Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.


Okay, I think things are finally (more-or-less) back in shape around here. Sorry about the problems you might encountered here over the past few days. I finally upgraded this site to WordPress 2.1, but I encountered some problems along the way. The problems were really indirectly related to the upgrade, and turned out to be my own dumb fault.

On Friday, I decided to use my lunch hour to perform the upgrade. I backed up my database and my wp-content directory, deleted all the old WP files (I traditionally haven’t bothered with that step, but I knew that several files were renamed/outdated, and I wanted to do some general housecleaning anyhow), installed the new ones, and upgraded the database schema via wp-admin/upgrade.php. Everything looked fine. I switched the theme over to Sandbox and activated the ‘Rockem Sockem’ skin that I had created previously. Then I began activating my sidebar widgets to get my sidebar set up the way I wanted. It was around this time that I started noticing problems…

I started seeing really slow page loads and blank pages, and most of the time when I tried to access an admin page, the browser would time out, or think that it needed to download the page instead of display it. The load on the server was higher than usual, so I figured it was spammers hammering my site at a bad time. Except that when I watched my logs, I really didn’t see much suspicious activity. I wrestled with this for a while, still thinking that high server load was causing the site to have problems. I figured that perhaps upgrading from PHP4 to PHP5 might gain some improvements, and spent a few hours compiling PHP 5.2.0 and recompiling all the associated extensions that I needed. Nope, that didn’t seem to help.

Then at some point, on a whim, I brought up my wife’s web site, which runs on the same server. And what do you know — it came up just fine. I could also login and navigate the admin pages without any problems. Sooooo, the problem was just in my site. Probably a malfunctioning plugin. I disabled all the plugins by renaming the plugin directory temporarily and reloading the page (WP will automatically disable any plugins that it can’t load up, in case you weren’t aware of that trick). Voila, the pages loaded fine. I began re-enabling plugins one-by-one, starting with the ones I was most sure were okay, gradually working down to the likely culprits. Until I finally found it. It was my Now Playing widget, which I had recently (and hastily) refactored. Arg! It was my own fault that I had been having so many problems!

I haven’t narrowed down the exact nature of the problem yet, so that widget remains off. I suspect that the root of the problem is in the old Amazon search library that I’ve been using. I had meant to write my own, updated, stripped-down functions for that, but hadn’t gotten around to it, yet. I suppose I’ll be doing that soon(ish).

So, with that said, welcome to the new improved geek ramblings, powered by WordPress 2.1!

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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8 Responses to Upgraded

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