Updating WordPress issues with 1and1

Having issues updating WordPress on a 1and1 server? Only have half your WordPress dashboard showing? Here is what I encounter and how I solved these issues.

A few weeks ago I installed the newest version of WordPress on my web host server, which I use 1and1 web hosting services. Everything was great, until I saw the message at the top of my WordPress dashboard saying there is an updated version available. I clicked on the link to updating my site because I feel it’s important to have the latest version available for reasons such as security, bug fixes, and ensure newer versions of the plug ins I use are compatible.

Once I clicked on the link to updated my WordPress software, I got the message that WordPress was initiating the update. I waited and waited and waited some more, nothing happened. I decided to click on the dashboard and found over half the usual dashboard content missing. I was bewildered by this. I needed to know what went wrong and how to solve this problem so I wouldn’t have this issue in the future.
What I uncovered was that 1and1 web servers defaults to php 4. WordPress will run on php 4, but it is designed to take advantage of php 5. What the issue was was with not being about to update WordPress and a large portion of my dashboard missing, was WordPress was looking to take advantage of php 5 and was not able to do so.

The fix for the problem is relatively easy. It requires you to edit your .htaccess file a bit in order to tell the 1and1 web server that you want it to run your website using php 5, not php 4. I would recommend downloading your .htaccess to your hard drive and open it using any website editing program, such as Dreamweaver. If you do not have a website editing program, notepad (Window Users) or TextEdit (Mac Users) will also work.

Once you open the file, you will see that it starts with # BEGIN WordPress and ends with # END WordPress. For our needs, the information between these two tags isn’t important. What is important is after the # END WordPress, these two lines of code are added.

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

These two lines of code will tell your 1and1 server that you want it to use php 5 as it’s default php version instead of php4. These two lines should also be used in a .htaccess file if you are coding a website using php 5 to be hosted on a 1and1 web server.

Save the changes to the file and upload the changes to your 1and1 website host server. Go back to your WordPress administrator page and click on the update link now. It should update your software and fix the dashboard so everything that was there before, is there once again.

I hope that helps. If there are any other topics you would like me to discuss on WordPress or 1and1 website hosting problems, feel free to let me know in a comment below. Also let me know if you find this useful and would like me to continue posting tricks and solutions I have learned.

About Joe

Hi. I am a web designer and front end developer located in Muskegon Mi. I specialize in helping small and medium size businesses succeed online.
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