So it took a good 15 hours from start to finish with Server 2008. This is why I don’t really like to do upgrades unless I absolutely have to. I finally nailed down a configuration of Server 2003 that doesn’t crash or give me headaches, and here I am upgrading again!
To add insult to injury, it appears that one of my drives in the RAID 1 array failed, so I have to replace that. That explains some of the weird error emails I got a few months ago that the array spontaneously started rebuilding itself.
Configuring PHP on Windows can be quite a deck of cards… I previously had an installation of PHP that worked, so I just copied the directories whenever I needed a new PHP install. That was using PHP_ISAPI. From what I’ve read, IIS 7 really likes to use FastCGI, for various performance reasons.
I tried several methods of installing PHP… copying old configs, installing an MSI… I tried installing and uninstalling, and tried CGI and ISAPI, and WordPress would not behave. After much troubleshooting, I found a lot of modules weren’t being initialized… I won’t get into it, but needless to say, the documentation and installation MSI for PHP is totally fubar.
I finally settled on the FastCGI installer, and was able to get a test PHP page working. The main WordPress page would load up, but any inner pages would produce an “internal server error”. I messed with PHP lots more,but finally found the issue (after about 5 hours of troubleshooting).
The issue was the WordPress theme I was using. More specifically… the comments snippet wasn’t designed for WP 2.7. Using another theme works just fine. I did more reading, and apparently there are some inconsistencies when using the ISAPI instead of CGI.
So, it was a long haul, but I finally have WordPress running with gZip AND Output caching at the same time — something that even WP-super-cache won’t do. I even have URL rewrites working. Now all the features people really needed in Apache for is now in IIS 7.
Serving a WordPress page is now many multitudes of times faster, and can certainly handle high traffic from a slashdot or Digg…
I’ll still do some more testing, but it looks like I finally have a stable WordPress platform with no compromise on features.