Thursday, January 16, 2020

Technical Problems

Ever started something and wished you hadn't?  I've just spent my entire evening trying to sort out some problems with The Sleaze.  What should have been straightforward - updating the theme, PHP version and various plugins - quickly turned into a nightmare involving numerous 500 errors (which take the front end of the site offline).  The whole process wasn't helped by a server error at my web host, which took everything offline for nearly an hour.  The problem with the site was that something was breaking the htaccess file (causing those 500 errors) every time a plugin was updated, installed or deleted.  In what I thought was a separate problem, something else was affecting the way the back end of the site was displaying, rendering some functions inoperable and interfering in the functioning of the theme.  Over many years of using Wordpress, I've learned that these things usually come down to either a conflict between plugins or a single rogue plugin. Finding out which plugin or plugins are involved is a lengthy process of trial and error, involving deactivating the plugins and reactivating them all singly to try and ascertain which one is causing the problem.

Needless to say, it was the very last plugin I tested which turned out to be the culprit.  It was an insignificant SEO-related plugin which hadn't played a significant role in years, yet it was behind both problems, creating havoc.  Once it was deactivated, everything was back to normal.  Just like that. All so bloody frustrating.  But such are the pleasures of running one's own website.  That's one of the advantages of using such things as Blogger (as this blog does) - somebody else deals with technical problems of this kind.  The disadvantage, of course, is the lack of control you have over most aspects of the site, the restrictions which are sometimes placed upon the kind of content you can publish and the possible censorship which, consequently, might be applied.  Anyway, solving these problems over at The Sleaze have taken up my evening to the extent that I haven't been able to come up with a proper post for today.  Don't worry, I'm about to watch something called Vampire Orphans, a DVD I was given for Christmas, thereby supplying potential material for a future post.

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