How to install PHP on Windows Home Server / IIS 6.0

While there are several tutorials on the Internet that explain how to install PHP on Windows Home Server (WHS) / IIS 6.0, I noticed that many of these tutorials are not precise and some even miss important steps in the process that could benefit the average user. Those who know their way around IIS and have basic knowledge of editing code would not have any trouble following the instructions that are currently out there in “www World.” However, a good portion of WHS users, especially HP WHS users, are not advanced users and need a step-by-step guide that will allow them to install PHP without jumping through hoops and over hurdles. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or waste the *online-ink* by writing yet another tutorial on this topic, but I feel it is necessary to cover every step in the process so the installation is flawless. I am going to cover the steps that I believe are the most efficient so we can knock this out.

It is extremely important that each step in the installation process is followed exactly as outlined below. If you read everything carefully you will have PHP running in no time. Although the installation process seems lengthy, it will not take too much time once you get the ball rolling. I went a bit overboard when writing this tutorial, but I rather be thorough so everyone has a shot at a successful installation opposed to cutting corners in my tutorial and leaving people hanging.

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How to create WordPress Pretty Permalinks on IIS / WHS

Soon after I installed WordPress on my Windows Home Server (WHS) which runs IIS I realized my permalink options were limited since IIS does not support mod_rewrite. I definitely wanted to produce Pretty Permalinks, therefore, I spent some time searching plausible solutions that would mimic mod_rewrite capabilities so I could accomplish this goal. What I found were several workaround tutorials that explained how to create 404 redirects while others provided instructions on how to use PHP and INI files in association with a ISAPI Rewrite Filter. Nonetheless, I was not interested in going through all the tedious steps in these workarounds so I continued doing my homework. Thanks to a project on Google Code I was able to find a solution that works perfectly and only takes minutes to implement.

Before I take you through the steps let me back up a minute for those of you who are not familiar with Pretty Permalinks. Permalinks are the permanent URLs to individual blog posts, as well as archives, categories, and other blog postings. According to WordPress, “Pretty Permalinks is the idea that URLs are frequently visible to the people who click them, and should therefore be crafted in such a way that they make sense, and not be filled with incomprehensible parameters.” For example, if you choose the permalink “Month and Name” option it would produce a URL that would look like this:

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