OK- I've been trying to sort this problem out and I've consulted a number of threads on this site looking for answers. I've created the .htaccess file (since WP has not created it 'automatically') and first I inserted this line:
"DirectoryIndex index.php index.html"
into the file as instructed in several threads.
Then I read this thread and changed the .htaccess file to read thusly:
deny from all
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html"
and so far, when I try to preview my site through the dashboard, the index.php does not automatically load, I have to plug it into the URL for it to work.
(and I consulted an external tutorial to learn how to chmod it to 666)
It seems like this problem has plagued a great number of people and so far people have given instructions like, "put this in your .htaccess file" but the instructions are somewhat vague to those of us who are not already hardcore geeks.
If there is something missing in this file, some other data or header information, could someone point me in the right direction as to what that should be, or a really good tutorial on how to formulate an .htaccess file that actually functions?
Because I have created this file as suggested by many, inserted the reccomended commands to make index.php load as the automatic index and have had no such luck.
The fact that this has to be programmed by me on this end of wordpress seems somewhat ridiculous, frankly. If the 5-minute install were really a 5-minute install, I'd be blogging already instead of fucking around with .htaccess files and whatnot... but oh well. Some help in this would be great so I could get back to blogging and confidently know that my readers to get to my index page instead of a listing of my directories.