Well, I do need to know how to disable the plugin. I've found all sorts of vague references to doing that, but no specific instructions. Also, I'm puzzled about something - how can the Really-Static plugin be enabled if I can delete the ...\plugins\really-static folder structure and have the WordPress site run the same, without an error? And if it's not enabled, why do I have to concern myself with deleting it?
I'll go ahead and post the results of your suggested tests above in trying to determine if the WordPress site can connect to the database:
Sunny, I know you suggest that the reason this WordPress site is running in "static-html" mode is because, "3. There is no alternative mode being triggered it is just because wordpress is not setup properly and as there is no database connection that is why it is displaying the file/folder structure in your site."
But I tried a little test - I modified the wp-config.php and put in an invalid database password. If the site is displaying in static-html because it can't log in to the database, then that would not have any effect - it would look the same. But when I did that, the site gives a "the website cannot display the page" error.
I decided to create a new database in phpMyAdmin (wpdb) and I remembered that before I had used utf8_unicode_ci, and so I made sure it said utf8_general_ci. I also had specified MYSQL323 in the "Format-specific options", and this time I left it as "None". I also used the "Privileges" tab in phpMyAdmin to setup a new user with an auto-generated password.
I followed your suggested tests above, deleting the wp-config.php, and want to comment that of course changing "Database Host" to "localhost:81" is not going to work, because only the web server is set to "localhost:81" - the database is at "localhost". So, if I change the database server to "localhost:81", with or without a password, it does nothing, trying to run "localhost" in the browser tab above.
If I leave the Datbase Host at "localhost", and either blank out the password or put in a wrong one, I get:
"Error establishing a database connection
This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can't contact the database server
at localhost. This could mean your host's database server is down.
•Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
•Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
•Are you sure that the database server is running?"
And if I use an old database with an old user, I get:
Can’t select database
We were able to connect to the database server (which means your username and password is okay) but not able to select the newwordpressitedb
•Are you sure it exists?
•Does the user pauser have permission to use the newwordpresssitedb database?
•On some systems the name of your database is prefixed with your username, so it would be like username_newwordpresssitedb. Could that be the problem?"
However if I use either an old database, new user and new auto-generated password or a new database, new user and new auto-generated password, I get this:
"All right sparky! You've made it through this part of the installation. WordPress can now communicate with your database. If you are ready, time now to…Run the Install"
When I click the Run the Install button, it then it tells me WordPress is already installed: "Already Installed
You appear to have already installed WordPress. To reinstall please clear your old database tables first.
But the fact is, the site still displays different than the production one on the web, which, as I mention above, causes me to question whether I was given the current version of the site.