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Frequently asked questions about Wordpress CMS | News, Articles and Tutorials on Plugins, Modules, Components, Extensions, Templates, Themes, Widgets and More
Frequently asked questions about Wordpress CMS

About WordPress

Do I Need to Know PHP to Use WordPress?


The only time you would modify your WordPress blog with PHP would be when integrating some of the plugins. In most cases, clear instructions are usually given within a text file with the plugin.

Other than that, you would not be changing any of the PHP files.

For more information:

How Is WP Related To Other Blogging Applications?

WordPress was primarily inspired by Noah Grey's Greymatter open-source web log and journal software. It is related to b2, sort of a second cousin twice removed. You can use WordPress to post your own stories, ideas, rants, reviews, links, and pictures of your toothless Uncle Ernie at the wedding reception, if you choose. In addition, you can customize the look and feel of your site. Numerous themes are available and may be modified in many different ways. Through the use of WordPress Themes, you can quickly change the look and style of your site. As you can see, its functionality exceeds or at least is similar to what is available in most blogging tools today.

For more information:

Why Choose WordPress?

One of the principle advantages of WordPress is that you are in control. Unlike remote-hosted scripts such as Blogger and LiveJournal, you host WordPress on your own server. Installation is very simple, as is the configuration. Unlike other software programs, there are not a million files to chmod nor are there dozens of templates to edit just to get your site set up and looking the way you want. Also, Blog pages in Wordpress are generated on the fly whenever a page is requested, so you do not have multiple archive pages clogging up your web space. Waiting for pages to rebuild is a thing of the past because template changes are made in scant seconds.

WordPress is built following W3C standards for XHTML and CSS, ensuring that your site is more easily rendered across standards-compliant browsers. Other browsers are supported with a few hacks; it’s a reality of the web we weave that hacks are necessary. Aggregator support is built-in with a number of standard RSS configurations already done for you, as well as Atom. Following standards makes your WordPress site easier to manage, increases its longevity for future Internet technology adoption, and helps to give your site the widest audience possible.

For more information:

New To WordPress?

Where are the meta tags in my WordPress site?

As a search engine prowls your site, it gathers information from the title, headings, content, and Meta Tags such as description or keywords. It compares the words within each of these sections and "ranks" the site dependent upon how well the information matches. We have more information on how to maximize your meta tag references below.


How do I find information about my server and site?

What version of PHP are you using? What server software is your site host using? What version of MySQL do you have? What operating system does your site host use?


I want to know more about PHP, MySQL, HTML, and CSS

How do I validate my website?

Validating a website is the process of ensuring that the pages on the website conform to the norms or standards defined by various organizations. Validation is important, and will ensure that your web pages are interpreted in the same way (the way you want it) by various machines, such as search engines, as well as users and visitors to your webpage.


How do I link to posts, pages, and categories?

There are two ways to make internal links from one content page to another in WordPress. One uses permalinks and one does not. The method that does not use permalinks works regardless of whether permalinks are enabled for your site.


Can I set my "moods" or add lists to my posts?

WordPress has the ability to allow post authors to assign custom fields to a post. This arbitrary extra information is known as meta-data. This meta-data can include bits of information such as:


Can I hide or disguise my email address?

E-mail spammers often use programs, known as e-mail harvesters, that scan pages on the Internet for e-mail addresses to collect and send unsolicited e-mail. If your e-mail address is publicly available through your WordPress installation, it may be vulnerable to these kinds of programs. Below are a few simple ways you can protect yourself from spam while still providing an e-mail address to your readers.


How do I get a custom 404 Error Page?

Creating an Error 404 Page

While you work hard to make sure that every link actually goes to a specific web page on your site, there is always a chance that a link clicked will slam dunk and become a famous 404 ERROR PAGE NOT FOUND.

All is not lost. If your visitors encounter an error, why not be a helpful WordPress site administrator and present them with a message more useful than "NOT FOUND".


How do I get my category pages to look different on each category?

Since the advent of Themes in WordPress 1.5, changing the look and feel of your WordPress site has become fairly straightforward. For instance, when a viewer clicks on a link to one of the Categories on your site, he or she is taken to a page listing the Posts from that particular Category in chronological order, from newest Posts at the top to oldest at the bottom.


