WordPress, PHP, and MySQL: Yes, it’s free if…

by Bharat Suneja

I’ve been toying with the idea of moving this blog to a better publishing platform – I like what I’ve read about WordPress, I like blogs created/hosted using WordPress. Certainly seems like a better alternative to Blogger.

After playing with WordPress (or rather, trying to install WordPress) for a while, I am wondering if it’s time to give up yet. Plenty of hours invested/wasted – the classification of wasted or invested depends on the end result, and what you learn in the process. The components: IIS, PHP, mySQL and WordPress. IIS works without any effort. It took a while and few installs to get PHP working using the ISAPI module – this includes an aborted attempt at using the PHP installer for Windows that installs it as a CGI extension. More time spent installing mySQL – a few more cycles of install, test, uninstall, start again. Finally I’ve got an instance of mySQL to work.

Next stop – WordPress. The famous 5-minute install routine on WordPress.org looks interesting. However, it assumes MySQL is happy with PHP – PHP has an extension module for MySQL that needs to work/load before you can do anything with WordPress.

This is where I’m stumped. WordPress keeps telling me “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL which is required for WordPress”. I’ve spent time searching the web, trying almost everything I could find. Endless edits of php.ini, copying the mysql extension DLL to several locations, reloading PHP and mySQL more than a few times. No luck yet.

Perhaps all this open source stuff is designed not to play well with Windows (& IIS), forcing you to use other open source stuff like Linux & Apache. :) Is this any different from the commercial software vendors – which sort of compel you to use their entire stack for a particular app or solution to work well, or work at all?

Someone left a comment on the WordPress.org site about the famous 5-minute install:
“WordPress famous 5-minute install .. OH YEAH. Just remember the 2 hour install of Apache and php that is a prerequisite. I love computers.”

Which sort of summarizes the open source story for me. Not sure who said this, but I always end up remembering it whenever and wherever I come across heated discussions – which don’t seem to be as heated as they once used to be – about Windows v/s open source: Linux is free, if your time isn’t worth anything.

I would like to make this thing work, because I still like WordPress. I may even end up giving this a shot with Linux & Apache, when I have a little more time.

A Windows-based solution would’ve been nice! I would consider buying a WordPress-like blogging app that works with IIS and MSDE/SQL. Perhaps WordPress itself should come up with something like this. A WordPress installer that installs and configures everything required.

There’s nothing wrong with the philosophy that things just need to work, without endless time spent hacking it in order to make it work.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bharat Suneja December 10, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Thanks for the input! I need to be able to make this working with IIS because of dependencies of other web sites running on that server.

I will try it out with Apache in a different envrionment.


Devin L. Ganger December 11, 2006 at 9:51 am

Check out Community Server, which is the ASP.NET blogging engine (and more) used by MSDN blogs. Fantastic software, free personal edition available, and has a lot of useful functionality. Meant for IIS and MSSQL/MSDE.


Anonymous December 11, 2006 at 11:03 am

Try http://www.communityserver.org.
Works with SQL…ASP 2.0…and Channel 9 was developed on it…


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