Plugins Behaving Badly and Password Problems.

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Have you had a problem with plugins behaving badly and the unintended consequences of changing account log in details?

You are not alone, I recently had experiences of both.

Here’s what I noticed on my main blog:

  • Facebook’s Networked Blogs app not posting to my page.
  • RSS feed not working.
  • Onlywire syndication service not posting to Google+ page.

There were two separate problems. Lets deal with the easy one first.

A few weeks ago. I got a warning message from Google that an attempt had been made to change the password on my main Gmail account, the one that is linked to all my Google accounts. As it provided a time, IP address and location showing that the attempt was not made from my computer, I followed the advice and immediately changed my password.

A few days later, I noticed that Onlywire was no posting my blog posts to my Google+ pages. I had by this time discovered the second problem and thought they were connected. They were not.

I had forgotten that Onlywire requires the correct log in details to be able to syndicate posts to the accounts for which it has been set up. Change these details and Onlywire cannot log in and post.

The lesson here is to check and update all the services that require log in details whenever email or social media account passwords are changed.

The second issue was a bit more complicated and took longer to sort out.

I started with the networked blogs app, every thing looked correct, it confirmed the RSS feed was valid, but there were no recent posts for that blog showing.

Then I went to Feedburner, same thing, feed was valid but no recent posts. By using the troubleshooting option, I arrived at a list of several errors that could have been the problem. Most of the fixes required the editing of files that was beyond my limited abilities. For some reason I thought of checking settings on a few plugins before going further.

More by luck than design, I found that my cache plugin was not set up correctly, I still do not know what had caused it to go out of sync but as soon as I deactivated, un-installed and re-installed it, all was back to normal.

The RSS feed had not been working for 3 weeks before I fixed the problem, that meant that not only was my Facebook page not being updated, my email and RSS subscribers were not receiving updates.

There was one more unintended consequence. My autoresponder is set to email a summary of the previous 5 blog posts as soon as that number is reached. That is about every 10 days. No summaries had been sent for 3 weeks, when the problem was fixed, the system sent out two email summaries the same day which meant an explanatory email was required. A third summary went out 2 days later.

The takeaways here are:

  • Check automatic syndication and curation services frequently.
  • Check that RSS feeds are valid and up to date.
  • Check settings and operation of plugins.
  • Think about all the consequences of changing login details.
  • Fixing the original problem sometimes causes more problems.

Peter Wright

 

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