Updating WordPress on Windows

For the last week, I’ve had a notification on my blog admin page that a new version of WordPress is available.

My original WordPress install was incredibly simple, as is the process of installing additional modules, so I clicked Update Now.

Unpacking the update… Could not copy files. Installation Failed.

Ah. Right.  I run WordPress on a Windows server as I write things in ASP.NET, and so far the Windows/WordPress combination has been a breeze.  I’m sure the power of Google will fix this in a moment.

I found there were plenty of people with similar problems, but I found that as the vast majority of people run WordPress on servers running Linux, the advice to run chmod commands to change file permissions weren’t particularly useful.  There are plenty of guides out there of how to do a manual update, but I felt part of the reasons behind using WordPress as a tool was the ease of use.

One particular blog had a posting of how to fix this in the Windows world, and was linked to by several websites, but alas that page reports 404 not found.  So, I took a chance with the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Success!  So in Windows we need to give temporary write access by the IUSR account to the root of the WordPress site, and also to the wp-content folder.

I use the tool WebsitePanel to configure my site, and thought I’d see what options that gives, rather than using remote desktop onto the server and changing the permissions via Windows.

FileManager in WebsitePanel has a padlock icon next to each folder – clicking on it reveals:


I chose write on both the root of the website and the wp-content folders, but not child objects. Returning to the update page once more and:

Hurrah, we’re up to date.  For security I then removed the two write permissions, at least until the next update comes around.

4 thoughts on “Updating WordPress on Windows

  1. I had an absolute ‘mare with WordPress under Windows. Performance was abysmal. Out of curiosity, how do you host yours? You mention Remote Desktop, so I’m guessing you own the box / image?

    In the end I moved to Tsohost who offer a grid-based system. I’ve got two WordPress sites running under Linux and the guts of my business back-end / e-commerce systems (all ASP.NET) under Windows, all managed from one control panel. Couldn’t be happier!

    • We have a 2008R2 VM from GoDaddy which works well split between a small number of sites, and we’ve installed WordPress just on top of IIS. WebsitePanel is all we need for day to day admin, and just a very occasionally have to use Remote Desktop.

      We’ve had similar boxes in the past, but very often it would take a good while to serve the first page. An old server also used Plesk as a management tool, which seemed to take up a huge amount of resources. Leaving Plesk behind appears to have been a good move.

      The vast majority of my code these days is c#, so sticking with a windows platform seemed like the best approach.

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