WordPress automatic updates failing on 1&1?

December 02, 2009

When WordPress 2.7 was released I was looking forward to automatic updates out of all the new features. Instead of copying files back and forth through SFTP (which isn’t terribly hard, but annoying enough when you have to do it every few months), all you have to do is click a button and WordPress does the rest for you. Supposedly. I think this might have worked for me once after 2.7 was released, but since then it’s always failed, right up through the most recent 2.8.x versions. Instead, the update screen just perpetually hangs with the message “Downloading update from http://wordpress.org/…”.

With the most recent update I finally found a fix for the problem, which is apparently specific to the PHP configuration for 1&1 customers. Add these two lines to the end of the .htaccess file in your WordPress root directory:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

And you should be set!

Marc Charbonneau is a mobile software engineer in Portland, OR. Want to reply to this article? Get in touch on Twitter @mbcharbonneau.