I made a test install locally and it seems to work with files 644 and directories 755 owned and group "apache". I uploaded wordpress to a shared server and the install says it does not have permission to write. I edited wp-config.php and wordpress seems to work accessing the database, adding posts etc but still cannot write. i.e upload an image to wp-content/uploads/ actually cannot make uploads directory.
in the ftp client some of my files belong to a different group there is only a group called 777 and one called 501 but I don't not know if that has any bearing and/but ISP will not give me shell access and won't say how to change ownership.
advice appreciated how to get wordpress to write to space.