The struggle is over, and I have conquered the beast known as PHP 5.0. Actually, the beast seems to be my host, 1&1, though it’s probably not all their fault, and they’re definitely not alone.

Some of you may remember the battle I had in trying to upgrade my business blog to PHP 5.0 back in December. In that case, I knew that blog was on 4.0 because I had created it many years earlier, before PHP 5.0 came about. The same couldn’t be said for this blog and my finance blog however. According to my MySQL admin area, both were already on 5.0. However, I knew they couldn’t be running that way because I couldn’t automatically update anything, and I was having all sorts of problems with my dashboard and plugins.

It was time to do some research, and I have to say it took awhile for me to figure things out, mainly because I had to go to multiple places to get a full understanding of what the issue might be. See, everything I needed, it turns out, was at the codex area for WordPress.org, but it wasn’t making any sense to me. I eventually found a blog called Gabediaz that gave me everything I needed. Now I’m going to share it here, since the information is in many places, just not easily described everywhere.

The first thing I had to do was create a file and name it “phpinfo.php”. I used Notepad and I had to pop this code into it:

(<)?php (add this part without the parenthesis; seems if I remove them it starts coding in this post and you can’t see the first line at all)
phpinfo();
?>

You upload that file to your server. Now, if you have multiple accounts on your server, you upload it into the one where your blog is. Then you type in your domain name and add “/phpinfo.php”. That will tell you the actual version of PHP your site is running on. In my case, it said I was running 4.4.9, which isn’t what it was saying in MySQL.

Then there’s the fix for it, and this is dicey stuff because you don’t want to make a mistake, just in case. First download your .htaccess file to your computer, and make sure you know where it is. Then using Notepad, open that bad boy up. Once you’ve done that, immediately save it using Save As, make sure you’re not saving it as a .txt file, and name it something like .htaccess_original. That will leave you two of those files wherever you saved it. Open the original file you downloaded, go to the top, hit Enter once to bring everything else down, then add this:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

Save that file as is, then upload it back to your server, overwriting what you already have there. Then run that domain name thing again, and if you’re lucky you’ll be running something better than 5.0; in my case, I’m running 5.2.13.

I then went to take a look at my dashboard, and everything is there, all notes and the like. I went to my plugins area and added a couple of plugins that I had disabled, just to see what would happen to my dashboard; absolutely nothing. I then took the chance and automatically upgraded to WordPress 3.0; viola! That bad boy worked, my blog is now 3.0, I don’t have to manually upgrade any longer, my dashboard works fine, I can get into all posts and comments fine, and life is great once more.

By the way, the best test to do after upgrading is to see if you can get into your posts. Y’all know I write blog posts for others, and I also manage the blogs. All except one of the blogs upgraded just fine, and the one that didn’t wouldn’t let me into any of the posts. With the manual upgrade it all came back, thank goodness.

Now, I’m not guaranteeing this will work for everyone, but I think I can safely guarantee that if you’re on 1&1 that it will work. And if you’re having problems, heck, it can’t hurt to give it a shot, as long as you remember to save your original .htaccess file somewhere so you can upload it back if necessary. Good luck.

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