Visual editor not working? Try setting Permalinks and adding a .htaccess file to Wordpress

by in Developer Notes

Today had Leon and I banging our heads against a new WordPress installation that was displaying a blank screen in the visual editor.  We searched for possible causes and solutions, which included disabling possibly faulty plugins and verifying that all WordPress files were installed.

In looking more closely at the browser console, what first appeared to be 404 non found errors were actually turned out to be 403 forbidden errors.  It seems that our Web server is configured to treat the extra get request (file.css?stuff=something) as something that can be executed, while the css file permissions were set to read-only.

The fix was to set up Permalinks and add an .htaccess file to the rood directory of the WordPress install.  While I’m not completely up to speed on what aspect of mod-rewrite fixed the issue, I think it may have expressly directed to treat existing files and directories as files and pass other requests through WordPress.  Question is whether it is passing the css file through WordPress, or loading it without the request…  Any ideas?

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About Dana Hutchins

Dana is founder of Inforest Communications and has over fifteen years of Web design and development experience. Dana is involved in all aspects of business development and marketing of the firm, including serving as primary consultant on Internet and Web strategy to Inforest clients. His Web development responsibilities are primarily focused on writing custom modules,themes and plugins to make Drupal and WordPress sites run and look better. He also writes custom Web applications that have been used in online calendaring, e­-commerce and surveys.

Dana’s favorite programming acronyms are PHP, MySQL, CSS3, HTML5 and jQuery. However, what really gets him excited is the opportunity to use these tools to build Web sites that solve business needs and create new opportunities for his clients.