Posts Tagged ‘wp’

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Fix WordPress after interrupted upgrade

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017


I've recenty tried Update my WordPress blog sites and being unattentive I've selected all the plugins possitble for Upgrade by checking the "Select All" check box on the Update dialogs and almost automatically int he hurry pressing Update button however out of a sudden I've realized I could screw up my websites brutally as some of the plugins to upgraded might be lacking 100% compitability with their prior versions.

I've made a messes out of my blog many times during upgrades because of choosing to upgrade the wrong not 100% compatible plugins and I know well how painful and hard to track it could be a misbehaving incompatible plugin or how ot could cause a severe sluggishness to blog which automatically reflects on how well the website search engine ranked in Google / Yahoo / Bing indexed etc.

Thus as an almost unconcsious reaction to prevent myself the future troubles I've tried to cancel the update request in Firefox browser and trying to reload the Update page with a hope that I might be quick enough for the Apache / WP / MySQLbackend Update Update queries request to be delaying for processing but I was too slow and bang! I ended up with the following unpleasent message in my browser:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance.

As you could guess that message caused me quite a lot of worries at hand especially since I've already break up my sites many times by doing quick unmindful reactions and the fact that there is Google Adsense ads appearing which does give me some Return on Investment cents every now and then …

It took me few minutes of research online to find what really happened and how to fix / resolve the WebSites normal operations.

So what causes the Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. appears ?

When WordPress does some of its integrated maintenance jobs a plugin enable / disable or any task that has to modify crucial configurations inside the database WordPress does disable access to all end clients to itself in order to protect its sensitive data to appear to browser requestors as showing some unexpected information to end client browser could be later used by crackers / hackers or a possibly open a security hole for an attacker.

The message is wordpress generated notice and it is pretty normal for the end user to see it during the WP site installation update depending on how many plugins are installed and loaded to the site and how long it will take for the backend Linux / Windows server to fetch the archived .zips of plugins and substitute with the new ones and update the files extracting them to wp-content/plugins and updating the respective required SQL database / tables it could be showing for end users from few secs to few minutes.

However under some circumstances on Browser request timeout to remote wordpress site due to a network connectivity issue or just a bad configuration of Apache for requests timeout (or a slow remote server Apache responce time due to server Hardware / Mem overload) or a stupid browser "Stop" / cancel request like in my case you end up with the Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance and you can can longer access the your Admin Panel.

The message is triggered by a WP craeted file .maintenance inside /var/www/blog-site/ e.g. WordPress PHP scripts does check for /var/www/blog-site/.maintenance
existence and if it is matched the WP scripts does generate the Briefly unavailble … message.

How to resolve the "Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute" WordPress error ?

As you might guess removing the maintenance "coming soon" like message in most of the cases comes to just deleting the .maintenance file, to do so:

1. Login to remote server via FTP or SFTP
2. Locate your WP website root folder that should be something like /var/www/blog-site/.maintenance and issue:
issue something like:

$ rm -rf /var/www/bog-site/.maintenance

Assuming that some plugin Update .zip extraction or SQL update query did not ended being half installed / executed that should solve the error.
To check whether all is back to normal just refresh your browser pointing to the "broken" site. If it appears well you can thank God for that 🙂
If not check the apache error logs and php error logs and see which of the php scripts is failing and then try to manually fetch and unzip the WP .zip package to wp-content/plugins folder and give it another try and if God bless so it will work as before 🙂

How to prevent your WP based business in future from such nasty errors using A Staging site (test) version of your blog ?

Just run a duplicate of your website under a separate folder on your hosting and do enable the same plugins as on the primary website and copy over the MySQL / PostgreSQL Database from your Live site to the Staging, then once it is enabled before doing any crucial WordPress version updates or Plugins Update always do try the Upgrade first on your Test Staging site. If it does execute fine there in most of the cases the result should be the same on the Production host and that could solve you effors and nerves of debugging a hard to get failure errors or faulty plugins without affecting what your End users see.

If you're not hosting the WordPress install under your own hosting like me you can always use some of the public available hostings like  BlueHost or WPEngine


Share this on

Remove URL from comments in WordPress Blogs and Websites to mitigate comment spam URLs in pages

Friday, February 20th, 2015

If you're running a WordPress blog or Website where you have enabled comments for a page and your article or page is well indexing in Google (receives a lot of visit / reads ) daily, your site posts (comments) section is surely to quickly fill in with a lot of "Thank you" and non-sense Spam comments containing an ugly link to an external SPAM or Phishing website.