How do I create an archive index?

So you want a single page with links to all your archived entries, arranged just so to form the main gateway into your blog's past. With the WordPress 1.5 theme system, you can create template files to customize this archive gateway for each theme you use.


What are template tags?

How do I change the time and dates on my posts?

Certain WordPress tag functions are used to display or return date and time information; the_date() and the_time() are examples of this. Some of these functions accept a parameter called a format string that allows you to determine how the date is going to be displayed. The format string is a template in which various parts of the date are combined (using "format characters") to generate a date in the format specified.


How do I make notes or comments in my files?

Have you looked under the hood of a racing car lately? The bells and whistles inside are a nightmare to figure out. Remember the first time you looked at PHP, CSS, or HTML code? Bet that gave you a few moments of hysteria. When you are releasing your Themes and styles to the public, remember the user may take a peek under the hood and run screaming from the room, too.


How do I find my styles?

The following isn't about choosing a WordPress Theme, but finding the CSS styles within your current Theme. Often a problem occurs in one part of the layout or template. For instance, there is a border you don't want between the sidebar menu and the rest of the page. You hunt and hunt but you can't find any reference to the border. Now what?


How do I change the box with information about my post?

How do I make my web pages print pretty?

WordPress makes it easy to style your WordPress site with Themes, many of which are tested thoroughly on different computers and browsers before being released. These are designed for the screen. But what about having your WordPress site designed for print? Some people still like to print out web pages and read them at their leisure, so consider designing your WordPress site for print.


How do I make the text wrap about the pictures?

Current versions of WordPress now have image alignment built-in. WordPress adds CSS classes to align the image to the right, left, and center of a paragraph, so the text will wrap around the image.

In order to take advantage of these new CSS classes for image alignment and the text wrapping around the image, the WordPress Theme must include the following in the style.css found in the WordPress Theme directory.


How do I use smilies/smileys in my posts?

Smileys, also known as "emoticons," are glyphs used to convey emotions in your writing. They are a great way to brighten up posts. smile emoticon

Text smileys are created by typing two or more punctuation marks. Some examples are:


How do I change the look of different parts of my page?

See also:


How do I CHMOD files?

On computer filesystems, different files and directories have permissions that specify who and what can read, write, modify and access them. This is important because WordPress may need access to write to files in your wp-content directory to enable certain functions.


How do I upload the files and folders?

To upload (or delete) files and folders to your web host, you will need an FTP application. One of many free options that are at your disposal is FileZilla. Though written using screenshots from a Windows XP machine, using FileZilla, the following instructions carry over to just about every FTP client with a GUI (Graphical User Interface). You may want to read how to Set up FileZilla for your server, before you read the following.


How do I FTP?

Using Filezilla

FileZilla is an open-source FTP-client and FTP-server developed for the Windows operating system by Tim Kosse (Germany) et.al. It comes in both a Javascript and non-Javascript version.

Filezilla may be used to manage your WordPress site by uploading and downloading files and images. This article will guide you through the process of installing and using Filezilla to manage your WordPress powered blog hosted on the server.


How I solve login problems after installation with version 1.2 ?

Follow these steps (original guide found here)

#1. Clear your cookies
Cookies are in your computer.
In windows they are in
C: / docs and setting / username / Cookies folder.


How can I solve login problems?

How can I hide my blog from people?

Whether you are testing a new version of WordPress, setting up a new blog or have some other reason to limit access, the following information may help you keep unwanted visitors out.


How do I install WordPress with the files in different directories?

This also answers the questions:

  • How can I have my blog in one folder but my index at root?
  • How can I have people see my blog at www.example.com but keep all the files in www.example.com/wordpress?
  • How do I install WordPress in a different directory than where the index.php resides?

See also:

Can I install WordPress on Windows 2000?

Do NOT use MySQL database version 4.1.7 if you are trying to get WordPress installed using a Windows platform. Read this post originally made to the forums:


Why is my upload directory "C:apachehtdocswordpress"?

When you specified the upload path, you used backslashes.

Use forward slashes "/" to specify the path to the directory.

Can I rename the WordPress folder?

If you have not already installed WordPress, you can rename the folder with the WordPress files, before, or even after uploading the files.

