Fix Passthru System & Exec errors with WordPress Database Manager

I’ve been using WP Database Manager for years now. I reckon it’s the best WordPress Database management plugin. As well as backing up your database it handles automatic optimisation and repair of your database and you can set both that and the backup to run automatically on a schedule. Occasionally though it throws a wobbly. For example it was working fine for me for ages then all of a sudden started giving the following error on the “Backup DB” screen. Admittedly, it might have been due to me updating something on my VPS:

"Checking PHP Functions (passthru(), system() and exec()) ...
passthru() disabled.
system() disabled.
exec() disabled.

I'm sorry, your server administrator has disabled passthru(), system() and exec(), thus you cannot use this backup script. You may consider using the default WordPress database backup script instead."

The above error meant that database backups couldn’t run which rendered the plugin useless.

Here’s a quick fix:

Create a file called “php.ini” and upload it to your wordpress/website root folder. Add the following code to your existing .htaccess file and re-upload:

suPHP_ConfigPath /home/YOUR-ACCOUNT/public_html

order allow,deny
deny from all

Swap “YOUR-ACCOUNT for the username on your hosting account.

PS – The above fix might be considered a security risk for some shared hosting providers.