FrustratedI wanted to write this post to help anyone who is using 1and1 hosting services and having problems either updating their WordPress plug-ins or installing WordPress themes to their website.

This is a common problem that has a pretty simple solution to be honest. There are three huge problems, however, that would prevent most people from fixing this:

  1. They don’t know what the problem is, nor have any means of identifying it.
  2. They don’t know how to use an FTP program to upload files to their website.
  3. They don’t know what an .htaccess file is or how to edit/upload it.

How to Fix your 1and1 Hosting to Enable Auto-Updates on WordPress

In order to fix the problems associated with your auto-updates for the plug-ins or WordPress system, and the WordPress themes, you’ll need access to your .htaccess file (Read more about .htaccess below). This file is generally in the root directory for your website – the same folder that contains your wp-config.php file.

Your .htaccess file needs to contain the following code in order to configure your WordPress site to update/upload files to itself:

Options All -Indexes
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

If you have anything else in your .htaccess file already, place this above that information – essentially at the top of the .htaccess file.

From our testing, we’ve been able to enable the updates/installation processes by adding just one of the lines of code to our .htaccess. Whichever method you prefer, TEST…TEST…TEST!!! (Immediately)

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

Good luck with your WordPress website. If you have FTP access and a simple text editor like Notepad to open the .htaccess file, these are pretty simple changes.

What is .htaccess Anyway?

An htaccess file is a simple ASCII file, such as you would create through a text editor like NotePad or SimpleText. Many people seem to have some confusion over the naming convention for the file, so let me get that out of the way.

.htaccess is the file extension. It is not file.htaccess or somepage.htaccess, it is simply named .htaccess

In order to create the file, open up a text editor and save an empty page as .htaccess (or type in one character, as some editors will not let you save an empty page). Chances are that your editor will append its default file extension to the name (ex: for Notepad it would call the file .htaccess.txt). You need to remove the .txt (or other) file extension in order to get yourself htaccessing–yes, I know that isn’t a word, but it sounds keen, don’t it? You can do this by right clicking on the file and renaming it by removing anything that doesn’t say .htaccess. You can also rename it via telnet or your ftp program, and you should be familiar enough with one of those so as not to need explaining. Source: JavaScriptKit.com

Disclaimer: These instructions may not work for every site in every situation. There is no warranty or guarantee that these will work. Use at your own risk. Backup your existing .htaccess file before making any changes – upload the original via FTP if your changes break anything.