Sometimes when we do a lot of customizations to our WordPress themes we can forget that they are there and then have trouble with something and be stumped as to what the problem is.
I did this recently with one of my scheduled posts and an excluded category.
Here’s what happened.
I always schedule my articles to post at 12:01am on the day that I want to publish it. Since 99% of the time I am asleep at that time, I check on the article when I get up in the morning. I got up and the article wasn’t on the front page of my site. I went into the admin area and saw that the article had published. I was confused – how it can be published but also be invisible. Also, I had just gotten up. I am a morning person but I don’t wake up completely alert and do need some caffeine to kick in before I am fully functional.
The Troubleshooting Thought Process
My next thought was that since there were code examples in the article maybe something in the code was keeping the article from displaying. In the back of my mind, however, I knew I was grasping for a solution because it had displayed fine in the preview while working on it and a code error would have shown up at that time. I removed all of the content from the article except for the first paragraph and it still didn’t show up. So, it wasn’t the code but I needed to eliminate that being the cause of the problem.
Still stumped, I decided to walk away from the computer for a couple of minutes. I’ve learned over the years that stepping away from a problem really does help in solving it rather that stubbornly beating my head against it.
And then it came to me. Check which categories the article was listed in. And sure enough I had placed the article in a couple of articles and one of them was one that I excluded from showing up anywhere except on my portfolio page (and since I recently changed the portfolio to use pages rather than posts I didn’t even need to be excluding or even using that category anymore).
So, in trying to be all fancy pants with my code, excluding categories, displaying items in one location and not in others, I kept a published post from showing up anywhere on my site. And when I was writing the article I completely forgot that I didn’t want to use that particular category because it would keep the post from showing up on the front page, archives, rss feed,etc. I removed the category from the post and it immediately displayed on the front page and throughout the site.
Have you ever had any of your customizations trip you up? Have you forgotten about them and how they work? I suppose I could list mine somewhere but until the other day, I never had a problem remembering them.
photo credit: metz79