I’ve been using WordPress for over six years now. I have a WordPress database on my hosting service. I also have a couple of blogger blogs and although I like them both I prefer my main, professional blog on WordPress (mainly because I’ve been using it so long and customizing it, and I’m used to it). I haven’t been using my blogger blogs as long as my WordPress blog and I don’t have as many additional features as I do on my WordPress blog. In WordPress additional features are called plugins. I love plugins. They allow me to add functionality to my blog to make it more fun for me and, hopefully, more interesting to any who read my blogs.
Having so many plugins does cause problems. Every now and then a plugin will have an error or something and that will affect the whole WordPress database. For instance, earlier this month my blog went blank. Not the posts because I could see them I just couldn’t log in. Every time I tried to log in or was logged in and tried to access one of the admin pages I would just get a blank page after minutes of loading. I let that go on for a long time because I didn’t put all the clues together. I kept getting thrown off by the fact that my posts were showing up just fine. And really, if the posts are showing up, then I’m not in any real rush to find out what was causing the problem.
The clues that I was overlooking started with the first clue, that it looked as though I was still logged in, I just couldn’t access any admin page. That, again, was the one that threw me off as in the past when I had problems like this the whole blog was down and prompted me to figure something out quickly. The biggest clue was my second clue, that this happened no matter which browser I used or if I tried it on my Macbook, my iPhone, or my iPad. That should have been the clincher because it proved that it wasn’t a browser problem.
Still I looked through forums and asked on Twitter if anyone was having problems. Since I ruled out browser and platform I wondered if it was a WordPress problem. No such luck. I tried repairing the database from my host admin website but that didn’t work. And this went for day after day and week after week because I’d try something new every few days (coinciding when I’d get an idea for a post which was never written). Last week, after reading through a bunch of forums and hearing nothing on Twitter, I finally found some information that pointed to the plugins. I’ve had that happen before but was lucky enough to had just installed a plugin. If WordPress goes down after installing a plugin, deactivate it and don’t use it again! That has always worked for me.
But this time I hadn’t installed any new plugins, which is another reason I didn’t consider that as the cause. So I went to my WordPress folder via FTP and renamed the plugins folder (just put a ~ in front of the file name), and viola! I was again able to log in and see my admin pages after weeks of being unable to write! So I took the ~ off of the plugins folder and re-launched my dashboard admin page and still everything worked. But now all my plugins were deactivated. All my beautiful plugins turned off. That was not cool.
Just to be sure I activated all my plugins at once, all 43 of them, and just like that I was no longer able to view my admin pages. I was back to minutes of waiting only to see a blank page. So I renamed the folder again and repeated the process. I also updated WordPress because there was a new update. 3.5. This time I started activating my plugins one by one. Two still didn’t work and some others I decided to not activate because they didn’t seem to be of much use anyway. So I now have 20 of the original 43 plugins activated, which do things like add a Google+ button on my posts, automatically backup my WordPress database, allow people to subscribe to my posts via email, add a tag cloud, allow me to search for free photos right from where I type my blog, the Odiogo button to have my posts read to you, and other cool features. Plugins offer really cool features for blogs. One of the two I lost was a spam blocking plugin called Bad Behavior. I’ll wait and see if they have an update because it has worked for years with no problems. The other plugin was my Counterize plugin, which gives me stats. As much as blogging is not about the number of hits I get it is nice to see that others are reading what I have here. I like to see what people are searching for that I have posted about and which of my posts are being accessed via those searches. One thing I noticed after all of this is that my Counterize plugin went from having one plugin to having multiple plugins. Like each feature of the counter, like stats by country, was now a separate counter plugin. This might just be what the new update did. Either way, I can’t use it because activating the main Counterize plugin denies me access to my admin pages.
So after renaming the Counterize folder and reinstalling it with the latest update, it still doesn’t work! Currently, my blog is working and I’m able to log in, log out, and access my admin pages, but I don’t have any stats. I can live without them even though I plan on activating it once there’s another update to Counterize or WordPress to see if it will work again. It’s nice to see which of my pages are most helpful and that there are, indeed, people reading my posts.
Anyone out there having problems with Bad Behavior or Counterize?