Troubleshooting a Blank Admin Screen in WordPress

I recently ran into an issue where I couldn’t login to the admin side of my blog. Actually, I couldn’t even get to the login screen. Instead, I just saw a blank white screen when I tried accessing the Admin login screen.

Here is how I ended up fixing the problem.

1. I took this advice on how to locate what’s causing the problem. In my case, I’m hosting my site with MediaTemple, so I logged into Plesk > My Domain > Log Manager > and downloaded error_log. I recommend downloading that file rather than viewing it in a browser because it can be huge.

2. Scrolling to the very bottom of that file (most recent errors) I found this:

PHP Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter – headers already sent (output started at /var/www/vhosts/thedeets.com/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/all_in_one_seo_pack.php:4194) in /var/www/vhosts/thedeets.com/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 227

so in my case, the All in One SEO Pack plugin and the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin both seemed to be causing problems.

3. Disabling plugins. It’s normally very easy to disable a plugin. Just login, click on Plugins, then click the disable link next to the ones you want to turn off. But what if you can’t log in? phpMyAdmin to the rescue.

Open your database using phpMyAdmin, click the wp_options table, then browse the contents for the active_plugins variable. Click edit. Select all and cut all of the content out of the option_value box. Paste it into a text file for backup. Click Go. You’ve now disabled all of your plugins.

4. Try logging into your site again. You may want to close and reopen your browser to clear the cache first. If one of your plugins was causing the problem you should now be able to login.

5. After logging in, click to your Plugins settings and re-activate plugins one by one to make sure things work for you. Do the ones that caused problems for you last. If you manage to lock yourself back out, go back to #3.

Pussy Ranch Has Left the Building

Diablo Cody has relocated her blog, Pussy Ranch, from CityPages to Blogger.

If you haven’t read her stuff, check it out. Hilarious.

She says the reason for her move was the pain of uploading photos to the Citypages server. I can’t say that I have experience with that, but I can tell you that Blogger may not be the #1 choice for blogging. Personally, I think she would have been better off going with a WordPress hosted blog. That would give her more control over images and site design than what Blogger offers.

Looking at the state of local media site’s blogging platforms, I have to say that most of them suck or haven’t really been thought out. They’re missing basic stuff like comments, trackbacks, easy image or video embedding, RSS feeds (or at least well designed RSS feeds), and limited integration with the rest of the sites.

If I had to name one local media site with the poorest blogging strategy to date, I’d say the Pioneer Press holds that title. It’s a mess.

View Random Posts on The Deets

For those of you who can’t get enough of The Deets, you now have an easy way to find warmed over content from the past using this random post thingy:

http://www.thedeets.com/?random

Clicking that URL will automatically take you to one of the 1162 and counting posts on this site.

I’ll get around to adding a button to the site when I’m good and ready.

If you’re running WordPress, here’s the plugin.

The Deets Goes Mobile

For those of you who’ve been accessing The Deets from a mobile device, let me tell ya: I felt your pain. Scrolling through all that stuff on the left margin before getting to the first post kinda sucked.

However, I didn’t feel your pain enough to actually do anything about it until I stumbled upon the WP-Mobile plugin, which auto-detects mobile browsers and serves up a much more mobile friendly version is the site. A few minutes later, it was up and running.

If you want to give it a try, just go to www.thedeets.com from your mobile device. You should see recent post headlines with links to each post. And yes, you can post comments using the mobile version too.

Apostrophe-less Mobile RSS Posts

If you happen to be one of my fabulous readers who reads my blathering using a mobile RSS reader like Bloglines Mobile, you may have noticed that I don’t like using apostrophes. I’d just like you to know that I’m not really opposed to apostrophes. The problem appears to be caused by WordPress taking my rather boring straight up and down apostrophes and turning them into sexier slanted apostrophes, which Bloglines mobiles then fails to display.

So, while I may have plenty of grammatical issues, I swear putting an apostrophe between the ‘n’ and ‘t’ in ain’t ain’t one of them.