Setting File Permissions

Before you put away the FTP program, you need to check your permissions on certain files and directories. By default, files you upload to your server and directories you create on it are owned by you, or rather your account on the server. This is correct and as you might expect. However, the web server, Apache, usually runs as a different user, often apache, httpd, or nobody. This means that software running under Apache—in this case, WordPress—doesn't normally have permissions to modify or delete files, nor to create new ones. To fix this, you need to change the permissions of some of the WordPress files. You will most likely need to give full access to those files. You will also need to give write access to a couple of folders, so that WordPress can create new files.

Depending on your FTP software, you will either need to set the file permissions to a numeric value such as 666 or 777, or check the R (read), W (write), or X (eXecute) permissions for U (user or owner), G (group), and O (other). The numeric value 666 represents read and write permissions for user, group, and other. The 777 value represents read, write, and execute permissions for user, group, and other.

Table 14-1 shows which files and folders need their permissions set and what type of permissions should be applied. Note that a folder name with an asterisk following it signifies that all the files in that folder need their permissions adjusted.

Table 14-1. File and Folder Permissions

File/Folder

Mode

.htaccess wp-content/themes/classic/*

wp-content/themes/default/*

wp-content/themes/default/images*

wp-content wp-content/plugins wp-content/themes wp-content/themes/default wp-content/themes/default/images wp-content/themes/classic

These changes will allow you to edit the themes that come with WordPress and to install new themes and plug-ins later. Next, you'll finish installing WordPress.

You are now ready to install WordPress on your server. You have created a database, given permissions to your database user, uploaded the WordPress files, created a couple of new files, and set permissions appropriately. Although reading through these instructions, it seems like a lot of work, if you are already familiar with these tasks, this whole process really does take only five minutes! Have heart, you are nearly there.

Go to your web browser and type the following address into the address bar (assuming you installed in the blog directory):

http://yourdomain/blog/wp-admin/install.php

This will load the WordPress install script, as shown in Figure 14-5. Click First Step, and you will be prompted for the title of your weblog and an e-mail address.

As shown in Figure 14-6, type in a suitable name—Wendy's Weblog, Tuxedo News, or whatever you want to call it. Don't worry—you can change the title later. Make sure the e-mail address you enter is valid. Your administrator (admin) password will be sent to it. Click the Continue to Second Step button to move to the next step.

Next, you will see a progress screen as the install script creates your database tables for you. In practice, it is so fast that all you will see is the "Finished!" message. You will see instructions for logging in to your new blog. Make a careful note of the password. For security reasons, it is a randomly generated one.

Tip When I'm setting up a new WordPress blog, I select the password with my mouse and copy it to the clipboard (by pressing Ctrl+C). Then I can simply paste it into the login form.

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