Multisite Day #16 – Killed It Again!

Multisite Day #16 – Killed It Again!

I was committed to getting the main site working under the Thesis 185 theme and with multisite.The main site ( had been running on an old version, Thesis 181, and it was time to bite the bullet and convert it to 185. The last time I tried this, it killed the site. This time was going to be better. Or maybe not.

I did a full backup of the site and carefully added diagnostic code to the Thesis 185 theme code. I know this is a “Don’t do that” but I needed to see what was loading and when. I have put considerable effort into two plugins:

  • RHJ4 Diagnostics – captures diagnostics and writes them to the PHP error_log, to a custom log or to a user function. This makes it possible to produce accurate and informative trace information. It can filter by PHP error type and it can be easily turned on or off in the dashboard.
  • RHJ4 Notifications – builds on RHJ4 Diagnostics by adding the capability to generate many types of messages which appear as popups on the bottom right corner of the screen. The notifications can be generated by jQuery code in the browser or by PHP code in the server. Notifications can be displayed automatically or queued for display later.

I added an number of calls to the diagnostics plugin and soon was able to determine that Thesis 185 was trying to load some of the files from a non-existent folder. I fixed this and all was good. I had plowed my way through another hurdle and was feeling good. So I took the next step and activated Multisite. The browser barfed. Something was looping.

I remembered that I had forgotten a step. I was supposed to deactivate all plugins before enabling Muiltisite, so I went to the dashboard and selected all plugins and clicked “Apply”. And the lights went out across the country. All I got was a blank white screen. I couldn’t get into the dashboard. I couldn’t get into the login page. It was stone cold dead, and I was the killer. I confess. I killed the sheriff (old Clapton song) but I didn’t know how.

At this point, there was nothing I could think of but to restore from a backup, so I sent a message off to the IT dude asking for a rollback and confessing my guilt.

The next morning, I got a message from Boysen pointing out the obvious. It was Thesis 185. Again. He removed the whole Thesis 185 folder and the site came back to life immediately.

To be continued tomorrow.

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