If you have already installed WordPress, and you want to rename the folder, login to the weblog as the administrator and change the following settings in Options > General:

  • WordPress address (URI):
  • Blog address (URI):

Once you have done this, you can rename the directory or folder with the WordPress files in it.

See also:

How can I reset my password?

See also:

Do I need to create a database?

How do I get WordPress to use my language?

What are the requirements for installing WordPress?

Most hosting providers and personal installations on Unix/Linux systems should be able to host WordPress under very common configurations.

Server requirements


How do I configure the 'wp-config' file?

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.


How do I install using CPanel / CPanel X?

This tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process of installling WordPress with an older version of CPanel.


How do I find a good host for my WordPress blog?

What is the Famous 5-Minute Install?

How do I install WordPress?


MySQL Error 28

You get the following error:

Error code 28: No space left on device

This is a MySQL error and has nothing to do with WordPress directly; you should contact your host about it. Some users have reported that running a "repair table" command in phpMyAdmin fixed the problem.

Error 28, and how to avoid it:

If you get this error, check all filesystems in 
which MySQL operates. If you followed recommendations
to split datadir, tmpdir and log files into dedicated
filesystems, more than one filesystem is involved. In
addition, be aware that MySQL often creates temporary
tables for some queries. Most of these are placed in
tmpdir; however, some may be found in the database
directory (e.g. ALTER TABLE). Also, ensure that
sufficient free disk space is available for MySQL.

It could be because:

  • you are out of space on /tmp (wherever tmpdir is), or,
  • you have too many files in /tmp (even if there is lots of free space)

Relevant discussion threads:

I used the Quicktag in a post so why doesn't it work?

In some Themes, such as the WordPress Classic Theme, you may see the <!--nextpage--> work properly on your main page, but other Themes, such as the WordPress default Theme, may only show the page break when viewing the posts individually. It may be necessary to change your Theme's template page.php or index.php file to make this feature work according to your wishes. You'll need to add the following:

<?php wp_link_pages(); ?> ?

How do I get the Quicktag back?

For some reason, the <!--nextpage--> Quicktag button was "removed" in 1.5.1. To get it back, just do the following:

In Wordpress 1.5.x

Open wp-admin/quicktags.js in a text editor and locate this section (starting at line 135):


E-mailed passwords are not being received

Description: When users try to register with your blog or change their passwords by entering their username and email, WordPress indicates that their password has been emailed to them, but it is never received.

Reason and Solution:


Why can't I see the Quicktag buttons when using Apple's Safari browser?

Description: The Quicktag buttons in the Write interface do not display when using Apple's Safari browser.

Reason and Solution:


Why can't I see the visual rich editor when using Apple's Safari browser?

Description: The visual rich editor in the Write interface (aka "the WYSIWYG editor") does not display when using Apple's Safari browser.

Reason and Solution: In early versions of Safari, the visual rich editor would cause the browser to crash immediately upon loading the Write interface. This was due to a bug in Safari, not WordPress. Since the WordPress developers had no way of correcting this, they chose to disable the visual rich editor for Safari users. At this point in time, there are three alternatives for affected users. One could upgrade to Safari 3.0.4 or higher and WordPress 2.3 or higher, use Firefox or Camino, or de-select "Users should use the visual rich editor by default" in Administration > Settings > Writing and install Dean's FCKEditor For WordPress.

How do I solve the Headers already sent warning problem?

Description: You get a warning message on your browser that says:

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at

Reason and Solution :


How do I fix the following error SQL/DB Error errcode 13 Can't create/write to file?

Problem: The MySQL variable tmpdir is set to a directory that cannot be written to when using PHP to access MySQL.

To verify this, enter MySQL at the command line and type show variables;

You'll get a long list and one of them will read: tmpdir = /somedir/ (whatever your setting is.)




Where & how do I report security issues?

Send an email with the details to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Why are there path disclosures when directly loading certain files?

This is considered a server configuration problem. Never enable display_errors on a production site.

Why are some users allowed to post unfiltered HTML?

