I seem to have the same problem as James and quite a few other folk, with error messages about folders not being writable.
I can't help thinking that I must be missing something here when it comes to server permissions, because IIS didn't work for me even after I changed the contents folder and uploads folder to 777. I have hosting space on Linux servers run by Names in the UK: their advice on permissions is that nobody should ever need to set anything higher than 755.
So do I have a hosting permissions problem or a WordPress problem?
At intervals over the past few weeks, I've been trying to upload photographs into a WordPress blog that I host, only to get an error message that the directory is not writeable (by the Flash uploader) while the browser uploader just stops even trying after five seconds or so and sits there waiting for something more productive to do. Not even an error message, it just times out.
So far I have tried some of the simpler or more obvious remedies: you want writeable? Fetch can do writeable, so I turn off world-executable, just in case, and try again. The target folder, the parent folder both get nudged up to 776. No change.
These are only permissions, anyway, so I try 777 for the target upload folder, the parent folder, what the heck, 777s all round. Still no dice. OK guys, back to 755 while we try and figure this one out.
Now my FTP client can leave the door open on pretty much any folder, leave the keys on the table, whatever. But none of this changes anything for either of the uploaders, so where are they reading their permissions from?
More worryingly, I can export a backup file out of wordpress.com, but I can't upload it into my hosting space: inadequate access rights to make a temporary folder and write scratch files. Doh.
The uploaders are getting a resounding NYET from somewhere, but if they can't fight their way through an open door, there's not a lot of point in tempting fate, either.
SO, my question is this: if my FTP client is setting a whole load of permissions for file transfers that are not found by the uploaders, do these processes have permissions allocated as well? That might help to explain why 777 works for an FTP client but still generates a denied access for a different application/process.
Do folder permissions respond differently to access requests from different ports, for instance? Do I need to set four digit permissions?? Even though I have logged in to use the WordPress console, the uploaders do not seem to have the access rights that match my login status.
How come my login doesn't propagate the necessary permissions for some processes to work downstream from my login?
More confusingly, if I try a primitive workround and use an FTP client to upload files, Flash cannot 'see' anything in the uploads folder, let alone stitch anything into a page. I suppose I could write links to files in situ, but it rather defeats the point of using themes that rescale full size pix into thumbnails on the fly.
I'm not trying to be awkward, there really does seem to be a problem with reality here. It's just that even after years of password-free network logins around the office LAN, I still reckon that it's not a good idea to set folders to 777 online and expect to get away with it in the same way.
So, I know that I'm not the first person to have this problem, but I would love to sort it out so that other users on Names servers can enjoy WordPress without the minor irritations of text but no pictures.
Anyone got any ideas? And if I do need to set four-digit permissions, do I have to go to the command line or can I use something a little friendlier?