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Don’t Update Easy Admin Color Schemes!

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011

The best thing about having multiple blogs is that if I mess one up for whatever reason I know not to do something to the others, and I can then investigate what the issue was.


via Flickr

In this case, the problem is with the latest update of Easy Admin Color Schemes. Some of you may remember when I talked about this plugin last year with glowing colors because it allows you to customize your administration area with all sorts of different colors, something that definitely appeals to someone like me, and if your blog has multiple users, each users can change what they see as well. I still think very highly of the program, just to get that out of the way.

However, there seems to be an issue with upgrading to the latest version, 4.0, that I didn’t know about when I updated it on one of my blogs yesterday. That blog totally locked up and said there was an error or line 30 of the plugin. The problem is that I couldn’t get back into the panel to fix it; in essence, the blog was done, over, kaput, unusable by myself and unreachable by anyone else.

First, the reason. It seems the makers of this plugin decided to upgrade it so that it would be compatible with PHP 5.3 or higher. Most of us are still with 5.2 or lower from our hosts, which means we can’t use the newest version of the plugin. I wish they’d told us that up front, but it doesn’t always work that way it seems.

The fix was easy enough. Since I knew which plugin it was I opened up my FTP program, went into the plugins folder on the server, and totally eliminated the Easy Admin Color Schemes program. When it was gone, my blog was back, less colorful on the inside, but working perfectly.

This is always a danger when we update our plugins. I had the same problem with another plugin this summer, though I can’t remember which one, and had to do the same thing. Remember that with some FTP programs you might have to go into each individual folder to delete files before you can delete the folders. At least I knew which plugin gave me the problem; you always have to keep that in mind as well.
 

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16 Comments »

Carl:

A good practice is to test everything locally or at least this is the way web developers doing it. For few of my websites, I run updates on local WAMP or on my test web server, but for the rest of the websites most of the time, blind update.
Carl recently posted…With National School Choice Week Just One Month Away, Organizers Launch Positive Television Ad CampaignMy Profile

December 21st, 2011 | 8:40 PM

I think doing it my way is kind of local since you’re doing it quickly, deleting your comment, and no one’s the wiser.

December 21st, 2011 | 11:30 PM
Carl:

There is nothing to do with comments, the updates are done works differently, technically this is mirror copy of a website, but on the local hard drive, so local and web copy are synchronised (SVN require root access to be installed). So if the project is busy and cant afford downtime, a problem with plugin update can be really critical. Everything installed and working on local Apache server, as soon as everything is going well, just need to commit changes, will take care of SQL query and files, it wont touch anything else.

December 22nd, 2011 | 8:05 PM

Actually Carl, I responded to this thinking we were talking about the post I had on reviewing comments, so that’s my fault. lol

December 24th, 2011 | 12:17 AM

Thank you for the fix info. I just tried to update the Easy Admin Color Scheme and it broke my WP site as well. Had to follow your directions and eventually got back into the Admin panel and deleted the plugin altogether. I had installed the plugin a while back, but it’s probably not terribly important to the running of my site.

December 22nd, 2011 | 12:19 PM

Phid, it’s not important but it’s definitely fun. I just reloaded the older version back on there and I’ll make sure I don’t update that plugin until my host, one of these years it seems, upgrades to PHP 5.3 or higher.

December 22nd, 2011 | 5:00 PM

Thanks for posting this! I just updated our business blog and freaked out after updating this plugin. I’ve never had this issue before, but now I’m gonna be making weekly backups.

Your fix was perfect and quick. Thanks!
PallMall recently posted…4″ Oval Outlets on sale for week of 12/19 – 12/23My Profile

December 22nd, 2011 | 4:45 PM

Glad to help Jeremy. I know it has to be affecting a lot of people.

December 22nd, 2011 | 5:01 PM
Brenneth:

Hello Mitch!
It’s not to have some colors in your site. Though it’s not really important but it can add attraction to the eye of the readers.
Brenneth recently posted…My Arowana Is Not Eating No Matter What I Do !!!My Profile

December 23rd, 2011 | 2:01 AM

Good to know! I hate when a plug-in messes everything up!

December 23rd, 2011 | 2:22 AM
jim syyap:

I have used about 10 other blogs to hone my writing before this one. I hardly log in to them these days, unless I want to let off some steam writing. Or practice modifying those blogs before I apply changes to my “Official” blog.
jim syyap recently posted…One reason why your site’s bounce rate is so highMy Profile

December 23rd, 2011 | 2:51 AM

Interesting trick Jim. I won’t create a blog unless I’m writing in it, since I pay for all I use.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:24 AM

Hello.

I’m James, the developer of the Easy Admin Color Schemes plugin.

First of all, thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop a quick comment to let you, and everyone who reads this, know that I recently quickly released another new version (4.1) that is compatible with older versions of PHP again.

To allow older versions of PHP I went back to prefixing all the function names with “eacs_” like older versions of the plugin had. It’s not ideal from a code cleanliness and maintainability standpoint, but, it should work right on older versions of PHP now. 🙂

Hopefully PHP 5.3+ will be supported better in the near future so we can rely on really great features like namespacing. But, until then, the plugin should now work for everyone.

Please feel free to let me know if you like the new version. Also, let me know if you run into any problems or find any bugs. I’m always open to feedback.

My site is down right now because I’m working on a re-design, but, you can contact me at:
mail [AT] jamesdimick [DOT] com

Thanks again for using the plugin. I hope it works well for you.

P.S. I hate to ask but, for those of you who love the plugin, please consider donating if you can. Any amount is appreciated. 🙂
http://jamesdimick.com/support-my-work

December 27th, 2011 | 3:21 AM

Thanks for checking in James. Unfortunately there’s still an issue, which I’ve sent you email about.

December 27th, 2011 | 10:04 AM

Yep…still issues…
PallMall recently posted…4″ Oval Outlets on sale for week of 12/19 – 12/23My Profile

December 27th, 2011 | 10:08 AM

Well, after some correspondence with Mitch over E-Mail, I think we’ve narrowed it down to a permissions issue. For some reason his account is not receiving the proper permissions upon activation of the plugin.

The plugin has several “capabilities” which ensure that only authorized users can mess with the plugin features. By default, the plugin adds these capabilities to anyone with the “administrator” role. Mitch told me that his account is in fact an administrator, so, I’m not sure why the proper “capabilities” were not added to his account.

I will look into this issue further but so far I can’t seem to recreate it myself.

For anyone else having similar issues, and has some spare time, please try installing the Capability Manager
(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/capsman/) plugin and check to see that your account has the proper permissions.

And again, please feel free to contact me at: mail [AT] jamesdimick [DOT] com

Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused…

December 27th, 2011 | 5:32 PM