The other day I got an email from WordPress saying “Your site has updated to WordPress 4.1.1”. I probably should have paid attention to it. But I assumed everything was ok. Next time I’ll check.
Today I went to check something on my blog and found it down. 500 error! If you host a site at all, you know that panic feeling you get when that happens. My blog is hosted on Azure Web Sites which is pretty cool but still makes me nervous when there are problems because it’s not a regular server that I can just log into and poke around. Plus, I am no expert with php or WordPress. In the end I was able to figure out the problem without too much trouble. Here’s what I did…
I opened up FileZilla (my ftp client of choice), connected to my server and started poking around. On the Azure Portal you can easily find the ftp address and account name used to connect. Luckily I knew the password!
On the root there is a folder LogFiles. That seemed like a good place to start.
It contained a file named php_errors.log. Again, sounds promising!
I found a lot of errors since this had been going on for a few days! Here is what it said:
PHP Fatal error: ‘break’ operator with non-constant operand is no longer supported in D:\home\site\wwwroot\wp-content\plugins\blogml-importer\XPath.class.php on line 3773
So it seemed pretty clear what the problem was. An installed plugin (blogml-importer) was crashing my blog! But I had no idea how to fix it. I searched the web for “wordpress plugin fatal error” and found a link with the info I needed.
To disable a plugin manually without access to the WordPress admin site, just ftp in, go to the plugins folder (wp-content/plugins/) and rename the blogml-importer folder. I did it and everything worked.
Lucky for me, blogml-importer is just a plugin I used to import my content when I moved from dasBlog to WordPress. So I don’t need that anymore anyway.
Crisis averted. If you are stuck, I hope this information helps you too.