1. What is WordPress? #

    WordPress is a blogging software (weblog script). In their own words, “WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability”.

    Using WordPress software, you can setup and start publishing your own blog in minutes. For more information about WordPress and downloading the free software, visit the WordPress website.

    WordPress is by far one of the easiest blog scripts to install, upgrade and configure. WordPress is the blog script used by the majority of our customers and we even use it for Laughing Squid, on our art, culture and technology website.

    WordPress uses PHP, MySQL, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and validates as XHTML. WordPress is developed and perpported by an active open source community, under a GNU General Public License (GPL).

  2. Do you meet all of the minimum requirements to run WordPress? #

    Yes, Laughing Squid meets all of the minimum requirements to run WordPress. Here are more information on our system specifications.

  3. How do you install WordPress? #

    First you’ll need to download WordPress and read through their installation instructions.

    If you need help installing WordPress, please follow our Laughing Squid WordPress Installation Tutorial.

    For more information, please see WordPress’s online documentation, support forum and WordPress Codex.

    If you’re unable to do the installation yourself, submit a support ticket to let us know and we would be happy to do a default WordPress installation for you.

  4. How do you upgrade WordPress? #

    First read through the WordPress upgrade instructions. The latest versions of WordPress includes a built-in upgrade feature. We have step-by-step instructions on how to upgrade automatically.

    An issue that may come up when upgrading WordPress on the Cloud is exceeding the memory limit. If you have the default memory_limit value set, you may not have enough memory to unzip and install WordPress. Fortunately, this value is easy to change in an .htaccess file and we have instructions on how to increase the value of memory_limit. We also wrote a blog post about this issue, and how to identify when it’s occurring.

    For more information, please see WordPress’s online documentation, support forum and WordPress Codex.

    If you have any problems upgrading WordPress to the latest version, submit a support ticket to let us know and we will assist as best we can.

  5. How do you change the appearance of WordPress? #

    If you want to change the appearance of your blog, there are some great themes and plug-ins available for WordPress. Themes can be easily modified to match the look and feel of your website just by editing the XHTML and Style Sheet.

  6. Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another weblogger will use to refer to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message.

    By default, WordPress permalinks will look like this: http://yourdomain.com/index.php?p=1. The “p=1” part of this example URL refers to a blog post (“p”) with an ID of “1”. Some of you more advanced Padawans may recognize this ID from the original Hello World! post that came fresh with WordPress when you first installed it.

    If you want your permalink URLs to look something more like this: http://yourdomain.com/2006/05/08/sample-post/
    then you are wanting what are called pretty permalinks, for obvious reasons. In this case, you should create an .htaccess file.

    Here are instructions on how to create an .htaccess file:

    1. On your local computer, create a blank Wordpad or Notepad document. (For Mac, create a blank TextEdit file)
    2. Save the empty file as “.htaccess

      Some operating systems do not allow the creation of a file named “.htaccess” because of the initial dot (“.”). You can always name the file without the initial dot or with a standard extension (e.g. “htaccess.txt“). Once the file is uploaded to your weblog’s directory, rename it with your FTP software. Most FTP programs should provide a way to rename files.

    3. Upload the file via FTP to root directory of your WordPress install.

    Once you have uploaded the .htaccess file, you need to log into WP Admin and update your permalink structure.

    1. Go to Options -> Permalinks
    2. Select which permalinking option you prefer
    3. Click ‘Update Permalink Structure’

    You can read more about permalinks in the WordPress Codex.

  7. How do you upload images into WordPress blog posts using the ‘upload’ feature? #

    WordPress can archive images in blog posts for you automatically. All you need to do is upload them into the post you’re writing and WordPress will do the rest.

    Here is more info from the Codex about using the upload feature: Using Image and File Attachements

    You can find more info about changing file permissions in the WordPress Codex:

  8. How do you backup WordPress blog posts? #

    You can backup WordPress by using phpMyAdmin to backup the MySQL database that you created for WordPress. From here, follow the WordPress tutorial for backing up your MySQL database. Another option is the paid backup service VaultPress offered by the WordPress development team, prices as low as $5 per site per month. There are also many free WordPress plugins that can allow you to backup your site and database as well, including WP DB Manager, and WordPress Backup to Dropbox.

  9. How do I change the URL of my WordPress blog? #

    WordPress stores the address where your blog files are located and the address of the main index of your site in two locations in the database. If you need to change one or both of these you can do this from the Dashboad under Settings -> General Settings in the fields marked “WordPress address (URL)” and “Site address (URL)”. If you receive any errors here, you can find alternate ways to change these addresses in the WordPress documentation. If you’re unable to do this, please open a Help Desk ticket and we can assist with this change.

  10. How do I create a WordPress network? #

    You can enable WordPress multi-site functionality on our Cloud Hosting service by following the instructions in the official WordPress documentation for Creating a Network. Note that we do not support wildcard domains, so you will need to follow the instructions for “Sub-directory sites”. This configuration will only work when WordPress has been set up directly in your document root folder. If you’ve given WordPress it’s own directory, you will need to move it back to the document root and adjust the values for ‘site address’ and ‘WordPress address’ before proceeding.

    NOTE: For simplicity, it is recommend that you DO NOT set up your WordPress multi-site using the cloud Testing URL. Otherwise, you will need to follow WordPress Codex information for changing the site URL to remove the Testing URL references from your database.

  11. What can I do to keep my WordPress blog secure? #

    An excellent guide to securing WordPress can be found in the WordPress Codex. Remember to upgrade whenever new versions become available. You can find announcements of new versions as well as other important news by following our status blog.

    To secure your wp-admin area using SSL you’ll need to activate SSL for your domain as described in our FAQ. If you have purchased an SSL certificate for this or would like to use a self-signed certificate, let us know by opening a help desk ticket and we wil be happy to assist you in getting this set up.

    If you’ve already been exploited, you should remove any foreign code in your site that you find immediately. If you are not sure what to remove or if you want to make sure you have removed all of an exploit, we recommend using the WordPress Exploit Scanner plugin. If you have any questions about items that register in the scanner, please submit a help desk ticket and always backup your files before deleting anything or making changes.

  12. What can be done to reduce comment and trackback spam on WordPress? #

    Check out the Akismet plug-in. It does a great job of eliminating most comment and trackback spam.

    For more information check out our write-up of Akismet over at the Laughing Squid Hosting Blog.

  13. Do you suggest a caching plugin for WordPress websites? #

    WP Super Cache is a plugin for WordPress installations to store cached versions of your dynamic PHP pages. We require the use of WP Super Cache as it can help to reduce a website’s compute cycle liability and reduce the load on the cloud sites hosting environment as well.

    If you do not already have a caching plugin, you can download the plugin and follow the installation instructions, or create a support ticket and we can help with installation.

  14. How can I further optimize my WordPress installation? #

    Jetpack is a free service offered by WordPress.com that adds many more resources to help optimize self-hosted versions of WordPress.

  15. Why am I not getting comment notification and other administrative emails? #

    Our Cloud mail servers check that a valid “from:” address is set when delivering mail generated by a script. The WordPress script sends some administrative email as ‘wordpress@domain.com’ and if this email address has not been created in your control panel you will not receive these messages.

    To fix this, create this address as either a real mailbox or as a forward to another address. Once you do this you should receive comment notifications normally.

  16. Do you recommend any WordPress developers? #

    Automattic maintains a WordPress jobs board where you can post jobs for designers, developers and request other WordPress assistance.