FAQ

How do I back up my database?

Backup using cPanel X

cPanel is a popular control panel used by many web host. The backup feature can be used to backup your MySql database. Do not generate a full backup, as these are strictly for archival purposes and cannot be restored via cPanel. Look for ‘Download a MySQL Database Backup’ and click the name of the database. A *.gz file will be downloaded to your local drive.

There is no need to unzip this file to restore it. Using the same cPanel program, browse to the gz file and upload it. Once the upload is complete, the bottom of the browser will indicate dump complete. If you are uploading to a new host, you will need to recreate the database user along with the matching password. If you change the password, make the corresponding change in the wp-config.php file.

What is phpMyAdmin?

What is phpMyAdmin?

An administrator’s tool of sorts, phpMyAdmin is a PHP script meant for giving users the ability to interact with their MySQL databases. WordPress stores all of its information in the MySQL database and interacts with the database to generate information within your WordPress site. A “raw” view of the data, tables and fields stored in the MySQL database is accessible through phpMyAdmin.

What is it good for?

The phpMyAdmin program is handy for performing mantainance operations on tables, backing up information, and editing things directly in the event that WordPress is not working. Occasionally, in the Support Forums, someone will post a SQL query of some benefit or other that can be run using phpMyAdmin. Although many of the same tasks can be performed on the MySQL command line, doing so is not an option for many people.

Where can I get it?

Often host control panels, such as cPanel and Plesk, have phpMyAdmin pre-installed, so there is nothing special you have to do to use it. It is usually linked from the database page. Ask your host if this is available.

You can download phpMyAdmin yourself and install it from the main phpMyAdmin project page.

Warning

With great power comes great responsibility. phpMyAdmin allows you to interact with the database directly: it also lets you mess up the database directly. There is no “undo” or “undelete” in your database. Always exercise caution when working with the database.

What should I do when I want to upgrade WordPress to the latest version?

Back up WordPress

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to back up your website. This means if there are any issues you can easily restore your website. Complete instructions to make a backup can be found in the WordPress Backups section of the Codex.

Ready to Update

Now that you’ve checked that you’re ready to update, you’ve turned off your plugins and you’ve got your backup, it’s time to get started.

There are two methods for updating – the easiest is the Automatic Update, which will work for most people. If it doesn’t work, or you just prefer to be more hands-on, you can follow the manual update process.

Automatic Update

Current versions of WordPress (2.7+) feature an Automatic Update. You can launch the automatic Update by clicking the link in the new version banner (if it’s there) or by going to the Tools -> Upgrade (or Update for version 3) menu. Once you are on the “Update WordPress” page, click the button “Update Automatically” to start the process off. You shouldn’t need to do anything else and, once it’s finished, you will be up-to-date.

For Automatic Update to work, at least two criteria must be satisfied:

(a) file ownership: all of your WordPress files must be owned by the user under which your web server executes. In other words, the owner of your WordPress files must match the user under which your web server executes. The web server user (named “apache”, “web”, “www”, “nobody”, or some such) is not necessarily the owner of your WordPress files. Typically, WordPress files are owned by the ftp user which uploaded the original files. If there is no match between the owner of your WordPress files and the user under which your web server executes, you will receive a dialog box asking for “connection information”, and you will find that no matter what you enter in that dialog box, you won’t be able to update automatically.

(b) file permissions: all of your WordPress files must be either owner writable by, or group writable by, the user under which your Apache server executes.

On shared hosts, WordPress files should specifically NOT be owned by the web server. If more then one user owns different files in the install (because of edits made by deleting and re-uploading of files via different accounts, for example), the file permissions need to be group writable (for example, 775 and 664 rather then the default 755 and 644). File permissions (in general) should be adjusted as appropriate for the server environment (the shared host RackSpace CloudSites for example recommends 700 and 600 for a single ftp user, or 770 and 660 for multiple ftp users). See the file permission section for more (some files and folders require stricter permissions).

If you have customized a standard theme (Twenty Twelve, etc.), you should not use the automatic upgrade, as it will overwrite your changes – you should use a manual update instead.

If you see a “failed update” nag message, delete the file .maintenance from your WordPress directory using FTP. This will remove the “failed update” nag message.

If the automatic upgrade doesn’t work for you, don’t panic! Just try a manual update.

Manual Update

These are the short instructions, if you want more check out the extended upgrade instructions. If you experience problems with the Three Step Update, you may want to review the more detailed upgrade instructions

For these instructions, it is assumed that your blog’s URL is http://example.com/wordpress/.

How can I reset my password?

In WordPress, there is more than one way to set your password. In normal circumstances, you can do it through the WordPress interface. If you forget your password, WordPress has a built in recovery mechanism that uses email.

But on some hosts, especially when email isn’t working right, sometimes you have to take different steps to reset your password.

Here’s a list of different ways to reset a password. Any one of them will work, and you only need one to succeed. Which method you will use depends on what type of access you still have to your website.

How do I configure the ‘wp-config’ file?

WARNING: Before editing this page. Please, do not edit this Codex Page with the settings for your own server as you are giving the world access to your website’s MySQL password, and will not make your install work. Thank.

As part of the WordPress installation, you must modify the wp-config.php file to define the WordPress configuration settings required to access your MySQL database.

This file, wp-config.php, does not exist in a downloaded copy of WordPress; you need to create it. The wp-config-sample.php file is provided as an example to work from. Save it as wp-config.php before editing. Advanced settings and examples are provided below.

To change the wp-config.php file for your installation, you will need this information:

Database Name
Database Name used by WordPress
Database Username Username used to access Database
Database Password Password used by Username to access Database
Database Host The hostname of your Database Server. A port number, Unix socket file path or pipe may be needed as well. If your hosting provider installed WordPress for you, get the information from them. If you manage your own web server or hosting account, you will have this information as a result of creating the database and user.

How do I install WordPress?

WordPress is well-known for its ease of installation. Under most circumstances, installing WordPress is a very simple process and takes less than five minutes to complete. Many web hosts now offer tools (e.g. Fantastico) to automatically install WordPress for you. However, if you wish to install WordPress yourself, the following guide will help. Now with Automatic Upgrade, upgrading is even easier.

The following installation guide will help you, whether you go for the Famous 5 Minute Installation, or require the more detailed installation guide.

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