an experience with hosted WordPress on 1&1

I signed up for a hosting package from 1&1 that advertised support of WP. WP is one of their ‘Click & Build’ applications. And with one click your domain name points to a directory/folder that is your WP based site hosted on 1&1. I’ll say more on this later.

AFTER signing up with 1&1, you find out:
‘For security reasons, the following changes and modifications are not possible in Click & Build applications:
Installation of new templates, new plugins, new modules, new components, or new language packages.
Insertion of custom source code (e.g. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or PHP) in preinstalled templates or other places in Click & Build applications.’

I wanted a self-hosted ‘wordpress.org’ site, but you can see I am restricted to the same features that WP offers for free with their ‘wordpress.com’ sites. If I want john.com, not john.wordpress.com, wordpress.com will give me a domain name AND set things up so people go to john.com to see my blog; for only $15/year. Forget paying $5-$10/month to 1&1.

My web site sits on some virtual machine, in some folder. When you type ‘john.com’ this maps to path123/index.php, where I use ‘path123’ to denote some long hairy path name. A server can parse a URL any way it pleases, but the default way is that john.com/classmates/welcome.html would send path123/classmates/welcome.html back to the browser.

When I do the Click&Build of WP, a directory is created under path123 (for instance: path123/app98) and john.com points to this directory. So none of my prior content is reachable; although it hasn’t been destroyed.

I can move all folders of path123, except path123/app98, under path123/app98. Now people can reach my prior content, but all existing links people have to my site are broken. And WP is a CMS. It is rude/dangerous for me to override the CMS WP provides by sticking some folder into path123/app98; everything in path123/app98 really should be under control of WP.

I have SSH access to my 1&1 site, so I will try installing wordpress.org. And then I will have to battle moving my content from the Click&Build installed wordpress.com app to my self-installed wordpress.org app.

So stay tuned.

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