Such URL links with non-sense message is a favourite way for SPAMmers to raise their website incoming (other website) "InLinks" and through that increase current Search Engine position. 

We all know a lot of comments SPAM is generally handled well by Akismet but unfortunately still many of such spam comments fail to be identified as Spam  because spam Bots (text-generator algorithms) becomes more and more sophisticated with time, also you can never stop paid a real-persons Marketers to spam you with a smart crafted messages to increase their site's SEO ).
In all those cases Akismet WP (Anti-Spam) plugin – which btw is among the first "must have"  WP extensions to install on a new blog / website will be not enough ..

To fight with worsening SEO because of spam URLs and to keep your site's SEO better (having a lot of links pointing to reported spam sites will reduce your overall SEO Index Rate) many WordPress based bloggers, choose to not use default WordPress Comments capabilities – e.g. use exnternal commenting systems such as Disqus – (Web Community of Communities), IntenseDebate, LiveFyre, Vicomi

However as Disqus and other 3rd party commenting systems are proprietary software (you don't have access to comments data as comments are kept on proprietary platform and shown from there), I don't personally recommend (or use) those ones, yes Disqus, Google+, Facebook and other comment external sources can have a positive impact on your SEO but that's temporary event and on the long run I think it is more advantageous to have comments with yourself.
A small note for people using Disqos and Facebook as comment platforms – (just imagine if Disqos or Facebook bankrupts in future, where your comments will be? 🙂 )

So assuming that you're a novice blogger and I succeeded convincing you to stick to standard (embedded) WordPress Comment System once your site becomes famous you will start getting severe amount of comment spam. There is plenty of articles already written on how to remove URL comment form spam in WordPress but many of the guides online are old or obsolete so in this article I will do a short evaluation on few things I tried to remove comment spam and how I finally managed to disable URL link spam to appear on site.

1. Hide Comment Author Link (Hide-wp-comment-author-link)

This plugin is the best one I found and I started using it since yesterday, I warmly recommend this plugin because its very easy, Download, Unzip, Activate and there you're anything typed in URL field will no longer appear in Posts (note that the URL field will stay so if you want to keep track on person's input URL you can get still see it in Wp-Admin). I'm using default WordPress WRC (Kubrick), but I guess in most newer wordpress plugins is supposed to work. If you test it on another theme please drop a comment to inform whether works for you.  Hide Comment Author Link works on current latest Wordpress 4.1 websites.

A similar plugin to hide-wp-author-link that works and you can use is  Hide-n-Disable-comment-url-field, I tested this one but for some reason I couldn't make it work.

Whatever I type in Website field in above form, this is wiped out of comment once submitted 🙂

2. Disable hide Comment URL (disable-hide-comment-url)

I've seen reports disable-hide-comment-url works on WordPress 3.9.1, but it didn't worked for me, also the plugin is old and seems no longer maintaned (its last update was 3.5 years ago), if it works for you please please drop in comment your WP version, on WP 4.1 it is not working.


3. WordPress Anti-Spam plugin

WordPress Anti-Spam plugin is a very useful addition plugin to install next to Akismet. The plugin is great if you don't want to remove commenter URL to show in the post but want to cut a lot of the annoying Spam Robots crawling ur site.

Anti-spam plugin blocks spam in comments automatically, invisibly for users and for admins.

  • no captcha, because spam is not users' problem
  • no moderation queues, because spam is not administrators' problem
  • no options, because it is great to forget about spam completely

Plugin is easy to use: just install it and it just works.

Anti bot works fine on WP 4.1

4. Stop Spam Comments

Stop Spam Comments is:

  • Dead simple: no setup required, just activate it and enjoy your spam-free website.
  • Lightweight: no additional database queries, it doesn't add script files or other assets in your theme. This means your website performance will not be affected and your server will thank you.
  • Invisible by design: no captchas, no tricky questions or any other user interaction required at all.

Stop Spam Comments works fine on WP 4.1.

I've mentioned few of the plugins which can help you solve the problem, but as there are a lot of anti-spam URL plugins available for WP its up to you to test and see what fits you best. If you know or use some other method to protect yourself from Comment Url Spam to share it please.

Import thing to note is it usually a bad idea to mix up different anti-spam plugins so don't enable both Stop Spam Comments and WordPress Anti Spam plugin.

