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Information every WordPress user should know and post when problems strike

I often go on the WordPress.org forum and try to answer help questions from users who are having problems with their install. In many cases the problem is easily solved by knowing a small amount of information–but it’s usually true that most users do not know the most basic information about their setups. In general, anyone who is setting up a WordPress website should know the following information:

  • The Version of WordPress they have installed
  • They Type of Server they are using (Linux, Windows, Solaris, etc.)
  • The Version number of PHP (the programming language WordPress is written in) that is running on their server
  • The Version number of MySQL (the database system typically used by WordPress) that is running on their server

It’s also good to know generally what version number your theme is and all of the plugins you have active in your install. This very basic information can usually diagnose many of the most common problems with WordPress. The most common issues of aberrant behavior stem from out of date versions of the above items.

In my experience it is best to have at least PHP 4.2.2, MySQL 4.1.x, and WordPress 2.0.11 running. Using a Linux server also seems to cut down on the possible problems that can exist, since WordPress was specifically developed with that type of server.

If you are having a problem it’s best to post your install information immediately so others can work with all of the facts, in many cases your problem can be resolved within hours. (Oh, and always remember to post a link to the page/site that is not working, it’s always best if we can see what the problem looks like directly.)

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