What To Do When WordPress Update Fails

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
What To Do WhenWordPresss Update Fails

The dreaded updates. Sometimes, it’s a bit more scary like a blank page, appearing like the site disappeared. At other times, it’s frustrating stuff like not being able to log into the admin. Then there are smaller annoyances like things disappearing, and visual editor is gone. In working with WordPress over 10 years, this is what I know for sure. Your site usually hasn’t disappeared or been deleted. Could it happen, yes but not often. 90% of the time, it is either: Theme incompatibility Plugin incompatibility Upload or upgrade process didn’t complete properly or somehow the files are corrupted. Also, your posts are not gone. Here’s why. An upgrade overrides the files. Not the database. These are two systems working together to deliver your content. Unless your database is corrupt, usually you are good to go. Step 1 Before you do anything it might be a good idea to backup first. What did you say? Backup? I can’t even get into WordPress how am I supposed to backup? Ah! That’s one of the reasons you should always have an alternative backup option. You could, Backup your files the manual way Use a third party host-level backup Why backup at this late

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From time, to time, you may not be able to log in to your WordPress admin area. To troubleshoot, you may need to disable your WordPress plugins. Before you begin, this process absolutely requires FTP or cPanel access. In this tutorial, we show you using cPanel. You could achieve the very same thing using FTP as well. There are two methods here. One for disabling all plugins and disabling one plugin only at the bottom. Using your browser, log into your web hosting cPanel, look for a tool named File Manager. A new window will open and you will see a file browser much like your computer. Locate the wp-content folder. Double click it. Disabling All Plugins On the next screen, locate the plugins folder. Click once to select it and immediately after, click again to enable editing. It’s slower than double click but don’t wait too long between clicks either. Change the name, then hit Enter on your keyboard. If that is too difficult, use the Rename button instead. With the plugins folder still selected, click the Rename button. A popup will appear. Enter the new name of the plugins folder then click Rename File.     The result

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For whatever strange reason, sometimes when you are writing or editing your WordPress post or pages, you might find certain options missing. This could be anything from the Categories options Tags Options and even some plugin options that all should be there. It’s frustrating. Especially the built in ones you know have got to be there right? This very problem drove me up the wall once and I spent countless hours trying to fix and once I found the solution I kinda felt silly. Turns out the screen options for that metabox (that’s the WordPress term for these boxes of options) were turn off. So if you find something missing in your post editing screen, check your screen options first. It is located on the top right corner of every screen in WordPress.


You go upgrade your WordPress site using the usual one click upgrade and BAM! It fails. Ugh. Maybe you’re equipped with the skills to manually upgrade it and you do it, you click the database to update and everything should be good right? Noooo… you had to get this error “An automated WordPress update has failed to complete” WHAT? How can that be? You just manually upgraded it and it went OK how do you get this message off? Here’s how. Fire up your FTP program or log in to cPanel. Find the upgrade folder found inside the wp-content folder and remove it. Then, inside the same folder wp-config.php is found, you will likely see a .maintenance file. Get rid of that too and the error will be gone.

WordPress Widgets No Longer Drag-able

Monday, February 20th, 2012
Add widget in compatability mode

Here’s a chance for you to have a good laugh at my expense. Once while working on a WordPress site (something I do all day long), I clicked on Widgets to manage the different pieces of content for the site’s sidebar and home page. When the Widgets screen loaded, it looked really strange for some reason and all of a sudden, I could not drag and drop anymore. I’d been working on the site for several hours that day doing a ton of things so backtracking was going to be super hard. Still, I tried to do so but nothing worked! In a panic, I did the usual troubleshooting mental checklist, disable all plugins, revert to default theme. No drag and drop and the screen was still looking really awkward. This time, my all powerful tool Google didn’t have any good answers for me either. You know what? After a good hour trying to figure this out, on a whim I clicked on Screen Options up on the top of the Widgets screen, clicked Disable accessibility mode and voila! It all came back. This is one of those times I smack the forehead and go DuH! I simply could not