5. Comment Form Remove Url field Manually 

This (Liberian) South) African blog describes a way how to remove URL field URL manually

In short to Remove Url Comment Field manually either edit function.php (if you have Shell SSH access) or if not do it via Wp-Admin web interface:

WordPress admin page –> Appearance –> Editor

Paste at the end of file following PHP code:


add_filter('comment_form_default_fields', 'remove_url');
 function remove_url($fields)
 return $fields;

Now to make changes effect, Restart Apache / Nginx Webserver and clean any cache if you're using a plugin like W3 Total Cache plugin etc.

Other good posts describing some manual and embedded WordPress ways to reduce / stop comment spam is here and here, however as it comes to my blog, none of the described manual (code hack) ways I found worked on WordPress v. 4.1.
Thus I personally stuck to using Hide and Disable Comment URL plugin  to get rid of comment website URL.

Share this on

Optimize WordPress Pictures with EWWW Image Optimizer, Async JS and CSS and Autoptimize for better Search Engine Ranking

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014



While optimizing picture performance with console tools optipng, jpegoptin, jpegtran, pngcrush (could save you a lot of server space and make pictures downloads faster (and hence increase your website responsiveness and SEO – check out), still for Blogs and WebSites based on WordPress its not worthy to loose time with console acrobatics but simply use EWWW Image Optimizer to Optimize all old or new uploaded Images.

To work EWWW Image Optimizer needs jpegtran, optipng, pngout and gifsicle to be installed on the Linux / BSD server. EWWW Image Optimizer can load the command line tools also from a Cloud, if a cloud service is running on the server. Once installed the plugin does scan all the imported WordPress Media files and can be run to optimize picture files on present blog psot / pages.

EWWW Image Opitimizer plugin does a good job in reducing file size on  NextGEN, GRAND FlAGallery galleries.


Here is how EWWW Image Optimizer works taken from plugin's website:
How are JPGs optimized?

Lossless optimization is done with the command jpegtran -copy all -optimize -progressive -outfile optimized-file original-file. Optionally, the -copy switch gets the 'none' parameter if you choose to strip metadata from your JPGs on the options page. Lossy optimization is done using the outstanding JPEGmini utility.
It is better if the server has not the jpegtran, pngout, gifsicle utilities installed as the plugin provides an uptodate static compiled Linux binaries.

How are PNGs optimized?

There are three parts (and all are optional). First, using the command pngquant original-file, then using the commands pngout-static -s2 original-file and optipng -o2 original-file. You can adjust the optimization levels for both tools on the settings page. Optipng is an automated derivative of pngcrush, which is another widely used png optimization utility.

How are GIFs optimized?

Using the command gifsicle -b -O3 –careful original file. This is particularly useful for animated GIFs, and can also streamline your color palette. That said, if your GIF is not animated, you should strongly consider converting it to a PNG. PNG files are almost always smaller, they just don't do animations. The following command would do this for you on a Linux system with imagemagickconvert somefile.gif somefile.png


Some othe plugins that could strenghten your WordPress Search Engine Optimization ranking worthy to check are:

  • Async JS and CSS

Most importantly plugin solves "Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS" warning shown during site audit with  Google Developers PageSpeed InsightBy the way Google PageSpeed Insight is a precious tool so I recommend you check if you already haven't, Google's suggestions could often double or triple daily site visitors 

What Async JS and CSS does is:

Converts render-blocking CSS and JS files into NON-render-blocking, improving performance of web page


The plugin makes ALL scripts loaded by other plugins to be loaded in asynchronous. All CSS files will be inserted inline into the document code or moved from the document beginning to the end, just before closing BODY tag (or just where you placed wp_foot() function). There are various methods to do that via plugin configuration page.

  • Autoptimize





Autoptimize speeds up your website and helps you save bandwidth by aggregating and minimizing JS, CSS and HTML.

What does the plugin do to help speed up site?

It concatenates all scripts and styles, minifies and compresses them, adds expires headers, caches them, and moves styles to the page head, and scripts to the footer. It also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page really lightweight. Autoptimize is very much like WP Mnify (CSS / JS) minifaction WP plugin. The only difference and reason why you might want to use WP Mnify is it does HTML minification – something that WP Minify does not. Both plugins play nice together the only thing to be careful is not to configure CSS / JS minification in both Autoptimize and WP Minifyas this might slower instead of fasten the WP site.

A great bunch of other useful WP plugins to make a WordPress Blog friendly to Search Engines is here.

