Thursday, November 17, 2005

Apache != IIS

Sorry for the nature of this post. But just in case you see some screwy things going on, here's why.

Recently, this little blog tired of issues with TypePad and moved from being a TypePad site to a WordPress site.

Now, TypePad is based on MovableType, which actually, I like. But, for various reasons, I made the move to WordPress.

Now, I like WordPress. It's different than MovableType (and TypePad), but still, I like it.

So, what's that got to do with anything? I'm getting there.

When I made the move to a WordPress site, I had WordPress (along with PHP and MySQL) installed on a Windows 2003 Server machine. Which was an adventure unto itself in setting up, but it was indeed set up. And running.

Of course, when something is working, some people just have to mess with it. Can't leave well-enough alone.

Okay, the truth is I was disappointed with performance of the Windows setup. You see, Windows 2003 Server (actually, all Windows Servers) has, by default, a Web Server called IIS. That stands for Internet Information Services. And that is what makes a computer serve up Web pages. Note that phrase "serve up Web pages." Server.

Oh, and to be precise, a "server" isn't actually the computer that serves the pages, it's the software that runs on the machine.

So, what's that got to do with anything? I'm getting there.

The standard WordPress installation consists of PHP (check!), MySQL (check!), and Apache Web Server (hmmmm). Which meant that the installation here was non-standard. Remember the issues I had with setting it all up Windows 2003 Server? The reason was because it was non-standard and not as much help was available with that. But, since it was taking me a while to get it set up, I went with IIS instead of Apache because, well, I'm still more familiar with IIS than Apache. And I figured the learning curve for Apache would take longer than figuring out IIS. So, IIS it is.

Or was.

As of last night, I made the switch from this little blog being on an IIS site to an Apache site.

What could go wrong?

Nothing. Or so I thought. Because of a configuration setting on one of my computers, I was still seeing the IIS site instead of the Apache site when I went to check it out. But everyone else (you, for instance) was seeing the Apache site.

Since I saw the IIS site (thinking I was looking at Apache), and since everything looked the same, I thought "Hey, that wasn't so bad."

Happy with it all, I went to bed.

I woke up this morning to an e-mail from Bruce from Conservative Cat informing me of an issue. For a moment, I thought he was crazy. Then I tried another computer.


Sure enough, I had a problem. Only the front page was working. Nothing below.

It was all there, but inaccessible.

A database setting needed to be changed because of the Apache setup.

You see, with Apache, the recommended URL for a page is something like this:

while on IIS, it's this:

And, yes, it does make a difference.

So, I'm going through and making changes so that links work.

It might take me a bit.

So, what's this mean to you? Well, if you run across a white page that says "No input file specified" it probably means you've run across a link that contains index.php. Check the address bar. If index.php is there, take it out and the page works.

I'm going to be busy working on making those changes today.

Ain't computers just the most wonderful things in the world!

The issue with the links has been fixed! And a huge thanks to Christian Doeleman for the solution. He answered my question on the DreamHost discussion forum, and provided me with the solution. And it works! Thanks, Christian!


  1. You know I know nothing about computers. (I still call it typing instead of keyboarding.)
    But I actually understood this post. No, I don't know anything about all those capital letters you mentioned, but you write well enough that I understand the problem you are working on. Kudos to you on your writing ability!

  2. Thanks. And don't tell me you didn't understand all those capital-letter words. I know that "OOPS" is in your vocabulary!


Please choose a Profile in "Comment as" or sign your name to Anonymous comments. Comment policy