Posts tagged “troubleshooting”

While doing routine troubleshooting I noticed an error appearing multiple times in the server log (a truncated version is replicated below).

WordPress database error Unknown column 'actioned_text' in 'field list' for query SELECT ... FROM wc_admin_note_actions WHERE ...

Messages in the server log are not necessarily problematic but when the same one is logged multiple times that’s probably a sign to start investigating.

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Now this was a head-scratcher: the BackupBuddy settings on 5 of my client websites simply reset for no apparent reason. And that means the websites were not being automatically backed up. Not good.

After chatting with iThemes Support (the people who make BackupBuddy), I learned that connectivity issues between the website and database can fool BackupBuddy into thinking there are no settings causing the plugin to revert to defaults. Connectivity issues could be due to DDoS attacks or a problem with the hardware. iThemes said they are aware of this issue and have built in more checks but as is life they can’t account for every single scenario.

Fortunately I caught the problem during a routine maintenance check on a client’s website. BackupBuddy now comes with a way to export the plugin settings so it’s a good idea to save a copy just in case.

Chrome’s Network tab alerted that a client’s website was downloading Roboto from Google Fonts. The problem was that we weren’t using Roboto for this project. After some troubleshooting we discovered Roboto was being downloaded on pages displaying an embedded Google Map. Why, Google?

Thankfully, Stack Overflow has a pretty simple solution.

BackupBuddy by iThemes is a wonderfully simple solution for WordPress backup and migration. That is, when it works. On a hunch I decided to check my website backups and discovered that while database backups were fine BackupBuddy was failing to create full website backups. Even worse, emails that were supposed to notify me of the errors were not being delivered.

Yeah, that’s not good.

Now before you jump the gun and completely write-off iThemes, the TL;DR of this post is that there was nothing wrong with BackupBuddy; Acunetix WP Security had added an unreadable file to prevent directory listing. After adjusting some settings I got everything to work again.

If BackupBuddy is failing to create full website backups, check if unreadable files have been added to the file hierarchy. Take particular note of security plugins (e.g. from Acunetix & Sucuri).

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I ran a test update on a client’s WordPress website using our test environment and was surprised to see that updating to WordPress 3.8.1 killed all permalinks. Not good. The website used WooCommerce and after some investigation I managed to find a work-around: completely delete WooCommerce and re-install it. This will require you to reconfigure WooCommerce in the back-end Administration. None of my products appeared to have been touched so that’s a plus.

As of writing, WooCommerce is officially compatible with WordPress up to 3.7.1 with 4 people saying the plugin is broken in 3.8.1. That ought to be sufficient warning but the support forum only has a couple complaints. One thread even identified the issue as a conflict with Yoast SEO.

I figure there must have been some conflict with the page routing because not only were WooCommerce pages throwing a 404 but ordinary WordPress pages were as well. When I fell back on WordPress’ default hyperlink structure, everything was hunky-dory. Since Yoast SEO also has options affecting permalink structure, I wouldn’t be surprised if this and plugins like it would further complicate the issue.

If your WordPress website is using permalinks and you find that updating to 3.8.1 causes pages to throw 404 errors, I hope this helps you.