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Damned WordPress

October 31, 2008

I jest really… I have moved all the professional techie stuff over to the new blog at bldwtech.com but I have been having real trouble settling my theme down and getting the oh so mighty Google to actually index it. It still has not happened but I hope that it will happen in the next few days. I have followed all the rules and had to find out a pretty important point about WordPress when you roll your own. Out of the box it is broken for Google verification – well specifically it is broken for 404 responses. I have stumbled on this by accident after doing all the normal stuff as set out in the Google help pages.

Essentially, when queried for a non-existent page, WordPress (when installed into the root of the site – I think that is the important point) needs to handle all pages through index.php. In the default state this will return a page – a sort of 404 page but with a 200 response. I have worked around this now but I will need to fix it – something I am sure will take a few hours over the next few nights. My workaround was to edit/comment out the .htaccess default redirect to index.php during the period I needed to verify the site. This breaks it all of course for actually being a blog, but then that is why it is a workaround that was put back as soon as the verification took place.

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