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Resolving WordPress Blog Errors via CHMOD Permissions

Submitted by on Wednesday, 13 August 20083 Comments

Finally i got my plugins back to normal at last! For the past two weeks or so, i was trying to debug why some of my commonly-used WP plugins were executing irregular behaviors. Bearing this thing in mind, I haven’t updated to WP 2.6 version yet. This is because most WP users in various forums were ranting about upgrade problems and so do i. I’ll probably spare more time on this eventually when WP 2.6 becomes stable or if my time permits me to do this. But for my case, it seems strange. For most people who frequently visit my blog, you would notice some discrepancies and html errors especially upon loading this site to Internet Explorer 6 or 7. Yes i was playing around some of the plugins i have installed on my WP version 2.5 DashBoard. I had noted some irregular behaviors on my site recently.

These include but not limited to:

  • Error loading Contact and Partnerlinks pages which both have Contact Forms for submissions. (I tried to inactivate CForms 2 for the meantime while debugging the root cause of the error.)

techronnati-cforms-error

  • Google Sitemaps was rendering errors as not being recognized by Google WebMasters Site. Moreover, XSLT error is shown on the page when previewing the http://www.techronnati.com/blog/sitemap.xml in IE. Access is denied. But in FireFox Mozilla its showing like this.

In Internet Explorer

error-xml-sitemap-www

In Mozilla FireFox

error-xml-sitemap-mozilla-techronnati

  • FireStats Image doesn’t load correctly in the page. ( initiated by FireStats Plugin)
  • Ratings images had some irregular icon display behavior. Instead of showing the real icons i.e. stars i’ve set as the default display, it shows blank images. (initiated of WP Ratings Plugins)
  • Error appearing in WP DashBoard (mine caused by Brokenlinks Plugin so i temporarily disabled it)

internal-server-dashboard-techronnati

  • Can’t attached pictures in post. Whenever im attaching images either by using Flexiload plugin or the default uploading facility of WP, it hangs and images are never attached.

It seems to me that a lot of related plugins i use are on errors on my site. Too bad i wasn’t able to capture other WP plugin error i encountered. I initially thought there must be something wrong on the CHMOD (short for CHange MODe, which is a UNIX/Linux command) permissions. I didn’t know much about this until recently when i began to search the internet for answers. But before i arrived to this conclusion, i did some random debugging first. I tried deactivating all the plugins then afterwards reactivating them one by one only to find out that some plugins are working properly as expected. Weird for my case because i just woke up one morning only to realize that my blog has a lot of errors on selected pages. Seriously though, I can’t really remember the last update i made on the plugins. There was only one purpose i had in mind and that was to make sure I improve my Site’s Google Ranking. Maybe i messed up my default CHMOD files as a result of these errors i got. At that time i wasn’t sure what was the real cause of the problem. You see, I needed all these WP plugins to work to my site to give a big boost to my visitor’s web experience. And as i investigated this problem, it looked like that my problem had something to do with “WRITE PERMISSIONS”. I consulted various websites and research about CHMOD permissions for wordpress but it seems that most WP Blog owners haven’t experienced what i have just encountered lately. So I experimented myself knowing little idea about CHMOD permissions. Until i began to recall somebody saying that it isn’t safe to have 777 CHMOD in the root of blog directory and other directories and files in it for security reasons [WordPress file permissions and security]. Then another wordpress user shared his experience which i am yet to implement it in my blog.

Directories should have permissions of 755. NEVER 777
All files should have permissions of 644.
If you do want to use the built-in editor, theme files should have permissions of 666. NEVER 777

I experimented this and change CHMOD Permissions to the following:

CHMOD permissions for File Folders under wp-plugin directory: 755

default-chmod-plugin-folders

CHMOD permissions for File Attributes inside wp-plugin folder : 644

default-chmod-plugin-files-access-644

Upon changing the these folders, i was able to resolve all the errors i got on my WP Plugins

1. CForms 2:

techronnati-cforms-resolved

2. Google Sitemap:

error-xml-sitemap-resolved-techronnati

3. Broken Links

broken-link-plugin-error-resolved-techronnati

4. WP Post Ratings

wp-post-ratings-error-resolved-techronnati

5. FireStats Logo Image

firestats-plugin-error-resolved-techronnati

Conclusion and Lessons Learned:

I am yet to implement this suggested tip to WP-Cache Plugin (because of its security related issues- 777). But for now am happy that i was able to resolve some of the tough errors I encountered. For the meantime this should work. So to others who might be experiencing one of the above errors especially if this is plugin-related i suggest you try to verify if you have the right CHMOD of that plugin directory ( you can change permissions using Filezilla FTP or if you use Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 it’s possible) and its corresponding file attributes in it. I think this should be the first step when trying to debug a specific plugin-related error. Sometimes its a matter of changing the CHMOD permissions suitable to the affected plugin is what we needed. Who knows right? While i was doing this research, I came across a lot of unsolved plugin-related errors experienced by WP users. Maybe by just tweaking on your plugin CHMOD permissions, it may solve the mystery =)

Update:

For more discussions on this topic, pls look into this link :  http://www.techronnati.com/forums/index.php?board=193.0

For more information, feel free to browse over the Techronnati boards

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