There are several design decisions, typically for performance and security that impose some limitations on developers who may be used to certain practices. We've tried to document practical limitations of Altis, with rationale to assist developers in writing more bug free, optimized code on Altis.

Filesystem Not Writable

The root filesystem outside of the uploads directory (returned by wp_upload_dir()) is not writable on Altis. It's also possible to use sys_get_temp_dir() to write to the temporary filesystem when needed. This is to protect code-base integrity, and prevent malicious code being able to adjust the code base in the event of a security breach.

As such, plugin and WordPress Core updates can not be performed from within the WordPress Admin, and should always instead be made via the GitHub repository as a code change.

Uploads Directory Stored Remotely

On Altis the uploads directory is a remote stream wrapper, this means you should not perform filesystem reads excessively. For example, no page render should cause a filesystem read. Store any details you need to render a page about a file in the database.

User Agent Not Available

Due to caching rules, the User Agent is not detectable from PHP. Any User Agent specific requirements (such as targeting mobile devices) can be enabled by Human Made to provide device-type headers, or such checks should be performed in JavaScript.

This also means the wp_is_mobile function will not work as intended, and should not be used.

Referer Header Not Available

Due to caching rules, the HTTP Referer header is not available in PHP. Any requirement for the referrer should be passed as a GET or POST parameter on the referring page.

Web Requests to PHP Files

Direct access to PHP files is not allowed on Altis, outside of /wp-admin/*. For example, a request for will fail. All requests for PHP should be routed via WordPress' rewrite rules or similar.

Execution Time Limit

All web requests are subject to a 60-second maximum execution. Anything that requires more time than this should be offloaded to a background cron task using wp_schedule_single_event() or similar. See Scheduled tasks for more information.

No Custom PHP Modules

We do not support requests for custom PHP modules. The PHP modules we have installed are listed on the specifications page. Contact Human Made to discuss the inclusion of other modules in this list.

WP_Filesystem Not Supported

The WP_filesystem WordPress API is not currently supported on Altis, this is typically only used in plugin / WordPress Core updates which should instead be performed by GitHub Pull Requests.