For a long time I had the plan to install a blog system. The big question I had to face was, what system would be best suited for my needs. After many days of searching and installing various systems, I finally decided that WordPress MU was the baste choice for me. It was mainly the broad list of features and the very sophisticated user interface that convinced me. But who thinks that the adventure “blog” was at an end with this is mistaken! No, on the contrary, this is where the real fun started.
At first a few words about the installation in general: for some reason, be it for me reading too inattentively, or any other reason, the installation did not really wnt to complete properly. After the assistant completed I kept geeting the error message that not all of the necessary database table had been created. But why? What was I missing? Well, it turned out that I was using an install guide that what not of the best quality: for was on the wrong track to think I’d have to execute the script
install.php in the folder
wp-admin/. Interestingly the installation seemed to work at first, the configuration was saved in the file
wp-config.php and even the database connection worked. But when I was told to log in for the first time, all I kept seeing was the error message that the installation obviously was incomplete.
Wher was the mistake? I can’t reallt tell how exactly I finally found the solution, but in the end it turned out that I was starting the installation from the wrong starting point. Other than starting via
wp-admin/install.php I just had to call the website from its upper level, so by calling the file
index.php from the root folder of the WordPress MU installation.
So, again the task was clearing the database for the x-th time, again copying the installation files via FTP to the web server. The wizard that supported the installation was slightly different from the one I knew from my porevious attempts, but the differences were only mraginal. “The installation is complete, you can log in now.” Finally! But again it was too early to celebrate. I already had checked and verified that the database tables had all been created but logging in was not possible. Instead all I could see in the browser was the error message
403 - Forbidden.
Again I did not really know where to search or what might have gone wring this time. Eventually I tried renaming the file
.htaccess that had been created earlier during the installation. This had no particular reason but I could try at least … And see what happened: I could log in without any problems. So now, there was a new problem. The files had its purpose. Without it working with the blog worked, but the “pretty URLs”, the permalinks did not work. The file
.htaccess defines the rules for the web server how to rewrite the URLs.
While surfing the web for any hints, I found some users who reported similar problems there were various posts about that ominous
403 - Forbidden message. But a solution was not in sight … More or less randomly I decided to add some other Apache config parameters that I knew from other experiences. So I edited the file
.htaccess. And gues what … it worked!
Finding the option that really did the job was only a matter of time … it was the option
FollowSymlinks that had not yet been activated in my hoster’s Apache configuration. So adding the line
at the beginning of
.htaccess should really solve the problem. All in all it has taken me many evenings and nearly killed my nerves. But as it can be seen now, the WordPress MU installation works and that’s why I can proudly say: it was worth the work!