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bloom1creative

Custom / Saved Section goes blank

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bloom1creative

Hey chaps

 

I think I've mentioned this before but not made a dedicated topic.

 

I often save sections out to remember them, which works often and well.

 

I do find however about 20% of the time I fear for my life when I add a saved section to a page, and upon refresh the section appears blank, and all the linked ones are also then blank and I will need to remake the whole thing.

 

There seems to be no pattern to this and I have multiple sites hosted across the board, ranging from MAMP, Heart VPS to Fasthosts shared hosting.  This error occurs on all these platforms, which at a guess I would say the database table that stores the data suddenly some how loses it.

 

I would provide a screen shot/video but I have literally described the error and feel this wouldn't make anything any clearer.

 

So, to summarise.

 

1. I create a section, add the elements I want.

2. Save it as 'section2' lets say.

3. Add it to 5 more pages, all looks fine.

4. Create a few page templates.

5. Could be related - I then often unlink these templates that contain saved sections.

6. Add a saved section to another page, and refresh.

7. Viola, 'section2' is blank along with all the instances of 'section2' on my site, and needs to be recreated.

 

Like I say, about a 20% occurrence, not a one off though.  

 

Also worth noting when I was using Voyant child theme, after I updated it all my saved sections were wiped also.

 

Any guidance or workarounds / fixes for this would be very helpful as I'm tending to avoid using these where possible now to avoid losing all my hard work.

 

Thanks


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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Danny

Hi,

 

What sections are in your custom section ?


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bloom1creative

Hi Danny.

 

Also I have tried disabling plugins but found this to be unrelated.

 

Usually things like custom classes with bg images, text boxes and media boxes.

 

Thanks dude


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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Danny

Can you be more specific please, as I am going to need to know exactly what sections, HTML etc.. you have used so I can attempt to recreate the issue.


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bloom1creative

I really don't think there was anything untoward, I can send you a JSON of the theme I'm using if the saved sections are stored in that which I think they are?

 

It's really nothing that's in the section, or appears not to be at least, but instead the actual information itself that is 'saved', or not as the case may be.

 

It's strange how it goes completely blank though and retains 0 information.


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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Danny

Can you not just tell me what sections you used when creating your section please, as I have just this moment created a basic section using the Canvas section and Masthead and MediaBox below it and I am unable to recreate your issue. I have added this section to 17 templates and not once encountered the issue.

Therefore, to recreate your issue, I am going to need to know exactly what was populating your section2 section. What options you used and any custom code you may have used in those sections ?


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bloom1creative

As I said though, my issue is not what's in the section as I have used many different things each time and it happens regardless.  Also the process I took of making X amount of templates and adding the sections to them is also irrelevant, but was what happened this time for me.

 

As I've said, the sections I used were really basic, a textbox, a media box, two classes and a background image.  Last time, it could have been 4 iboxes and a whole load of custom HTML added content in a text box with classes and backgrounds, and another time me saving out various "Highlight" setups.

 

The point I'm stressing is it is most definitely happening on a regular basis for me, and what's in the saved section is seemingly 100% unrelated, only the fact it looses all the information altogether and goes blank.

 

I would say it's a saving issue but often it's perfectly fine.  I will try and replicate it in a video to prove what I mean as it's very irritating.  I've let it slide so many times as I just know as soon as I post on here they'll be a 101 reasons why it's something I'm doing, but after having experienced it so regularly across the board now on so many different installs, and also workmates I have recommended to use the DMS have the same problems which comes back to me recommending an unreliable system.  The CSS/LESS often wont save first time either and requires 4 or 5 publishes to be sure.  

 

I know you'll say this sounds like a server issue but what could possibly be so wrong with all the instances of the servers I am using (VPS, MAMP, Fasthosts, GODaddy, AMPPS, etc all on different machines controlled by different users) .  There have been no issues whatsoever with any other Wordpress themes/plugins, which is strange.  :/

 

It's also worth mentioning that I have even used a saved section, unlinked it, refreshed, then renamed it to another saved section name so i can alter the background images.  Say I have 8 of these sections, 7 of them may well be fine the whole time, but the 8th will just suddenly go blank all of a sudden as I place it.