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A client contacted me last week to say she had lost the link to add plugins in the admin area on her WordPress powered blog. I don’t often sweat these things because 99% of the time they are easily solved. Sadly this one was not as obvious. As usual, the first few things I’d try are to disable all plugins, revert to default theme. That didn’t work. When that happens, you know it is a WordPress core or database issue. I’d even go as far to say there’s about a 99% chance it’s a database issue. Before I went digging in the database there was one more common solution to try that almost always worked. That is, create a new admin user or if you already have another admin user, log in as the secondary admin user then change roles of the original admin and change them back to admin. This sometimes ‘resets’ the permissions. In this particular case, it didn’t work and I actually had a feeling it won’t because both admin users were experiencing the same problem. This is a good indicator the database is somehow corrupted. At least the user tables were. Because of that, I went

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One way

This interesting question came into my inbox today. This gentleman did a redirect where the old page was static HTML and the new page is powered by WordPress. To keep the traffic flowing properly, he created 301 redirects. However, there is a problem. Apparently, users who visited the old HTML pages before were still being served the old pages and those who never visited before were served the new pages. So he wants to know how we can prevent that. Despite it all, there’s very little information to work with here. All I can think off are a few scenarios. Browser cache. If that is indeed the case, a quick refresh or clearing of browser cache will take care of the problem. However, we cannot force this upon the user so in this case, if the user contacts you, you should advise them to reload or clear their browser cache otherwise, there is little we can do to force it as a webmaster. Old HTML page still present. Depending how the redirect is done, I’ve experienced cases where the redirect is ignored if the old HTML page is still present. This usually happens if you’re using a plugin like redirection.

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The built in upgrade and plugin update feature in WordPress is an absolute dream. Sure I know how to do it all manually but yuck, who wants to when you have tens of sites to handle? But the update process can be… well let’s just say finicky. You know, I kinda expect that. It is difficult if not impossible to create software that would work on every web server in the world now and forever – that would be perfection and we all know it doesn’t exist. But what really stumped me is, two sites on the very same server. One update works flawlessly and the other always burps. ARGH! In fact, Kelly McCausey asked me about this issue once on a call because she too experiences this on some clients’ sites. Funnily, some plugins update and some don’t on the same site for her. It’s all so strange. I didn’t have an answer for her then but I may now. Possible Solution 1 Repair database tables. This is the furthest solution from my mind. My database tables seemed healthy. There were no problems maybe just a high overhead on one table so I went into phpMyAdmin to first optimize

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Why Won’t My Videos Upload?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

A friend was trying to upload like 10 videos to a clients’ site but somehow after the 4th uploading quit and she’d get like unfinished files. No matter what she tried it would not go. What gives? My first suggestion in these cases is always, always, always check your disk space. She didn’t mention the size of the videos but my guess is, they are almost always large. Depending on the size of the web hosting account, one could max out your space pretty easily using videos and so many to boot. Reaching the limit is what I’d say was the culprit. Especially after a few of them loaded easily. An alternative is to host your videos on Amazon S3. By the way, inside TechBasedTraining Pro, there’s a training sheet how to do that just that step-by-step.

Have You Checked Your Disk Space?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

In the last two weeks, I was reminded of something that is oh so very easy to overlook. Check your website disk space. Here’s what happened. First, a client asked for help because the script we developed for her quit working. This is our normal reaction – me included. When a script fails. Something is wrong with the script! But after some quick research, it seems the script quit working because the web hosting account is full. This is not true of all scripts. But if you have a system that adds data to your database on a regular basis e.g. blog posts, blog comments etc, you’ll fill up your database faster than you think. Especially when you get hit with some major traffic and people start commenting like crazy. Now admittedly it does take a lot of data to fill up even a smallish hosting plan. Depends on what is added to the database and your hosting plan. Yet, never say never. You might just be popular overnight  The other incident happened on my very own servers. I wasn’t getting emails like I normally do. One or two would slip by, but the volume of mail was just not normal. Turns out, due

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