Share this on

Manually deleting spam comments from WordPress blogs and websites to free disk space and optimize MySQL

Monday, November 24th, 2014

If you're a web-hosting company or a web-development using WordPress to build multitudes of customer blogs or just an independent blogger or sys-admin with a task to optimize a server's MySQL allocated storage  / performance on triads of WordPress-es a a good tip that would help is to removing wp_comments marked as spam.

Even though sites might be protected of thousands of spam message daily caught by WP anti-spam plugin Akismet, spam caught messages aer forwarder by Akismet to WP's Spam filter and kept wp_comments table with comments_approved column  record 'spam'.

Therefore you will certainly gain of freeing disk space uselessly allocated by spam messages into current MySQL server storage dir (/var/lib/mysql   /usr/local/mysql/data – the directory where my.cnf tells the server to keep its binary data .MYI, .MYD, .frm files) as well as save a lot of disk space by excluding the useless spam messages from SQL daily backup archives.

Here is how to remove manually spam comments from a WordPress blog under database (wp_blog1);

mysql> use wp_blog1;
mysql> describe wp_comments;
| Field | Type | Null | Key | Default | Extra |
| comment_ID | bigint(20) unsigned | NO | PRI | NULL | auto_increment |
| comment_post_ID | bigint(20) unsigned | NO | MUL | 0 | |
| comment_author | tinytext | NO | | NULL | |
| comment_author_email | varchar(100) | NO | | | |
| comment_author_url | varchar(200) | NO | | | |
| comment_author_IP | varchar(100) | NO | | | |
| comment_date | datetime | NO | | 0000-00-00 00:00:00 | |
| comment_date_gmt | datetime | NO | MUL | 0000-00-00 00:00:00 | |
| comment_content | text | NO | | NULL | |
| comment_karma | int(11) | NO | | 0 | |
| comment_approved | varchar(20) | NO | MUL | 1 | |
| comment_agent | varchar(255) | NO | | | |
| comment_type | varchar(20) | NO | | | |
| comment_parent | bigint(20) unsigned | NO | MUL | 0 | |
| user_id | bigint(20) unsigned | NO | | 0 | |

The most common and quick way useful for scripting (whether you have to do it for multiple blogs with separate dbs) is to delete all comments being filled as 'Spam'.

To delete all messages which were filled by Akismet's spam filter with high probabily being a spam issue from mysql cli interface:

DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 'spam';

For Unread (Unapproved) messages the value of comment_approved field are 0 or 1, 0 if the comment is Red and Approved and 1 if still it is to be marked as read (and not spam).
If a wordpress gets heavily hammered with mainly spam and the probability that unapproved message is different from spam is low and you want to delete any message waiting for approvel as not being spam from wordpress use following SQL query:

DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 0;

Another not very common you might want to do is delete only all apprved comments:

DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 1;

For old installed long time unmaintained blogs (with garbish content), it is very likely that 99% of the messages might be spam and in case if there are already >= 100 000 spam messages and you don't have the time to inspect 100 000 spam comments to get only some 1000 legitimate and you want to delete completely all wordpress comments for a blog in one SQL query use:

TRUNCATE wp_comments;

Another scenario if you know a blog has been maintained until certain date and comments were inspected and then it was left unmaintained for few years without any spam detect and clear plugin like Akismet, its worthy to delete all comments starting from the date wordpress site stopped to be maintained:

DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_date > '2008-11-20 05:00:10' AND comment_date <= '2014-11-24 00:30:00'

Share this on

How to disable WordPress Visual Editor to solve problems Editor / Post problems after upgrade to WordPress 4.0

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Recently, I've upgraded to latest as of time of writting WordPress 4.0. The upgrade went fine however after upgrade even though I've upgraded also the CKEdit for WordPressVisual Editor stopped working. To solve the issue, my logical guess was to try to disable CKEditor:

(Plugins -> Ckeditor for WordPress (Deactivate)

However even after disabling, default WP Visual Editor continued to be not showing properly – e.g. the Publish / Save Draft / Preview buttons pane as well as the usual format text menu buttons (set text to Italic, Bold, Underline Text,  Create New Paragraph etc.) was completely missing and it was impossible to write anything in the text edit box like you see in below screenshot:


I've red a lot on the internet about the issue and it seem a lot of people end up with the WordPress broken Visual Editor issue after upgrading to WP 3.9 and to WordPress 4.0. A lot of people did came to a fix, by simply disabling all WP plugins and enabling them one by one, however as I have about 50 WordPress plugins enabled in my WP blog disabling every plugins and re-enabling was too time consuming as I had to first write down all the plugins enabled and then re-enable them one by one by hand (after re-installing the wordpress version) testing after each whether the editor works or not ..
Therefore I skipped that fix and looked for another one. Other suggestions was to:

Edit wp-includes/css/editor.min.css and include at the end of file:

.mce-stack-layout{margin-top:20px}.wp-editor-container textarea.wp-editor-area{margin-top:67px;}

I've tried that one but for me this didn't work out ..

