WordPress - fixing sites with problems

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How to diagnose and fix problems of sites running WordPress, especially older sites that may not have been well-maintained or updated.

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  • WordPress - fixing sites with problems

    1. 1. WORDPRESS Diagnosing and fixing sites with problemsVictoria Pickeringdesignreinvented.comPresented at WordPress DC, February 21, 2012
    2. 2. images missing?rss feed odd?problems with the menu?sidebar content not appearing correctly?etc.
    3. 3. DONT IMMEDIATELYCHANGE THE THEME Theme = presentation layer??? (not always - watch out for lots of functionality bundled with some themes)
    4. 4. WHEN TO UPDATE WORDPRESS?
    5. 5. BACKUP• database• theme files• plugin files• media files - and look for media files in non-traditional places
    6. 6. TRY THE QUICK FIXES FIRST
    7. 7. Deactivate all plugins, andreinstall one-by-one deactivate DONT delete(some plugins dont have deactivation link)
    8. 8. WEB HOST PROBLEMS• PHP and MySQL versions (try Health Check plugin)• .htaccess restrictions, other permission problems• space and speed
    9. 9. MINOR FIXES ex: css {display:none;}preferably done by creating a child theme
    10. 10. IF QUICK FIXESDONT WORK
    11. 11. STEP #1: GET ALL THE PASSWORDS• WordPress admin• hosting account, and FTP access• domain registration• paid theme or paid plugin accounts• Google account (Feedburner, analytics)• third-party services (Paypal, YouTube, etc.)
    12. 12. STEP #2: RUN EVERY TEST • code validation • rss feed test • accessibility test • YSlow • without images enabled • without Javascript enabled • different screen sizes, browsers, mobile devices
    13. 13. STEP #3: TAKE SNAPSHOTS • main pages of site • admin screens
    14. 14. STEP #4: LOOK AT ALL THE FUNCTIONALITY • admin screen options • page template options • active plugins • etc
    15. 15. STEP #5: TALK TO SITE OWNER• What site functionality is necessary?• What admin screen options and layout are necessary?
    16. 16. STEP #6: DECIDE ON THETESTING ENVIRONMENT• live on the site (have ftp access!)• site under Maintenance Mode• plugins - like Theme Test Drive• under a non-visible sub-directory of the site• usea different web host or private server (dont let the site be visible to search engines)
    17. 17. STEP #7: TESTING PHASE
    18. 18. BIG DECISION: STAY WITH THEME?• Stay with the theme (and add a child theme)• Use a new theme• Use a new theme, but borrow some parts that are difficult to re-create from the existing theme (subject to licensing)
    19. 19. STAY WITH THEME?• quality of theme• time• level of knowledge• site owners preference (what do his colleagues and competitors use?)
    20. 20. SOURCES OF INFORMATION • WordPress.org • Stack Exchange • comments in functions.php • theme or plugin - readme files, theme forums or help desks
    21. 21. Theme-Check pluginWP_DEBUG (set in wp-config file)other plugins:• debug bar• log deprecated notices (thank Nacin!)• debogger
    22. 22. COMMON PROBLEMS AND HACKS
    23. 23. • deprecated functions• conflicting functions (without prefixes)• Jquery loaded multiple times (enqueue!)• missing wp_head or wp_footer hooks• blank lines outside of php tags• no sidebar ids• posts cut and pasted from Word without stripping out code• unnecessary hard-coding
    24. 24. • corrupt core WordPress files• database corruption• large number of database queries• problem redirects
    25. 25. • Menus (custom menus introduced June 2010)• Sidebars (dynamic sidebars introduced Dec. 2008)• Comments (threaded comments introduced Dec. 2008)• Custom post types (introduced June 2010)• iframes and embeds (auto embed introduced Dec.)• IE hacks
    26. 26. "SHORTCODE MADNESS" [highlight] some text [/highlight]
    27. 27. IMAGES (featured images introduced Dec. 2009)• custom fields and custom sizes• images stored in non-standard places• TimThumb (and security issues)
    28. 28. THEME "LOCKIN" code embedded in posts, or unique database fields• lookfor a plugin (ex. SEO migration, search- and-replace)• think about time it would take to change posts manually (dont republish with new date)• might be possible to leave old posts as is, and implement changes for new posts
    29. 29. Theme or plugin lock-in isnt always bad(from the customers viewpoint)
    30. 30. FINALIZE DECISION• Stay with the theme (and add a child theme)• Use a new theme• Use a new theme, but borrow some parts that are difficult to re-create from the existing theme (subject to licensing)
    31. 31. // LEAVE COMMENTS

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