I seldom go to the web host’s control panel as most tasks can be accomplished through SSH and its file transfer tool. While checking through to make sure that my automated post insertion program was running as expected, I noticed that media files uploaded through the WordPress admin interface were owned by the web server! This is bad because I would no longer be able to manage or delete the files. Although it’s unlikely that the files will be deleted, I should be able to do so if required.
Since there was nothing I can do about the file ownership, I raised a support request with pair.com. They were very efficient and replied in just a few hours. The rogue file were restored to my username and I can now delete and modify them. They also provided a solution to solve the problem of WordPress uploads coming under the ‘nobody’ user. That involves using a cgi wrapper to run PHP under my own username. They helpfully provided a link to the instructions.
Once I had that setup, I tried uploading a file and found that it is indeed under my own username. Another problem solved.