Users with Administrator or Editor privileges are allowed to publish unfiltered HTML in post titles and content. WordPress is, after all, a publishing tool, and people need to be able to include whatever markup they need to communicate. Users with lesser privileges are not allowed to post unfiltered content. If you are running security tests against WordPress, use a lesser privileged user so that all content is filtered. If you are concerned about an Administrator putting XSS into content and stealing cookies, note that all cookies are marked for HTTP only delivery and are divided into privileged cookies used for admin pages and unprivileged cookies used for public facing pages. Content is never displayed unfiltered in the admin. Regardless, an Administrator has wide-ranging super powers among which unfiltered HTML is a lesser one.

I've been hacked, and using WP. What do I do now?

The Exploit Scanner plugin can help detect damage so that it can be cleaned up. Other things you should do:

  • Change passwords for all users, especially Administrators and Editors.
  • If you upload files to your site via FTP, change your FTP password.
  • Re-install the latest version of WordPress.
  • Make sure all of your plugins and themes are up-to-date.
  • Update your security keys.
  • See FAQ My Site Was Hacked.

Working with WordPress

Why are they spamming me?

Apart from because they can, the need to raise page ranking in search engines gives rise to the need to create a lot of links to a web page so the search engine thinks that page is important.

How do I upload images to WP?

To permit images to be uploaded to your site:

From the admin panel, go to Options -> Miscellaneous

Can I change where the WordPress Database Plugin saves the backups?

Currently (as of WordPress 2.0) the WordPress Database Plugin saves the backups in the folder wp-content/backup-xxxxxx (where xxxxxx is a randomly generated sequence). To change the folder used, change the wp-db-backup.php file.

In Version 1.7 of the WordPress Database Plugin you would change line 22 of wp-db-backup.php where it says

define('WP_BACKUP_DIR', 'wp-content/backup-' . $rand);

to something like:

define('WP_BACKUP_DIR', 'mydir/mysubdir')

Can I have popup comments in WP?

To enable popup comments, choose the appropriate method for the version of WordPress you are using.


How do I find the absolute path I need for uploading images?

To find the absolute path of a page, absolutepath.zip will help you. Download, unzip, ftp to the location of the page / image / directory and then call the file in your browser - http://www.example.com/images/absolutepath.php

Which files do I change to alter the way my blog looks?

The following files affect the public display of your site, and each can be easily changed by using the Built-in Editor from the Templates option in your admin screen:

   * index.php
This affects the layout of your content.
   * style.css
This is how the style and presentation of your blog is controlled.
   * wp-comments.php
This controls the layout of user-submitted comments and trackbacks,
and the comments submission form.
   * wp-comments-popup.php
Only needed if you decide to use a popup comments box.
(Popup comments are off by default).

How do I change the site admin name?

To change your Admin Name, in the Administration Panel, choose the Users->Your Profile tab. Make your changes there. However, you are not able to change the username from within the Administration panel. In order to do this you must directly edit the MySQL database, however this is not recommended as your username is not often seen by other users.


How do I disable my RSS or syndicated feeds?

To disable your RSS or syndicated feeds, you must delete the wp-atom.php, wp-commentsrss2.php, wp-feed.php, wp-rdf.php, wp-rss.php, and wp-rss2.php files.

This might only work with older versions though! I found the feeds still worked until I removed the wp-includes/feed-*.php files as well. Requests for a feed now return an error, which is inelegant, but does the trick.

How do I disable trackbacks and pingbacks?

First, unchecked Allow link notifications from other Weblogs (pingbacks and trackbacks.) on the Options > Discussion panel. This will only disable trackbacks and pingbacks on future posts. Now, to completely disable trackbacks and pingbacks, you will have to edit each past post and uncheck Allow Pings from the Write Post SubPanel. Alternatively, run this MySQL query from the command line on a shell account or using PHPMyAdmin: UPDATE wp_posts SET ping_status="closed";

If your goal is to permanently disable trackbacks and pingbacks, then you should delete the wp-trackback.php file as well.

How do I disable comments in WP?

First, unchecked Allow people to post comments on the article on the Options > Discussion panel. This will only disable comments on future posts. Now, to completely disable comments, you will have to edit each past post and uncheck Allow Comments from the Write Post SubPanel. Alternatively, you could run this MySQL query from the command line on a shell account or using phpMyAdmin: UPDATE wp_posts SET comment_status="closed";

If your goal is to permanently disable comments, then you should delete the wp-comments-post.php file as well.

