So, I've been searching for weeks for the solution to two problems I'm having with our new wordpress blog at http://www.outdoorskills.com. I think that both issues have to do with the Apache version my host is running, but before I call them with questions, I need to clarify what is going on to the best of my knowledge.
Here are the two issues:
1) Upload folder won't work without chmod 777 (which is unacceptably unsecure for us)
2) Changing permalinks to anything other than the standard breaks the post
Now, I've looked at a LOT of posts, tried a lot of solutions. I do not have access to the server other than cPanel and FTP.
For the upload folder, I've tried it with every version of permissions other than 777 and always get the 'make sure the parent folder has write permissions' error.
Looking at my ftp, I can't determine the owner of the folder beyond 503 500, which is what ALL the folders and files are listed as. If I understand the multiple threads correctly, a big problem can happen if Apache won't let the owner 'WordPress' execute on the server (ie, owner mismatch). As I've tried all the other things I can think of/have seen, this looks to be the root of my problem. However, I don't know what owner 503 500 IS, or what I should be changing it to.
For the second issue (the permalinks), I have come to suspect that my server is ignoring our .htaccess files and this is why the permalinks are not working. I can change them, and the post shows up on the main page, but clicking through to read the post gives a 404.
As I don't have access to the Apache Config (to my knowledge; that's server level, not my level I believe) I am not sure how to fix this.
I know next to nothing about Apache other than what I've been able to glean from forum posts and online tutorials. I've never had either of these issues with my personal host (Dreamhost), and am unsure how to approach the tech support people about it.
So, after that wall of text, my questions:
1) Does it seem likely my issues are likely caused by the Apache server?
2) If not, am I missing something? I will try (or retry)any suggestions
3) If so, what do I need to ask tech support at my host to do?