WordPress installation hangs on second step

Even though WordPress brags a lot about it’s famous 5 min setup, I noticed that actually a lot of people on the web run into a problem with WordPress installation hanging on the 2nd step (renders blank page instead). This is especially common for localhost setups, where usually the memory resources and CPU cycles would be more of an headache than on live sites.

Solution after the jump.

The devil lies in max_execution_time

The devil most often lies in details, and in this case that’s php.ini. It has a setting max_execution_time which by default is set to 30 (seconds). In slower environments (localhosts, virtual servers with minimal reosurces etc.) that might be not enough for the install.php to complete. The solution is easy, just increase it.

One thing to bear in mind, is that both Apache and IIS have a default timeout directives of 300 seconds (or different if you or your hosting provider has modified it). So you might want to make sure, that this one hasn’t been arbitrarily set to something ridiculously low as well.