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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Danny

So are you saying you're able to recreate this issue on both AMPPS and MAMP ? If so, you're going to need to provide a video showing yourself using a localhost and demonstrate the issue on a local site i.e. make sure the URL is in the recording.

As I have over that few days created several sections and not once had any issue or the sections or options going blank or being removed. 


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bloom1creative

I am indeed, I even stopped using AMPPS as it was doing strange things with the DMS nobody on here could explain and so I needed a more reliable solution and moved to MAMP.

 

The previous site with this issue though was running the Voyant child theme on a live server, not MAMP.  The saved sections worked often, but also broke loads.  The only solution I found that meant I didnt waste client time on it was to have another tab open with the section in that, incase it went blank I could then re-save it from the previous version I had open.

 

I can do that.  I always use the server name of the URL I am building for though as it makes no sense to build on the localhost URL and then have to relink the whole site.

 

This will mean you'll be unable to see "localhost" in the URL.

 

I could move the site though and show it breaking on the localhost url instead.  Or use a clean install of the DMS as I'm certain it will do it, although sods law it will be fine.

 

Cheers


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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bloom1creative

Just touching on another point I thought of - the saved section is alright to still exist if you delete all examples of it on your site, right?  So create it, save it as a section, and delete that section from your site but still keep it saved.  If I then used that again it will remember all of the info?


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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bloom1creative

Attached Danny is the most recent example I've experienced using the 'Page Header' Section.

 

I wanted to use this section on different areas of the site, so I made 8.

 

One of them has the settings meta panel open in the screenshot, with the settings I have applied, and saved as a section as shown by the locks top left of the section itself.

 

The section you can see above that section, was the same 'Page Header' Section with different settings and a new name.  That, upon placement, has gone completely blank as you can see.

 

Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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dreamsight

Do you have more than 1 admin logged in at a time, or 1 admin logged in on different machines? We had the same trouble and also couldn't recreate the problem on demand, which was very frustrating as we couldn't show Danny what was happening.

 

We now make sure only 1 admin is logged in at a time and when they've finished dong what they have to do going to Site Settings>Resets>Flush Caches and (touch wood) we haven't had it happen again.

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bloom1creative

Thanks for the positive answer dreamsight, I always find it so hard to justify myself on here like I'm making it up lol and like you say, often it won't replicate on demand so makes me not bother posting my findings most of the time.

 

I appreciate Danny's help as always, but would like a PL dev to reply that has built the functionality that may suggest what could cause it ideally.

 

I know the usual turn off all plugins etc advice for the average Joe, but when you use WP all the time issues like this occurring all the time signify a problem somewhere.  NIce to find others that must be having the same problem.

 

I actually am currently using two Admins, but we each log in separately :/ and also the past few times it's happened it's been just me which is more frustrating with getting to the bottom of this.  I had major issues with DMS custom settings saving too so I just use external LESS files now.  Having to click four or five times is rather annoying on the sites that are bigger and contain a lot of content, even thought hosted on a VPS.


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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dreamsight

You're certainly not alone. It's interesting you also have 2 admins. We've put up other posts in the past and other people are in the same boat, but you're the first to say more than 1 admin is working on the site. Try flushing the cache when each of you finish (and don't work on it at the same time). I'd be interested to know if you're still getting the problem, it stopped it for us. We still save section content in txt files as we go, so if we loose a section we can copy and paste the code back.

 

We use to have problems with the custom css vanishing on a refresh (after a save) and the way to stop it is to Ctrl+enter once you've made changes.

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bloom1creative

Yeah I do the same, and leave cached site versions open just incase.

 

I've gone back to building manual wordpress themes using Foundation and Bootstrap recently as I know I can rely on them and I know what I am doing with functionality etc, much more predictable.