How do I stop people from posting HTML in comments?

Acceptance of HTML tags in the comments field is managed in the file kses.php, located in the wp-includes folder.

Open this file in a text editor, and locate the list of HTML tags near the top of the file. Each HTML tag is listed on a separate line, in the construction of a PHP array of allowed tags. Lines which begin with // are commented-out, or disabled, so lines which begin with // designate HTML tags that are not allowed in comments.


How can I change what appears between Categories when I post in more than one Category?

To configure the way the post's categories display, open the index.php file and find the line <div class meta>. There you will see the following code:


How do I install plugins in WP?

Plugins are composed of php scripts that add additional functionality to your blog. They offer new additions to your blog that either enhance features that were already available or add otherwise unavailable new features to your site.


How can I have a static front page and posts display on a page called Blog?

If using WordPress as a CMS, you might want to present readers with a static front page, and then display your posts on another page called Blog. To accomplish that follow these instructions:


Why can't I delete the uncategorized Category?

Any Category with a non-zero value for # of Posts in the Administration > Manage > Categories cannot be deleted. The uncategorized Category might be assigned to some Posts, but all Pages are assigned the uncategorized Category. So even though there may be no posts assigned to the uncategorized Category, Pages are included in the count of # of Posts.

The default category cannot be deleted even if it is empty, however you can specify your default categories for posts or links on the Options - Writing page of the admin panel.

Why is there no Page Template option when writing or editing a Page?

If there is no Page Template option when writing or editing a Page it may because there is no template file with the proper structure. For the Page Template box to be available to assign to a Page there must be a least one template file in your theme that has a structure at the beginning of the template file that looks like this:


How do I prevent my images from being hot-linked by another website?

You can use your .htaccess file to protect images from being hot linked, or, in other words, being linked-to from other websites. This can be a drain on your bandwidth, because if someone links directly to the image on your site, then you lose the bandwidth.

Clockwatchers’ htaccess image guide provides more details.

You can use this tool to check if the images are protected properly, and that has a few extra tips too.

For a more sophisticated method of preventing hotlinking see A List Apart's Smarter Image Hotlinking Prevention.

Does the 644 permissions on wp-config.php compromise the username and password to all other users on my shared server?

This is a limitation of the way PHP is set up on your server. If you previously used MovableType, Perl was probably set up with suexec so Movable Type executed as your user. In this case, PHP is running as the web server user, which is why it has to be at least 444. There is phpsuexec but it seems many hosts don’t use it.

However this is often not an issue on modern shared hosts because even though the file is “world" readable each account is set up with a "jailshell" which keeps people locked in their home directory, and PHP can be easily modified with an open_basedir restriction to keep people from writing PHP scripts to read your files. If you are really concerned, you should contact your host to see what measures they are taking.

How do I redirect users back to my blog's main page after they login?

Install the plugin, From where you came, and if your users clicked the Log in link from your main page, they will be directed back to that page after they login.

How do I change permissions for my files so I can edit them using the Template Editor?


How do I turn on Permalinks, and what do I do about the errors?

Why are the version numbers not in any particular periodic sequence?

The version number for improved versions of WordPress might not follow a strictly monotonic or periodic numerical (or in the case of test releases, alphabetical) sequence, since the version numbers reflect relative progress, and the changes made to existing or previous versions. So, for example, since v1.2 is a majorly revamped version of v1.0 (with about 60% of the code having been touched), 1.1 was ’skipped’ along the way.

How do I change file and folder permissions?

On computer filesystems, different files and directories have permissions that specify who and what can read, write, modify and access them. This is important because WordPress may need access to write to files in your wp-content directory to enable certain functions.


How can I find out if I have mod_rewrite?

To get information about your server, you can use the PHP Info function:

  • Paste this into a new Notepad / BBEdit file
<?php phpinfo(); ?>
  • Save as info.php
  • Upload to server. Visit in your browser (www.example.com/info.php)

That will give you info about your php version and mod_rewrite.

The info.php file returns a page outlining the details of your PHP installation. You can see if mod_rewrite is loaded. Under the apache header, look in the Loaded Modules section and see if mod_rewiite is listed.

Can my posts have titles instead of /index.php?p=76?

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 link to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence permalink.


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