Frustration is what I feel right know after spending six hours straight trying to understand what's happened to a Wordpress installation that seemed to work fine, at least until the recent upgrade to version 3.1. Here's the story: before the upgrade, the major problem was the RSS feed that simply returned a 404 page. I tried to reset the permalink structure, changed the writing/reading mode privileges on the
.htaccess file, removed all unnecessary white-space from template files, disabled and then reactivated plugins, disabled and then reactivated the main theme (which is the Striking theme) and finally created a physical RSS feed by using a real
/feed directory and the core Wordpress RSS file handlers. Nothing. Same error: 404 Not Found. Frustrating.
During the night we scheduled the upgrade to version 3.1. Upgrade done, no apparent side effects on the site, everything seemed just normal except that this morning I noticed two major problems with the Striking theme: a form button has its styles completely messed up and the Colorbox jQuery plugin stopped showing the content of the overlay elements. I got some useful information on the theme's support forum where I found out that this theme ran through a series of problems with the Wordpress upgrade to version 3.1.
So far we got one inexplicable problem and two minor problems due to the Wordpress upgrade. The point is that I simply dislike a CMS where every debugging procedure looks like a cabalistic affair. I've spent two hours googling about the RSS problem, and the only "useful" answer I did find can be actually summarized in "cross your fingers and try everything". Fine.
It seems that when Wordpress doesn't work, the only recommended approach to debugging is the trial-and-error approach. It also seems that the overwhelming majority of Wordpress users (and perhaps some developers) don't have the slightest idea of what could be the cause of your specific problem. Furthermore, Wordpress has no default debugging tools, but only a maintenance mode which only put your web site offline and disables certain features.
For example, how can I find out if some of my core files are corrupted or not? How can I find out if a theme is really compatible with the current Wordpress version I'm using? How can I find out if there are some hidden errors with the PHP code due to some plugin or theme or even Wordpress bugs?
These are my questions to the Wordpress community. I hope someone will take some time to answer me. sad
We've downgraded Wordpress to version 3.02 and the Striking theme got back to normal. For the RSS feed, I've created a physical feed using the following SQL query and a custom PHP class:
SELECT post_title, guid, post_content, post_date FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = 'post' AND post_status = 'Publish' ORDER BY post_date DESC LIMIT 30
Hope that helps. smile