When I’m too smart for tech support…

This isn’t the first time I’ve contacted web hosting tech support only to find out they couldn’t help me and managed to fix the problem myself. This time the support on the other end was HostGator.

To their credit, the rep I talked to seemed to genuinely want to help. However, after 40 minutes it was determined that he couldn’t help, because the plan my client was on was an unmanaged level 1 VPS, and they only provide support for level 3 or higher. Or something.

The issue was with mod_rewrite — an Apache module that makes urls look like http://this.awe/some/url/ as opposed to http://this.ugh/?p=123. I was setting up a WordPress multisite and mod_rewrite just wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing. I checked the httpd.conf in /etc/httpd/ (as opposed to /etc/apache2/ where it usually lives) and it was enabled. I checked and double-checked and triple-checked my .htaccess file. I even (later) went in to make sure the mod_rewrite.so file actually existed. It did. After their support was unable to help, I started looking at installing mod_rewrite. It was through that search that I found this post on installing mod_rewrite, which ultimately led me to this line that needed to be added to (in my case) the httpd.conf:

     Options FollowSymLinks
     AllowOverride None All

In my case, the Options FollowSymLinks was already there. AllowOverride was set to None. All I needed to do was add All. Done. URL rewriting fixed.

Thus far, I’m relatively happy with this HostGator server, but lacking the slightest bit of support for this issue (in my case, merely adding All to the right directive in the httpd.conf) was a major inconvenience (and a waste of time).


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