 

It's a shame though as it takes much longer for simple sites and I really like using the DMS, I have been using it since Framework about 3 years ago now and taken it with me to all my work places and also preached how good it is to mates.  Just a shame when people try it and also have the same problems I have and then call me an idiot for recommending it ha.

 

Nope only one admin for me I'm afraid!  Also the cmd+enter as far as I know is only a temporary chrome inspector override so you can visibly see the changes, it should have no actual impact on where the settings save or not in the database.  That's how I understand it anyway, a dev may correct me as they will know :)

 

Yeah been working with the caches all off anyway so no need to refresh!  Painfully slow but at least I know where I am at with all the custom elements and not worry about the cache interfering with saving stuff etc.  Has been smoother tbh since I turned the cache off but so slow even locally!

 


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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bloom1creative

Got it in the act!  Noticed it did it earlier so I was able to use the back button on the browser to recreate the exact same problem I always have.

 

This time it I was using the 'Page Header' section again where upon refresh it lost the section plus all settings, and made it into a standard canvas area section.  I wonder if this was the issue :/

 

I'm sure it's to do with the order you publish, refresh, unlink templates etc as until just know i've had no issues with any of the other 30 pages with these sections.  This time I added the saved section to the header by accident at first, then unlinked the template, and then published and refreshed.  This order seemed to upset something.  The previous ones I have unlinked the template, then refreshed, then added the section, then refresh again, and it seemed alright.  Very temperamental with the publish/save/refresh/unlink order I find.

 

Here it is misbehaving, which is a blessing as you wouldn't believe the amount of times this has happened on live sites.  This one happens to be on MAMP  : http://screencast.com/t/bsII99bhgg


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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bloom1creative

Just to add to the mix, just remade this section from scratch, deleted the old one, called it the same name as before, and it restored all the previously broken instances due to the same name.

 

Three pages on, however, it changed it to look as it does in the video when I go forward a page.  This time it's kept the 'Page Header' but reset all the settings as shown by the defaulted page title instead of my settings. Very odd.

 

http://screencast.com/t/1UIikWpMWX


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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bloom1creative

I got around this issue on a previous clients build that was hosted with a company based in Cornwall, so I had no control over the hosting this time, by manually unlinking every saved section after I added it to the site.

 

When the saved sections then corrupted/lost the settings and went blank, the unlinked ones were disassociated and therefore unaffected.  This was the only workaround I could for see without telling the client they may lose everything in a saved section if they use them.

 

Added: It seems to be certain pages too that break the section for the rest.  Like a specific page that when you add the section to it, it clears it for the rest.

 

Thanks


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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bloom1creative

Anything for this yet please? Or are we just pretending it doesn't exist?  Have moved everything to WP Engine now and still getting really odd behaviour with databases that are transferred between hosts, sections disappearing, templates unlinking, etc.  The DMS is amazing don't get me wrong, but it's so far from stable I'm just glad I have daily backups now.


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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Danny

I am still unable to recreate this with the information you have provided, I have followed your steps exactly and not once encounter the issue. Therefore, can you record an entire session of you recreating the section from start to finish. So I can then follow your video exactly and attempt to recreate the issue.

Also, when recording make sure to visit your plugins page so we can see that no plugins are active. I recommend Jing or QuickCast to record your issue.


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bloom1creative

I'll try and do this Danny, I dont very often have enough time to set up an entire session of recording everything I'm doing as I am at work.

 

I appreciate you haven't been able to replicate it, but having had this nearly every installation now and other having the same, it's fairly surefire it's an issue.  I often am put off posting like others have said on here as it seems more times than not the focus is always that I'm doing something wrong as opposed to it being a genuine DMS issue and a way to help try and resolve it.

 

WP Engine offer a really seamless, fast, world renowned dedicated Wordpress hosting environment.  Not really much to go wrong simply adding a theme to their pre-setup system and activating it.  It's later down the line when you have saved sections going on they just vanish, which to me points to a database write error due to too larger a string trying to be saved.  Information gets saved wrongly, and therefore becomes lost or corrupted.

