Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Manually Installing Wordpress on Windows Using Arvixe Hosting

I have been using Arvixe for about a year now. They are easily the
best company that I've ever hosted with. In the time that I've been
hosting with them, they have had one particular instance of server
down time that was very bad. It was not  their entire server farm, it
was only one server and that server happened to be the one that I was
hosting on. In the end it wasn't a huge deal, it DID force me to use
some workarounds for the people who use my sites, but it was not a
horrendous catastrophe.

Arvixe is VERY cheap and they provide full trust in their Windows
environments. I have unlimited ASP.NET hosting with unlimited SQL
Servers, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage space for a mere
$8.00 / month. If you're interested in Arvixe, go here and check out
their ASP.NET packages: ASP.NET Hosting

In any case, I recently decided that I wanted to try to set up and
configure my own WordPress blog running on Windows. I attempted to use
the auto install option that Arvixe provides, but if you've tried it,
you might know that the DotNetPanel is not super good at auto
installing PHP apps. In general, I prefer to install apps like
WordPress manually anyway, so I thought I'd give it a shot.
The first thing that should be done is to go to this link and read
about how to do it, and then DO IT!: Installing WordPress on Windows
Now that you have successfully installed WordPress on Windows, you
might be thinking, "WOW!" that was easy!

Not so fast...

After you have completed all of the steps to install WordPress, you
will probably try to navigate to the home page of your new blog.
Chances are, you'll probably see a PHP error message that says
something about how not being able to reach some file. It says that
it's Line 17 in your index.php file. If you look at line 17 in your
index.php file in the root directory of your blog (not in the
wp-admin) folder, you should see a call to wp-blog-header.php. If you
look back at the error message, it says that it cannot find that file
or folder.

After a thorough check of that root folder, you'll see that the file
indeed is there. At this point, I was puzzled. Not being a PHP guy, I
had no idea what was wrong. So, the natural thing to do is to change
the index.php file on line 17 instead of saying "./wp-blog-header.php"
to change that to "wp-blog-header.php" (without the ./ in the
begging). If you make that change, you'll see that it works now! BUT
only for the two themes provided in WordPress.

Everything works fine until you decide that you hate the themes that
it comes with and you want to install your own. The potential problem
with installing themes is that unless the theme is documented well, it
might not work on your new WordPress blog. This is probably due
to the fact that you don't have the correct plugins installed.

I was getting a WordPress Database Error for a long time and I didn't
know why. It was telling me that it couldn't find the wp_features
table. So, naturally, I logged into the database to see if I could
find the table for myself. Just as I suspected, it wasn't there. For
some reason, WordPress was searching for a table that it didn't
create? I was stumped. I did some searching only to return a few pages
from Google.

After installing a theme and then going back and forth between themes
and getting more and more frustrated as to why my blog worked for the
two provided themes but not for the others, I decided to do a little
more searching. I thought to myself, "It MUST be a problem with the
theme. There's no reason why it should work for the Default and
Classic theme, but not for my custom theme that I found on the

So...I looked at the readme.txt file of the theme that I downloaded
and realized that it had a short list of plugins that this particular
theme had included. When I did a quick search for each of the plugins
that my theme needed, I was able to find the plugins for each of the
plugins that was listed. I downloaded the plugins and moved them to
the wp-content/plugins folder of my WordPress blog. After I had logged
in and activated the theme, it worked!
I had now successfully completed an installation of WordPress!

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