Its a long way back – Part 2

So, I had a site up and running, I entered my first post, and then had a look around to see what was new. I had installed an older version of WordPress, and a new version was on offer – 4.9.8, and it could be downloaded and installed automatically. Well, that I had to try, and sure enough, it worked fine. So now I had to come to terms with the changes in the new version – some of them quite surprising, I don’t find anywhere to log in, for example.

In addition to that, there is a new editor being touted – Gutenberg, they call it. I decided to give that a try, (the last post was written with that), and hurriedly went back to the old system. When I looked at the result of Gutenberg, I was rather disappointed. Every block has a label round it defining its start and finish. We don’t need the labels – we can see if a piece of text is a paragraph or not, the same as we can see if a picture is a picture. A lot of extra work to learn a new system that doesn’t make life easier than before, and bloated files as a result.

Gutenberg? – No thank you!

I had downloaded Gutenberg as an optional editor, but after deciding not to use it, and downloading the standard editor as an option, Gutenberg was no longer to be found!

Back to the saga. I was really unhappy about the password for MySql, and tried to change it. There seemed to be a way of doing it via WordPress itself, but unfortunately the communication failed because of a setup problem. I haven’t found what that is yet. In the meantime, I found another way of changing the password directly via the PHP control for MySql. Although that appeared to work for a short time, it wasn’t long before I could no longer access the site at all.

If I couldn’t access it, why did I need it? Obviously I didn’t, so I decided to delete it and start again. This involved removing one database from MySql, and making another new one available for a new installation. Apart from a hiccup where I forgot to update the database name in wp-config.php, everything went smoothly. It is called the “5-minute Installation, but in fact takes far less time than that with an empty site to load.

Its taken about a year and a half, but I am now back to the state that I was in early last year. I have my site at home for experimental work, and can refine any posts I want to put on my blog before they actually go anywhere.

Welcome back, WordPress

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Its a long way back – Part 1.

The problems started last year, when my motherboard eventually bit the dust. It had been a long time coming, having shown intermittent errors that couldn’t be pin-pointed for about a year. As a result of that, I lost a lot of programs, including my own copy of WordPress.

Worse still, of course, was saying goodbye to Windows 7, which had become such a familiar friend over the years. The only replacement I could get with the new motherboard was Windows 10, and we all know what a disaster that is.

I tried various ways to replace my WordPress installation, but kept hitting roadblocks which thwarted me completely. Because I choose not to update WIndows 10, some programs that are required for Wamp to run for example, are just not available. If you don’t have the right version of Microsoft C++ Redistributable, you may not be able to get it, and you can forget Wamp altogether.

I recently came across an alternative that showed promise, as the package claimed to contain everything necessary to run Apache – and this was the server I wanted. It was Bitnami Wampstack-7.1.23-0, which was a download of some 243 Mb.

When I ran the file, it gave me a warning about my Antivirus program possibly causing some interference. I chose to ignore the warning, and left my Antivirus running. Needless to say, the installation got to about 95% complete. and then stopped – never to continue. What to do now?

The Antivirus had shown no sign of distress so far, so I decided to clean everything out, and rerun the installation with Antivirus switched off. That’s where I hit the first problem:- I couldn’t delete all the files!

A bunch of files were effectively being held prisoner by “httpd.exe”, (which itself wasn’t running), as they were all classified as “in use”, and couldn’t be deleted. Nor could I delete “httpd.exe” itself, even after a system restart. I could, however, use a trick, or in fact a couple of them.

First I changed the name of “httpd.exe” to “httpd.e”, and restarted the machine. The files were still held captive, so I then opened “httpd.e” and deleted its contents. Then I restarted again, and lo and behold the files I wanted to get rid of were no longer captive, and soon deleted.

Now I reran the installation for Bitnami Wampstack with the Antivirus switched off. There were some sticky points towards the end, where it said it had stopped working, but it managed to recover from them itself, and the thing was finally done. I now had a viable Apache server again.

The next item was to set up a database for your WordPress site in Mysql. There are many good descriptions of how to do this out there on the Internet – here is one, for example:- 
https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/tutorials/installing-a-local-server/wampserver/, and another:- https://Installing From a Zip File – Make WordPress Core.htm

Ok, so I had my database set up, and I was ready to do the “5-minute install” that WordPress is renowned for, but I had made an error. I had accepted the password generated by MySql, and it was a real horror. Judge for yourself:- %gyg@IELn3q9hQNWSe. How the hell is anyone supposed to remember something like that? Ok, so I put little files all over my computer so I would not be likely to be locked out of the system.

The next item is to configure wp-config.php, which you will find at local disk (C), Bitnami, wampstack-7.1.23-0, apache2, htdocs, mysite (or whatever you have called your installation), wp-config.php. The following data must be added.

Once you have done that, point your browser to http://127.0.0.1, or ‘Localhost’ if you have set your ‘Hosts” file up already, and your WordPress installation should commence.

To be continued!