Heads-up for bloggers who use WordPress — watch those plugins

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This is a heads-up for all you bloggers out there who use WordPress — watch those plugins. I had a very bad experience with two specific plugins in recent weeks, one I just discovered the problem with today.

A friend of mine was trying to post a comment on one of my other blogs, and he said it would not accept his comment and was making the comment go away when he tried to submit it. When he hit “submit,” he would get a screen showing this message:

“Sorry, there was an error. JavaScript and Cookies are required in order to post a comment.

“Please be sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled in your browser. Then, please hit the back button on your browser, and try posting your comment again. (You may need to reload the page)”

After some research via Google, the WordPress.org support forums, and some trial-and-error with the blog, I discovered the problem: a plugin called “wp-spamfree” was preventing anyone from commenting on that blog and throwing up that error message. I deactivated the plugin, and now the commenting function on that blog works fine. I also discovered the plugin “CommentLuv” (I wasn’t using it; others at the wp forum were) does the same thing to prevent comments.

So if you use WP for your blog and have noticed a drop-off in the usual number of comments you get — check about plugin conflicts.

One other very perplexing and downright frightening plugin conflict reared its ugly head just today. I came to this blog to edit one of my previous posts. When I hit “edit,” the title of the post showed up in my edit screen in WP — but the contents of the post disappeared and I couldn’t get a cursor into the screen where the body of the post was supposed to be showing up!

That’ll give you start, for sure!

In that case, I tried deactivating “addons” in my Firefox browser at the suggestion of someone on the WP support forum — no help. I then remembered I installed a plugin yesterday called the “Kish Manage Multiple WordPress Blogs” plugin. From the minute I had installed it, it simply showed a settings screen but never worked. Unfortunately, I still had it installed and activated.

That proved to be the culprit. Once I deactivated “Kish,” all the editing functions and post comments came back to me.

So, bloggers, if you do use WordPress — watch those plugins. Watch carefully after you install ANY plugin, looking for odd behavior on your blog. WordPress is wonderful software. And the thousands of WP plugins out there can be very useful to extend and enhance WordPress. Or, they can be plugins that don’t play well with others and do some nasty stuff. Be on guard.

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