name the file without the initial dot or with a standard extension (e.g. “htaccess.txt“). Once the file is uploaded to your weblog’s directory, rename it with your FTP software. Most FTP programs should provide a way to rename files.

    3. Upload the file via FTP to root directory of your WordPress install.

    Once you have uploaded the .htaccess file, you need to log into WP Admin and update your permalink structure.

    1. Go to Options -> Permalinks
    2. Select which permalinking option you prefer
    3. Click ‘Update Permalink Structure’

    You can read more about permalinks in the WordPress Codex.

  7. How do you upload images into WordPress blog posts using the ‘upload’ feature? #

    WordPress can archive images in blog posts for you automatically. All you need to do is upload them into the post you’re writing and WordPress will do the rest.

    Here is more info from the Codex about using the upload feature: Using Image and File Attachements

    You can find more info about changing file permissions in the WordPress Codex:

  8. How do you backup WordPress blog posts? #

    You can backup WordPress by using phpMyAdmin to backup the MySQL database that you created for WordPress. From here, follow the WordPress tutorial for backing up your MySQL database.

  9. What can be done to reduce comment and trackback spam on WordPress? #

    Check out the Akismet plug-in. It does a great job of eliminating most comment and trackback spam.

    We did a write-up of Akismet over at the Laughing Squid Hosting Blog. You can read the post here:

  10. How can I optimize my WordPress installation for high amounts of traffic? #

    WP Super Cache is a plugin for WordPress installations to store cached versions of your dynamic PHP pages. Installing WP Super Cache can also reduce the number of compute cycles used by a site since it reduces the load on the cloud as well.

    To install WP Super Cache, follow the instructions provided for the plugin. In addition to the instructions included with the manual, the following additional changes are required for this plugin to work on our Cloud Hosting package:

    1. Modify the wp-content/wp-cache-config.php file: uncomment the $use_flock variable by changing “//$use_flock = true;” to “$use_flock = true;”
    2. Log into your WordPress admin and go to the Settings -> WP Super Cache page. Set “Super Cache Compression” to “Disabled”
    3. Log into your Control Panel at and determine your web directory:
      • Click “Websites & Email”
      • Click the site that you installed WP Super Cache on.
      • Click the “Features” tab.
      • Copy the value labeled “Web Directory”, and save it for your reference. It will look like this:
    4. Edit the .htaccess file in for the web site, and find the following section:

      • RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^.*[^/]$
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^.*//.*$
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} !=POST
        RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} !.*=.*
        RewriteCond %{HTTP:Cookie} !^.*(comment_author_|wordpress|wp-postpass_).*$
        RewriteCond %{HTTP:Accept-Encoding} gzip
        RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/wp-content/cache/supercache/%{HTTP_HOST}/$1/index.html.gz -f
        RewriteRule ^(.*) /wp-content/cache/supercache/%{HTTP_HOST}/$1/index.html.gz [L]
      • Comment these out by adding a # to the beginning, for example:

      • # This section disabled by commenting it out with the ‘#’ character
        #RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^.*[^/]$
        #RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^.*//.*$
        #RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} !=POST
        #RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} !.*=.*
        #RewriteCond %{HTTP:Cookie} !^.*(comment_author_|wordpress|wp-postpass_).*$
        #RewriteCond %{HTTP:Accept-Encoding} gzip
        #RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/wp-content/cache/supercache/%{HTTP_HOST}/$1/index.html.gz -f
        #RewriteRule ^(.*) /wp-content/cache/supercache/%{HTTP_HOST}/$1/index.html.gz [L]
    5. Find the following line:RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/wp-content/cache/supercache/%{HTTP_HOST}/$1/index.html -f

      And change this to:

      RewriteCond /REPLACE_WITH_WEB_DIRECTORY/wp-content/cache/supercache/%{HTTP_HOST}/$1/index.html -f

    6. You can test that your super-cache plugin is working by loading your site, refreshing twice and the viewing the source in your browser. If the cache is working properly, you should see at the end of your source the following comments:<!– Dynamic Page Served (once) in 0.350 seconds –>
      <!– Cached page generated by WP-Super-Cache on 2009-02-11 11:34:32 –>
      <!– super cache –>

      WP-Super-cache will be disabled for any logged in admin user, so make sure to log out and clear your cookies, or test in a different browser.

    7. If you have any problem getting this plugin working correctly, please feel free to open a support ticket by contacting us through our support page.

  11. Why am I not getting comment notification and other administrative emails? #

    Our Cloud mail servers check that a valid “from:” address is set when delivering mail generated by a script. The WordPress script sends some administrative email as ‘’ and if this email address has not been created in your control panel you will not receive these messages.

    The way to fix this is to create this address as either a real mailbox or as a forward to another address. Once you do this you should receive comment notifications normally.

  12. Do you recommend any WordPress developers? #

    WordPress has a mailing list of professional consultants providing WordPress services that you can subscribe to called wp-pro.

  13. Do you know of any resources where I can get help with WordPress? #

    Yes, check out our friends at WordPress Help Center, they can help out with any kind of WordPress issues, inducing installation, upgrades, configuration and customizations.

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