New site: "Error: PHP is not running"


Hi All,

I have just completed a “5 minute installation” of Wordpress onto Dreamhost. I was able to follow the prescribed steps and complete comfortably within 2 hours. I want to emphasize - it was a vanilla installation, with no special settings, manipulation etc.

However…when I point to wp-install.php with my browser, I receive a generic error message “Error: PHP is not running…”

Several previous threads on this forum have raised similar issues but all speak in tech-language that is difficult to understand. They seem to indicate an issue with the mysql database that was set up on the Dreamhost server?

In layman terms please…is this a common issue? Are there simple steps that I can take to resolve?

Thanks, Tony


No it’s not a common problem. But are you still having it? Your other thread, with a slightly later time indicates you might have gotten past this?


Thanks for the reply…no, they are two separate issues, as far as I can see.

The other issue arises where I enter my web address in a browser and the name can’t be resolved. I’m working that through on the other post so as not to lose my focus.

THIS issue arrives where I use my browser to access the FTP facility (via the control panel) to open wp-install.php; I get a part-rendered page containing the regular header etc, but the php content does not show.

Regards, Tony


The ‘ftp’ option in the panel will open a directory in your browser and let you download a file. The ‘webftp’ option in the panel will let you Upload/download in a web based client called ajaxplorer. It’s pretty bare bones and fairly difficult to use even for a quick edit like wp-config. It’s frustrated many users before you. The error you got actually sounds like it’s not working correctly as well.

My recommendation is download and install an ftp client that will run on your local computer. Most popular is probably filezilla, another really good one that I (and a few other forum regulars) like best is winscp. There is also an even broader list found here:


Thanks LakeRat,
I installed FileZilla and the problem resolved itself. All is good in the world!