There were some people reporting certain plugins causing the visual editor issues such reported were:

  • NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster
  • Google Sitemaps – Append UTW Tags
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • TinyMCE Advanced (some suggested replacing TinyMCE and related scripts)
  • JS & CSS Script Optimizer … etc.

There were some suggestions also that the issues with Editor could be caused by the Used Blog Theme. It is true I'm using very Old WordPress theme, however as I like it so much I didn't wanted to change that one ..

Others suggested as a fix adding to site's wp-config.php:

define('CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS', false);

Unfortunately this doesn't work either.

Finally I've found the fix myself, the solution is as simple as disabling WordPress Visual Editor:

To disable WP Visual Editor:

1. Go to Upper screen right corner, after logged in to wp-admin (A drop down menu) with Edit My Profile will appear::

2. From Profile screen to appear select Disable the visual editor when writing scroll down to the bottom of page and click on Update Profile button to save new settings:


That's all now the Post / Edit of an Article will work again with text buttons only.

Share this on

Linux: List last 10 (newest) and 10 oldest modified files in a directory with ls

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

An useful thing on GNU / Linux sometimes is to list last or oldest modified files in directory.

Lets say you want to list last 10 modified files with ls from today / yesterday. Here is how:

ls -1t | head -10


To list 10 oldest modified files on Linux:


ls -1t | tail -10

Cheers 😉

Share this on

How to count lines of PHP source code in a directory (recursively)

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Count PHP and other programming languages lines of source code (source code files count) recursively

Being able to count the number of PHP source code lines for a website is a major statistical information for timely auditting of projects and evaluating real Project Managment costs. It is inevitable process for any software project evaluation to count the number of source lines programmers has written.
In many small and middle sized software and website development companies, it is the system administrator task to provide information or script quickly something to give info on the exact total number of source lines for projects.

Even for personal use out of curiousity it is useful to know how many lines of PHP source code a wordpress or Joomla website (with the plugins) contains.
Anyone willing to count the number of PHP source code lines under one directory level, could do it with:::

serbver:~# cd /var/www/wordpress-website
server:/var/www/wordpress-website:# wc -l *.php
17 index.php
101 wp-activate.php
1612 wp-app.php
12 wp-atom.php
19 wp-blog-header.php
105 wp-comments-post.php
12 wp-commentsrss2.php
90 wp-config-sample.php
85 wp-config.php
104 wp-cron.php
12 wp-feed.php
58 wp-links-opml.php
59 wp-load.php
694 wp-login.php
236 wp-mail.php
17 wp-pass.php
12 wp-rdf.php
15 wp-register.php
12 wp-rss.php
12 wp-rss2.php
326 wp-settings.php
451 wp-signup.php
110 wp-trackback.php
109 xmlrpc.php
4280 total

This will count and show statistics, for each and every PHP source file within wordpress-website (non-recursively), to get only information about the total number of PHP source code lines within the directory, one could grep it, e.g.:::

server:/var/www/wordpress-website:# wc -l *.php |grep -i '\stotal$'
4280 total

The command grep -i '\stotal$' has \s in beginning and $ at the end of total keyword in order to omit erroneously matching PHP source code file names which contain total in file name; for example total.php …. total_blabla.php …. blabla_total_bla.php etc. etc.

The \s grep regular expression meaning is "put empty space", "$" is placed at the end of tital to indicate to regexp grep only for words ending in string total.

So far, so good … Now it is most common that instead of counting the PHP source code lines for a first directory level to count complete number of PHP, C, Python whatever source code lines recursively – i. e. (a source code of website or projects kept in multiple sub-directories). To count recursively lines of programming code for any existing filesystem directory use find in conjunction with xargs:::

server:/var/www/wp-website1# find . -name '*.php' | xargs wc -l
1079 ./wp-admin/includes/file.php
2105 ./wp-admin/includes/media.php
103 ./wp-admin/includes/list-table.php
1054 ./wp-admin/includes/class-wp-posts-list-table.php
105 ./wp-admin/index.php
109 ./wp-admin/network/user-new.php
100 ./wp-admin/link-manager.php
410 ./wp-admin/widgets.php
108 ./wp-content/plugins/akismet/widget.php
104 ./wp-content/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/wp-gdata/wp-gdata.php
104 ./wp-content/plugins/cyr2lat-slugs/cyr2lat-slugs.php
652239 total

