How to connect Jetpack for WordPress to GoDaddy: Fix PHP version to 5.3 for Windows Hosting

Let’s play a quick round of guess, ok?

You’re a GoDaddy hosting customer with a WordPress site on its shared Windows web server, want to connect Jetpack to WordPress.com but failed with the ambigious server error 500 or ran into the following message if your site displays detailed errors:

The FastCGI process exceeded configured activity timeout

If my score’s at least 4 out of 6 then this post might brighten up your day with a quick and easy solution: use PHP version 5.3 in your hosting configuration. Read on for step-by-step instructions or an alternative fix if you’ve already upgraded or downgraded to version 5.3 and you’re still experiencing connection issues.

Step-by-step instructions to set the PHP version to 5.3 in GoDaddy’s Hosting Panel

  1. Log into your GoDaddy-account (or click the link in step 3)
  2. Click Launch on the web hosting row, followed by the Manage button
  3. Select “Programming Languages” (in the menu More or Settings below the Options pane)
  4. Select “PHP 5.3” displayed at the right from PHP Version followed by clicking the Continue button
  5. Wait 20 to 45 minutes to let this change get into effect at GoSlowDaddy (seriously)

Now try again to connect Jetpack to WordPress.com.

That worked for my hosting account that used the later 5.4 version. WordPress should also work perfectly fine with this version, but this ain’t the first time GoDaddy’s weird shared server configuration screwed me over. In case you’re still a struggling GoDaddio, try the alternative fix below (if you’re unwilling to switch to a Linux-plan or better provider).

GoDaddy “supports” PHP applications such as WordPress on Windows web servers running Microsoft Internet Information Services with a plugin named FastCGI for IIS. That’s the process the error message refers to if your site shows those detailed errors. Apparently this frigging FastCGI process takes too long to let GoDaddy juggle your Jetpack, hook up with WordPress.com, flirt a bit, maybe some foreplay and then hardcore action. 😇

Alternative fix: increase the activityTimeout value of FastCGI in web.config

So without further ado, here’s the alternative fix in highlights you might wanna try in your web.config file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
<system.webServer>
	<fastCgi>
		<!-- Change PHPpath to path in error message e.g. PHP, PHP5 or PHP53 -->
		<application fullPath="C:PHPpathphp-cgi.exe" activityTimeout="10000"/>
	</fastCgi>       

	<!-- around 11 lines of WordPress rewrite rules -->
	<!-- Debugging purposes only | Set "Custom" or "DetailedLocalOnly" in production -->
	<httpErrors errorMode="Detailed"/>
</system.webServer>
<system.web>
	<!-- Debugging purposes only | Set "RemoteOnly" -->
	<customErrors mode="Off"/>
</system.web>
</configuration>

Feel free to drop me a line in the comment box below how one of these fixes worked out for you or not.

PS. No more playing guess games here. I promise, since “no guessing” is rule #1 in the consultant’s playbook that’ll unfold on Consulting As Navigator at Van-Zand in 2015 and beyond. Go on, follow me to receive automatic updates for free. Also as free as possible from very technical stuff. Unless explained in consultative metaphors, naughty ones or both.

One Comment

  1. Guys, it’s official: I filed for divorce from GoDaddy. He just didn’t perform well, let me down every morning and just doesn’t like to play with mommy’s JetPack.

    I’ve moved from his American home to a new place much closer: Amsterdam. And guess what? Turns out I got my very own cybervilla there for even a lower price. So cheaper, faster and no sharing! 😀

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