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#3381 closed defect (fixed)

Edit the letter to hosts and associated info to not be confusing/vague/misleading

Reported by: DavidAnderson Owned by: obenland
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: General Keywords:
Cc:

Description

https://wordpress.org/about/requirements/

Some parts of this page is somewhat confusing, at best.

"We recommend Apache or Nginx as the most robust and featureful server for running WordPress".... but in the letter to a potential host, it recommends that you ask for "The mod_rewrite Apache module". So it implies that Nginx is a second-best option (but then https://wordpress.org/hosting/ recommends a Nginx-based host... and wordpress.org runs on Nginx).

The whole statement "We recommend Apache or Nginx as the most robust and featureful server for running WordPress" is hard to justify. Ability for a user-created/user-controlled .htaccess is about the only user-visible difference possible the two AFAIK, and in that regard, there's no differentiation between Nginx and other webservers (e.g. lighttpd). The will scare people off other webservers, but for no real reason. e.g. Is it in the area of being "robust" or "featureful" that lighttpd or Cherokee users are going to suffer? I don't think it's really either.

Change History (9)

#1 @Otto42
15 months ago

We don't recommend other webservers because we don't actually support them in WordPress.

We do have support in WordPress for Apache and nginx, insofar as core specifically detects those two cases and has various changes regarding them. Not so for any others.

I'm not sure how saying that mod_rewrite is needed implies that nginx is second-best. Especially since that's not the case, and nginx is quite arguably better than Apache. You just don't need mod_rewrite with nginx, although you do need to handle permalink configuration more manually.

Last edited 15 months ago by Otto42 (previous) (diff)

#2 @DavidAnderson
15 months ago

As I read the code, there are only two things which happen if nginx (as composed to Joe-Random-Webserver) is detected:

1) You get shown a hyperlink to Nginx documentation telling you how to set up rewrites in the Nginx configuration. (Other uses of the $is_nginx flag are indicating that certain things should not be done.... things which are also not done on Joe-Random-Webserver, e.g. writing out an .htaccess file).

2) CodeMirror is put into Nginx mode. I don't know the effects of that, but it sounds like something that should be patched in CodeMirror, rather than the consumer telling CodeMirror (why would CodeMirror not put itself in "Nginx mode" by default if applicable?).

N.B. There's also more-than-comparable targeted support for IIS... which arguably is more powerful than Nginx, since it can support user-controlled configuration (web.config files) - that's more user-friendly than a link to sysadmin documentation.

I've been running WP sites on lighttpd for a decade, without issues. Then there's Lightspeed, which supports (most of) .htaccess too, so is more user-friendly in that it'll support core and plugin functionality that uses .htaccess.

Note: none of this is anything remotely in "this webserver is best" territory. I'm not interested in that. I'm just saying that the WP documentation on this page is ambiguous (different sections imply different things), unnecessarily scares users of other webservers (nothing that we've said so far justifies the word "robust", implying that alternatives are more flimsy), and doesn't (AFAICT - there may be things in the code I've misunderstood) reflect the code.

#3 @obenland
15 months ago

Is there a better text that we can update it with?

#4 @DavidAnderson
15 months ago

I'd suggest dropping mentions of webservers entirely. People who are deploying a specific webserver that isn't Apache or Nginx will almost certainly know exactly what they're doing. Whereas people who are just inheriting Apache or Nginx on a setup that they don't know that much about the internals of (e.g. generic cPanel user) don't need to know anything about it anyway.

So I suggest replacing:

We recommend Apache or Nginx as the most robust and featureful server for running WordPress, but any server that supports PHP and MySQL will do.

with:

Any webserver that supports PHP and MySQL will do.

And dropping the line:

The mod_rewrite Apache module

#5 @obenland
15 months ago

I think it's legitimate for WordPress to recommend certain types of servers. However I agree that the mod_rewrite mention is a bit outdated after the addition of Nginx.

What do y'all think of replacing it with

Nginx or Apache with mod_rewrite module.

#6 @DavidAnderson
15 months ago

I think it's legitimate for WordPress to recommend certain types of servers

I think that if it does so, then it ought to say what the recommendation is based on (e.g. "WP developers generally have more familiarity with these servers"), and not be vague, or verging on FUD. ("the most robust" suggests that other webservers fall over more when running WP... but is that a) true, and b) verifiable?).

Is that (more experience?) the reason? Or something else? (N.B. On the same grounds, should Linux then be recommended? IIRC, there have been a few bugs in the last few years that basically made it through into releases because of lack of testing on Windows webservers).

#7 @obenland
15 months ago

According to the next sentence, the recommendation is based on host support.

#8 @obenland
15 months ago

  • Owner set to obenland
  • Status changed from new to accepted

#9 @obenland
15 months ago

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from accepted to closed

Fixed in [dotorg13830].

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