As you see the cmd counts and displays the number of source code lines encountered in each and every file, for big directory structures the screen gets floated and passing | less is nice, e.g.:

find . -name '*.php' | xargs wc -l | less

Displaying lines of code for each file within the directories is sometimes unnecessery, whether just a total number of programming source code line is required, hence for scripting purposes it is useful to only get the source lines total num:::

server:/var/www/wp-website1# find . -name '*.php' | xargs wc -l | grep -i '\stotal$'

Another shorter and less CPU intensive one-liner to calculate the lines of codes is:::

server:/var/www/wp-website1# ( find ./ -name '*.php' -print0 | xargs -0 cat ) | wc -l

Here is one other shell script which displays all file names within a directory with the respective calculated lines of code

For more professional and bigger projects using pure Linux bash and command line scripting might not be the best approach. For counting huge number of programming source code and displaying various statistics concerning it, there are two other tools – SLOCCount
as well as clock (count lines of code)

Both tools, are written in Perl, so for IT managers concerned for speed of calculating projects source (if too frequent source audit is necessery) this tools might be a bit sluggish. However for most projects they should be of a great add on value, actually SLOCCount was already used for calculating the development costs of GNU / Linux and other projects of high importance for Free Software community and therefore it is proven it works well with ENORMOUS software source line code calculations written in programming languages of heterogenous origin.

sloccount and cloc packages are available in default Debian and Ubuntu Linux repositories, so if you're a Debilian user like me you're in luck:::

server:~# apt-cache search cloc$
cloc - statistics utility to count lines of code
server:~# apt-cache search sloccount$
sloccount - programs for counting physical source lines of code (SLOC)

Well that's all folks, Cheers en happy counting 😉

Share this on

How to fix bug with WordPress domain extra trailing slash (Double wordpress trailing slash)

Monday, July 9th, 2012

How to fix bug with wordpress extra slash, domain double slash issue pic

2 of the wordpress installations, I take care for had been reported an annoying bug today by some colleagues.
The bug consisted in double trailing slash at the end of the domain url e.g.;

As a result in the urls everywhere there was the double trailing slash appearing i.e.::


The bug was reported to happen in the multiolingual version of the wordpress based sites, as the Qtranslate plugin is used on this installations to achieve multiple languages it seemed at first logical that the double slash domain and url wordpress issues are caused for some reason by qTranslate.

Therefore, I initially looked for the cause of the problem, within the wordpress admin settings for qTranslate plugin. After not finding any clue pointing the bug to be related to qTranslate, I've then checked the settings for each individual wordpress Page and Post (There in posts usually one can manually set the exact url pointing to each post and page).
The double slash appeared also in each Post and Page and it wasn't possible to edit the complete URL address to remove the double trailin slashes. My next assumption was the cause for the double slash appearing on each site link is because of something wrong with the sites .htaccess, therefore I checked in the wp main sites directory .htaccess
Strangely .htacces seemed OKAY and there was any rule that somehow might lead to double slashes in URL. WP-sites .htaccess looked like so:

server:/home/wp-site1/www# cat .htaccess
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

# Rewrite rules for new content and scripts folder
RewriteRule ^jscripts/(.*)$ wp-includes/js/$1
RewriteRule ^gallery/(.*)$ wp-content/uploads/$1
RewriteRule ^modules/(.*)$ wp-content/plugins/$1
RewriteRule ^gui/(.*)/(.*)$ wp-content/themes/$1/$2 [L]

# Disable direct acceees to wp files if referer is not valid
#RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} .wp-*
#RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-*
#RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !.*media-upload.php.*
#RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*cadia.*
#RewriteRule . /error404 [L]

# Standard WordPress rewrite
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

Onwards, I thought a possible way to fix bug by adding mod_rewrite rules in .htaccess which would do a redirect all requests to to etc. like so:

RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ /$1

This for unknown reasons to me didn't worked either, finally thanks God I remembered to check the variables in wp-config.php (some month ago or so I added there some variables in order to improve the wordpress websites opening times).

