WordPress: Common Installation Problems and Fixes

Common Installation Problems

The following are some of the most common installation problems.


I see a directory listing rather than a web page.

The web server needs to be told to view index.php by default. In Apache, use the DirectoryIndex index.php directive. The simplest option is to create a file named .htaccess in the installed directory and place the directive there. Another option is to add the directive to the web server’s configuration files.

I see lots of Headers already sent errors. How do I fix this?

You probably introduced a syntax error in editing wp-config.php.

Download wp-config.php (if you don’t have shell access).
Open it in a text editor.
Check that the first line contains nothing but Check that the last line contains nothing but ?>, and that there is no text after it (not even whitespace).
If your text editor saves as Unicode, make sure it adds no byte order mark (BOM). Most Unicode-enabled text editors do not inform the user whether it adds a BOM to files; if so, try using a different text editor.
Save the file, upload it again if necessary, and reload the page in your browser.

My page comes out gibberish. When I look at the source I see a lot of “? php ?” tags.

If the tags are being sent to the browser, it means your PHP is not working properly. All PHP code is supposed to be executed before the server sends the resulting HTML to your web browser. (That’s why it’s called a preprocessor.) Make sure your web server meets the requirements to run WordPress, that PHP is installed and configured properly, or contact your hosting provider or system administrator for assistance.

I keep getting an Error connecting to database message but I’m sure my configuration is correct.

Try resetting your MySQL password manually. If you have access to MySQL via shell, try issuing:

SET PASSWORD FOR ‘wordpressusername’@’hostname’ = OLD_PASSWORD(‘password’);

If you are using a version of MySQL prior to 4.1, use PASSWORD instead of OLD_PASSWORD. If you do not have shell access, you should be able to simply enter the above into an SQL query in phpMyAdmin. Failing that, you may need to use your host’s control panel to reset the password for your database user.

My image/MP3 uploads aren’t working.

If you use the Rich Text Editor on a blog that’s installed in a subdirectory, and drag a newly uploaded image into the editor field, the image may vanish a couple seconds later. This is due to a problem with TinyMCE (the rich text editor) not getting enough information during the drag operation to construct the path to the image or other file correctly. The solution is to NOT drag uploaded images into the editor. Instead, click and hold on the image and select “Send to Editor.”

Some information Provided by WordPress.org

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TJ Marsh

TJ Marsh

My name is Tj Marsh. I spend about 16 hours a day on the internet. Running my company and helping out here at Arvixe. I live in the good ole Arizona where it gets ridiculously hot. I love WordPress and a lot of other open source software along with coding.

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