 

Like I said I'll do my best to get this recorded, but I have literally seen this so many times now on multiple machines I guarantee you I wouldn't be wasting my time posting on here if it wasn't something I felt needed reporting, and that previous video shows exactly my problem, and that was about an hour after setting up pagelines with the custom saved sections etc.


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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Danny

We never blame our users for any errors they encounter, if they report a potential bug, myself and colleagues attempt to recreate it. However, we can not report a bug if we're unable to recreate it ourselves on our own test sites. I do this on both local hosted websites via MAMP/Vagrant and on a live site using FlyWheel.

 

I would estimate that 80% of the time, these issues can not be replicated on my end and therefore, we have to then diagnose what plugins the user has activated, have they added any custom code, edited the core themes etc... to get to the bottom of the issue. If you review our forums, you will find that most of these issues are caused by either one of the following:

 

1. Poor hosting i.e. cheap shared hosting. Also FYI, WP-Engine do not have their own infrastructure, they're (as far as I am aware) just customers of Linode meaning they use their infrastructure, although they do have add their own configuration. They also have a very strict environment to my knowledge. I would recommend FlyWheel over them or better yet, use Linode yourself. 

 

Poor hosting i.e. shared hosting is completely out of our hands, there is literally nothing we can do if the users pays $1 per month for web hosting and has performance issues because they have over 1000 web sites

 

2. Plugins, For example: quite a few users immediately install and activate a cache plugin off the bat. A cache plugin should be the very last plugin you activate not the first. They also do not work like magic, meaning you can not  simply enable the cache plugin and thinks thats it. They need to be configured to match your server environment especially W3 Total Cache, considering all the options it has. 

 

3. Custom code, this could be scripts, HTML, CSS. Adding Javascript to a section for example can cause all sorts of issues. If you want to add JavaScript to your site, you shoudl use the Custom > Scripts and not to a textbox section that only support text and/or basic HTML.

 

If you can record the issue which demonstrates the exact steps you take to recreate the issue, we can then follow these steps to recreate it. If we can recreate it, we can then report it as a bug and show our developers the necessary steps.


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bloom1creative

But as I mentioned before Danny in most of my previous posts I have submitted on here, which also makes me go mad as I repeat myself over and over which makes me feel like my issues don't really even get read correctly.

 

I have disabled all plugins and removed any custom code in each and every install prior to reporting these bugs, and I can guarantee each time I have posted it's not due to those issues.

 

Regarding the hosting, my point with WP Engine was that we have recently moved to them, and so that is once more another new hosting environment with the same behaviour, as previously we were using Heart Internet VPS and MAMP which presented the same saving issues.  I'd much sooner just not post about it on here, but when the same issue repeats it doesn't make me confident that it won't do it again, which like I said with backups it's not problem.

 

I remember one of your staff on here recommending Wp Engine a year or so ago, and to be honest they are expensive, but so far the performance has been good.  They offer a bespoke enviroment too so it's not just shared that they do.  I'll look into FlyWheel and Linode though.  I used to manage the server myself but sourced WP Engine in the hope they would cover that side of things so I could get on with other stuff.


Many thanks

 

Rob1n

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Danny

I understand you feel like you're repeating yourself, but if we can cannot recreate the issue ourselves and please believe me, I have tried have tried. I can not report this as a bug. That is why I have asked you for a video, showcasing this issue. As soon as I have the steps you take, to recreate it I can do the same and hopefully recreate it myself, then report it.

However, I can't report a bug, because a user has an issue which could well be server related and say to our developers. Look this user reports X, he/she states it can be recreated by doing 1, 2, 3. However, I am unable to recreate it, so you give it a try. I can't do that, it is just a waste of time.

 

As soon as you post this video, I will be on it. I even have this topic bookmarked.


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