I've figured out I did a mistake in one of the variables by adding an ending slash to the URL. The variable added was:


whether instead it should be without the ending trailing slash like so:


By removing the ending trailing slash:



fixed the issue.
Cheers 😉

Share this on

Fix Null error in WordPress comment reply with wordpress-threaded-comments plugin enabled

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I'm running WordPress for already 3 years or so now. Since some very long time. The first wordpress install, I can hardly remember but it something like wordpress 2.5 or wordpress 2.4

Since quite a long time my wordpress blog is powered by a number of plugins, which I regularly update, whenever new plugins pops up …
I haven't noticed most of the time problems during major WordPress platform updates or the update of the installed extensions. However, today while I tried to reply back to one of my blog comments, I've been shocked that, I couldn't.
Pointing at the the Comment Reply box and typing inside was impossible and a null message was stayed filled in the form:

To catch what was causing this weird misbehaving with the reply comments functionality, I grepped through my /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins/* for the movecfm(null,0,1,null):

# cd /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins
# grep -rli 'movecfm(null,0,1,null)' */*.php

I've taken the string movecfm(null,0,1,null) from the browser page source in in my Firefox by pressing – Ctrl+U).

Once I knew of the problem, I first tried commenting the occurances of the null fields in wp-thread-comment.php, but as there, were other troubles in commenting this and I was lazy to read the whole code, checked online if some other fellows experienced the same shitty null void javascript error and already someone pointed at a solution. In the few minutes search I was unable to find anyone who reported for this bug, but what I found is some user threads on mentioning since WordPress 2.7+ the wordpress-threaded-comments is obsolete and the functionality provided by the plugin is already provided by default in newer WPinstalls.

Hence in order to enable the threaded comments WordPress (embedded) reply functionality from within the wp-admin panel used:

Settings -> Discussions -> Enable Threaded (nested) comments (Tick)

Enable Nested Comments WordPress default wp comments enable reply functionality screenshot

You see there is also an option to define how many nested comments subcomments, can be placed per comment, the default was 5, but I thought 5 is a bit low so increased it to 10 comments reply possible per comment.

Finally, to prevent the default threaded comments to interfere with the WordPress Threaded Comments plugin, disabled the plugin through menus:

Plugins -> Active -> WordPress Thread Comments (Deactivate)

This solved the weird javascript null "bug" caused by wordpress-threaded-comments once and for all.
Hopefully onwards, my blog readers will not have issues with threaded Reply Comments.

Share this on

How to resolve (fix) WordPress wp-cron.php errors like “POST /wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron HTTP/1.0″ 404” / What is wp-cron.php and what it does

Monday, March 12th, 2012

fix wordpress wp-cron.php 404 HTTP error, what is wp-cron.php schedule logo

One of the WordPress websites hosted on our dedicated server produces all the time a wp-cron.php 404 error messages like: - - [15/Apr/2010:06:32:12 -0600] "POST /wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron HTTP/1.0

I did not know until recently, whatwp-cron.php does, so I checked in google and red a bit. Many of the places, I've red are aa bit unclear and doesn't give good exlanation on what exactly wp-cron.php does. I wrote this post in hope it will shed some more light on wp-config.php and how this major 404 issue is solved..

what is wp-cron.php doing?


  • wp-cron.php is acting like a cron scheduler for WordPress.
  • wp-cron.php is a wp file that controls routine actions for particular WordPress install.
  • Updates the data in SQL database on every, request, every day or every hour etc. – (depending on how it's set up.).
  • wp-cron.php executes automatically by default after EVERY PAGE LOAD!
  • Checks all pending comments for spam with Akismet (if akismet or anti-spam plugin alike is installed)
  • Sends all scheduled emails (e.g. sent a commentor email when someone comments on his comment functionality, sent newsletter subscribed persons emails etc.)
  • Post online scheduled articles for a day and time of particular day

Suppose you're writting a new post and you want to take advantage of WordPress functionality to schedule a post to appear Online at specific time:

What is wordpress wp-cron.php, Scheduling wordpress post screenshot

The Publish Immediately, field execution is being issued on the scheduled time thanks to the wp-cron.php periodic invocation.

Another example for wp-cron.php operation is in handling flushing of WP old HTML Caches generated by some wordpress caching plugin like W3 Total Cache
wp-cron.php takes care for dozens of other stuff silently in the background. That's why many wordpress plugins are depending heavily on wp-cron.php proper periodic execution. Therefore if something is wrong with wp-config.php, this makes wordpress based blog or website partially working or not working at all.

