Whew! What a weekend…
Looks like there was an ‘issue’ with the block of servers this blog is hosted on and my hosting provider (they sponsor Danica) ended up locking things down including the database. They did a great job, so great we were unable to get back in.
I’ve spent more than my fair share of time this weekend with three technicians on the phone trying to solve the problem. After much effort, they were able to determine the root cause and a solution. We are back online. Fortunately, the weather this weekend sucked hard so I did not miss much.
Since I had ‘spare’ time waiting for my hosting provider to get their act together, I decided I would try to install a ‘local’ version of WordPress on my laptop to play with. This is a good thing, because it would enable me to fiddle with settings and plugins without risking the live site. Easier said than done.
I did several Google searches and found there is a nifty installer the boys from Redmond put together in order to install such things as WordPress and make it work nice with IIS. This little gem is called Web Platform Installer and it sucks. It sucks hard. The thing installs just fine, however it forces upon you a SQL Server Lite version with a lot of extra uninvited guests. So for those that say WordPress cannot run with SQL Sever, think again. Since I have WordPress with MySQL, all this stuff was uninstalled. Back to the drawing board.
Did more Google searches and finally found a way to make all this work. To make WordPress work on Windows XP Pro without IIS, run Xampp. I had read about this the first time, but had found some folks complaining about it. Let me say this: it works. It takes some careful tweaking but it works.
The install goes very smoothly if you follow the directions located here: Install Xampp instructions. There is mention of XAMPP Lite, but I just used the full blown Xampp installer. The instructions listed there are excellent, however there are some steps that will save you a great deal of aggravation. They are:
- Install MySQL 5.5 first. This makes things much easier to manage. The install will guide you through the steps necessary, including setting up the password for the “root” userid. Very important: write that down.
- Then you can get started installing Xampp. This is pretty straightforward until you get to the part where it tells you to use phpMyAdmin to connect to the MySQL database.
- Remember the password in step 1 above? In order to let phpMyAdmin talk to the database, you must edit a file named config.inc.php in the C:\xampp\phpMyAdmin folder. This file defaults to a blank password, and since the MySQL installer forces you to enter a root password, it has to be entered here. Look for the $cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] entry and enter the value from Step 1 above.
- Here is the other thing you must do: before you try to connect to the database it won’t hurt to clear the browser’s cache.
- Now, you can follow the reminder of the instructions on the install page and WordPress should come right up.
I hope this helps – if you have any corrections please let me know and I’ll edit this post. Hopefully this can save somebody some time.