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Internal Server Errors And Plugins

Posted by on Sep 13, 2009

I’ve been having all sorts of issues with my dashboards ever since WordPress 2.8 came about. I also kept having Internal Server Error 500 pop up from time to time. With 2.8, I actually found a fix for it, and that should have been that.

But with each update, that fix wasn’t working so much. None of my blogs worked well after 2.8 anyway, and we had to keep updating. And the WordPress people kept updating every two weeks, and that was irritating because automatic upgrade wouldn’t work for me. When WordPress 2.8.4 came out, I decided I wasn’t upgrading at all; nope, just wasn’t doing it.

That is, until I started reading all the news about blogs that hadn’t updated being hacked into and basically having all content destroyed. Man, nothing will get you moving faster than scary news like that. So, I finally updated all my blogs; one had already been updated when I was hoping to fix something else, but it hadn’t fixed my issue.

Over the last couple of days I’ve been getting that Internal Server Error thing over and over, and never when doing the same thing. I was going nuts, and I was trying to check plugins and even thought about reloading my software. And I was right on the verge of doing that when I decided, based on research, that it had to be the plugins, or at least some of them.

I started with my business blog, which was having the most issues. I turned off all plugins except Akismet. Then I went to the dashboard; it was working perfectly. Slowly and surely, I added one plugin at a time, to see which one would make the dashboard stop working. I was hoping it was only one, and I was hoping it would be WP Super Cache, which I’d just loaded.

Turns out it was WP Super Cache; but it wasn’t alone.I had to kill four other plugins as well. Those were Broken Link Checker, Gravatar, Why Do Work Adsense, and WP Ajax Edit Comments. I couldn’t believe it was all of them, but there it was. The only one that’s really bothering me a lot is Broker Link Checker, because it works great. The others,… well, I’d like to have them, but I really don’t need them.

I turned on WP Super Cache because my blog had been running a little sluggish, and I thought that would take care of it. Turns out it didn’t do anything, as there was another plugin that was recommended to use with it, but it wouldn’t work on my blogs because, supposedly, my host is running PHP version 4 instead of version 5. I might not have the terminology fully correct, but I have the essence and the numbers correct. Anyway, it didn’t work on this blog, so it doesn’t really matter that I’m removing it, for the second time.

I then went to my finance blog and deactivated the same plugins, if I had them there, and went to the dashboard. There was still a problem. I had a feeling I knew what the problem was, and I was correct; my plugin called Backup WP was the problem. It’s the only blog I had it on, as I use WordPress Database Backup on the other blogs, so I’ll just switch to that and things will be just fine.

Then I came to this blog and did the same thing, and there you are; all is right with the world once more. Now, what I want to make sure I say is that I don’t know that one of these plugins may work well on its own, but doesn’t play well with another plugin that I loaded first. However, I loaded the plugins I really felt I needed first, and if they worked, then I moved on to the next one.

Anyway, now I’ll monitor things over the next few days to see if I get that error again. I hope not; this can be quite tiring. Check out your plugins if you have any problems. Deactivate them all first if you need to, like I did the first time around, and if you have no problems after that, you definitely know it’s a plugin issue. Good luck,

Woo Pom Pom Scarf

Woo Pom Pom Scarf






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12 Comments »

John Sullivan:

Hi When I first saw this my first thought was Mitch must be using 1and1.com as his host:) Anyway because I have experienced probs on both sides server and plugin I was able to write some basic advice and fixes.Instead of dropping a link I added the URL as my website:)
Hope all is well 🙂 I actually blew up my server the other night and wrote about that also it’s a more recent post on the front page that also has some tips on what to do when your Blog BLOWS UP LOL 🙂 Sites is looking awesome
stumbled thanks
.-= John Sullivan´s last blog ..Fun140 is a new cool FUN site =-.

September 13th, 2009 | 9:06 PM
Mitch:

Thanks John. You know, often we just go along and let these things get to us, but just let them stick around as long as we can keep doing our main thing. And yes, 1&1 is an interesting host, but other that one issue last August, they’ve not done me all that wrong. I’m just happy things are working again.

September 14th, 2009 | 1:37 AM

I’m not really an “expert” in WordPress but maybe your site was running sluggish because of the number of plugins you were using. I’ve read somewhere that if you use a lot of them, it could slow down the site’s loading time.

September 13th, 2009 | 10:39 PM
Mitch:

Well Terry, there’s always been the debate on that one, as no one’s been able to decide what a lot of plugins is. Some folks are running upwards of 50 plugins without having any issues. I think the thing that’s probably the worst is some combinations of plugins not working with each other, but you’re never sure which ones those will be.

September 14th, 2009 | 1:39 AM

hi Mitch,
I haven’t upgraded my blog (2.6.something) since I first set it up a year ago for the exact reasons you describe. If something ain’t broke, why “fix” it.
But then I must have read the same posts about getting hacked as you did, and FINALLY upgraded to 2.8.4. I had to do it manually and it took a while (along with an ample dose of nervousness due to “what if?”) but now it’s done. Maybe I’ll write a post about it.
Anyway, I hope that’s it for a while. Just like you, I need to now verify that everything is working. Yet one more thing to do. 🙂 ~ Steve, the upgraded trade show guru
.-= Trade Show Guru´s last blog ..Top Ten Non-Tools for a Tool Box =-.

September 14th, 2009 | 10:58 AM
Mitch:

Steve, sometimes we’re pulled kicking and scratching into those things that are there to protect us in some fashion. We do what we have to do, and I’m glad you’ve joined the rest of us before 2009 is over. lol

September 14th, 2009 | 6:40 PM

You know what is weird Mitch? I also used WP Super Cache,Broken Link Checker, Why Do Work Adsense, and WP Ajax Edit Comments and I wasn’t having your problem at all. At least not till I moved to BlueHost, and then it turned out to be WP Super Cache.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..September Contest Update =-.

September 21st, 2009 | 7:32 AM
Mitch:

I think a lot of plugin problems are due to the host at this point, Sire. One of the plugin folks I contacted said my host wasn’t running something called PHP5, and it needed that to work with the plugin. Tech support has no idea what that is, so I guess I’m stuck.

September 21st, 2009 | 9:27 AM

You should be able to work it out by checking your Cpanel. I’ve looked at mine and they’re running PHP5
.-= Sire´s last blog ..A Step By Step Guide Of Hosting Your WordPress Blog =-.

September 21st, 2009 | 10:18 AM
Mitch:

My host doesn’t have Cpanel, believe it or not. That’s the only thing that’s kind of wrong with it.

September 21st, 2009 | 3:41 PM

Man, that’s a bummer. Must use a different system or something?
.-= Sire´s last blog ..September Contest Update =-.

September 21st, 2009 | 7:21 PM
Mitch:

Yeah, I’d have to say that. Something else I can mention, though, is that, with 1&1, a person doesn’t have to load the WordPress software, as it will do it automatically.

September 21st, 2009 | 7:48 PM