Our company wp-cron.php errors case

In our case the: – – [15/Apr/2010:06:32:12 -0600] "POST /wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron HTTP/1.0" 404
is occuring in Apache access.log (after each unique vistor request to wordpress!.), this is cause wp-cron.php is invoked on each new site visitor site request.
This puts a "vain load" on the Apache Server, attempting constatly to invoke the script … always returning not found 404 err.

As a consequence, the WP website experiences "weird" problems all the time. An illustration of a problem caused by the impoper wp-cron.php execution is when we are adding new plugins to WP.

Lets say a new wordpress extension is download, installed and enabled in order to add new useful functioanlity to the site.

Most of the time this new plugin would be malfunctioning if for example it is prepared to add some kind of new html form or change something on some or all the wordpress HTML generated pages.
This troubles are result of wp-config.php's inability to update settings in wp SQL database, after each new user request to our site.
So the newly added plugin website functionality is not showing up at all, until WP cache directory is manually deleted with rm -rf /var/www/blog/wp-content/cache/

I don't know how thi whole wp-config.php mess occured, however my guess is whoever installed this wordpress has messed something in the install procedure.

Anyways, as I researched thoroughfully, I red many people complaining of having experienced same wp-config.php 404 errs. As I red, most of the people troubles were caused by their shared hosting prohibiting the wp-cron.php execution.
It appears many shared hostings providers choose, to disable the wordpress default wp-cron.php execution. The reason is probably the script puts heavy load on shared hosting servers and makes troubles with server overloads.

Anyhow, since our company server is adedicated server I can tell for sure in our case wordpress had no restrictions for how and when wp-cron.php is invoked.
I've seen also some posts online claiming, the wp-cron.php issues are caused of improper localhost records in /etc/hosts, after a thorough examination I did not found any hosts problems:

hipo@debian:~$ grep -i /etc/hosts localhost.localdomain localhost

You see from below paste, our server, /etc/hosts has perfectly correct records.

Changing default way wp-cron.php is executed

As I've learned it is generally a good idea for WordPress based websites which contain tens of thousands of visitors, to alter the default way wp-cron.php is handled. Doing so will achieve some efficiency and improve server hardware utilization.
Invoking the script, after each visitor request can put a heavy "useless" burden on the server CPU. In most wordpress based websites, the script did not need to make frequent changes in the DB, as new comments in posts did not happen often. In most wordpress installs out there, big changes in the wordpress are not common.

Therefore, a good frequency to exec wp-cron.php, for wordpress blogs getting only a couple of user comments per hour is, half an hour cron routine.

To disable automatic invocation of wp-cron.php, after each visitor request open /var/www/blog/wp-config.php and nearby the line 30 or 40, put:

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

An important note to make here is that it makes sense the position in wp-config.php, where define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true); is placed. If for instance you put it at the end of file or near the end of the file, this setting will not take affect.
With that said be sure to put the variable define, somewhere along the file initial defines or it will not work.

Next, with Apache non-root privileged user lets say www-data, httpd, www depending on the Linux distribution or BSD Unix type add a php CLI line to invoke wp-cron.php every half an hour:

linux:~# crontab -u www-data -e

0,30 * * * * cd /var/www/blog; /usr/bin/php /var/www/blog/wp-cron.php 2>&1 >/dev/null

To assure, the php CLI (Command Language Interface) interpreter is capable of properly interpreting the wp-cron.php, check wp-cron.php for syntax errors with cmd:

linux:~# php -l /var/www/blog/wp-cron.php
No syntax errors detected in /var/www/blog/wp-cron.php

That's all, 404 wp-cron.php error messages will not appear anymore in access.log! 🙂

Just for those who can find the root of the /wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron HTTP/1.0" 404 and fix the issue in some other way (I'll be glad to know how?), there is also another external way to invoke wp-cron.php with a request directly to the webserver with short cron invocation via wget or lynx text browser.

– Here is how to call wp-cron.php every half an hour with lynxPut inside any non-privileged user, something like:
01,30 * * * * /usr/bin/lynx -dump "" 2>&1 >/dev/null

– Call wp-cron.php every 30 mins with wget:

01,30 * * * * /usr/bin/wget -q ""

Invoke the wp-cron.php less frequently, saves the server from processing the wp-cron.php thousands of useless times.

Altering the way wp-cron.php works should be seen immediately as the reduced server load should drop a bit.
Consider you might need to play with the script exec frequency until you get, best fit cron timing. For my company case there are only up to 3 new article posted a week, hence too high frequence of wp-cron.php invocations is useless.

With blog where new posts occur once a day a script schedule frequency of 6 up to 12 hours should be ok.


Share this on