WordPress 3.3 Upgrade Problem: Toolbar Disappears in Page/Post Editor

People are losing the toolbar in the post and page editor after upgrading to WordPress 3.3.  It could happen because of a problem with your computer, or a problem with your WordPress files.

edit: There was also a report of a malfunctioning toolbar that #3 and #4 solved.

Although this doesn’t officially solve the problem, using compatibility mode in Internet Explorer 9 did rectify the problem for at least one person.  If that can carry you through until the official fix comes through, I’d recommending only trying the first two solutions and stopping there.

edit: I changed the order of the last 2 steps below – what you see is the updated advice.  Step 2 is only a 50/50 proposition, but you can’t go doing things like 3 and 4 without clearing your cache first.  It’s just good WordPress (and computer) policy!

(1) First, check to see if you have an ad blocker extension installed in your browser.  Disable it and see if that works.  If that works, then just add your WordPress site as an exception.

(2) Second is to deal with the cache: some people refreshing the screen a few times got the toolbar to eventually appear.  Holding down SHIFT while you click reload/refresh is supposed to force a full refresh of the page.  You’d want to do that a few times.  If there’s no relief there, try clearing the cache.  The cache in Chrome is persistent, so at this point you’ve got to confirm the exact same problem in another browser.

(3) Try the 0.8 hotfix from WordPress, it’s the link labeled “Development Version”.

(Not sure what to do with hotfixes after WP gets upgraded later, I’ll follow up.)

edit: if (3) didn’t solve your problem, I’d be surprised.

(4) Install the plugin Use Google Libraries. It seems to solve the problem without clearing the cache, but if it doesn’t immediately clear your problem, then you’d want to clear the cache just to be sure.  (I’ll follow up to see if we’re expected to keep this permanently, I would think we can uninstall it after a fix for this problem comes through.)

If the Google Libraries plugin solves your problem, then it was recommended to manually copy the files from a manual download to the /wp-includes/ directory .

Since this problem was fixed with solutions that were based both on one’s computer and from the web, I would take the concepts involved in these solutions that worked for other people and apply them elsewhere.  For sample, if you have some kind of safe browsing plugin, maybe disabling that could help.  The toolbar runs javascript and computer systems generally have very detailed javascript security settings.

Postscripts:

More than one person has reported that downgrading didn’t solve their problem.

DreamHost is the WORST hosting company, ever.

From a post I made on lifehacker.com about hosting companies.  I will not work with DreamHost in anything but a single individual WordPress installation.

STAY AWAY from DreamHost. They use a proprietary interface that even their technicians don’t know how to use or troubleshoot. I had a terrible, terrible time dealing with them and after several weeks of going back and forth trying to get the hosting working. Not only do they not offer phone support, their chat support simply goes unavailable for hours at a time at various times of the day. I’m not even sure if they are really available 24 hours a day, but I couldn’t find any regularity to when I could not get chat available. Phone support is charged in 3 call packages for $30 and even when I signed up for one I couldn’t get anyone on the phone. Our problem ended up being a misconfigured server, after they insisted we couldn’t run basic software on the shared hosting, which it turns out we could have – but there’s really no way to know because the proprietary interface was undocumented. (They always try to upsell that dedicated server service, needlessly.) They were inept and didn’t follow up with us at all. It only added insult to injury that they never followed up with me and I had to keep contacting them back to report that the problem wasn’t resolved. Think about it, if your email or site isn’t working, how long will it be before you know, and what will you have lost in the meantime?

This article isn’t about hosting per se, but I approved the use of DreamHost specifically because of other LifeHacker articles touting DreamHost’s fabulousness. Never, EVER again. And because they use proprietary software, there was no way to transfer the site through a straight forward download/upload. This can be done in any hosting company using cPanel. I did a little googling and found the same problem with the utter inability to resolve problems because of proprietary software was eerily commonplace for Media Temple too. It’s not that I have had a problem with proprietary hosting software setups – I’ve had a problem with EVERY one, no kidding.

With HostGator at least you can get a person whose first language was English on the phone 24/7/365. Same for GoDaddy (although they are slow, and proprietary interface.) I’ve tested HostGator, and they will help you do ANYTHING. Other hosting companies have had no problem telling me I needed to hire someone to troubleshoot my problems.

I considered shortening the post, but if I don’t give you that thorough level of detail you wouldn’t understand how impossible it was to get DreamHost to solve a problem that because of their pretty software that was thoroughly inaccessible, undocumented and completely outside our control. The lifehacker community is placing overwhelming amounts of trust in DH and it’s 100% misplaced. You will have a problem sooner or later and if you never read this post, you would just think, “wow the internet is hard.”

I personally don’t do this, but why wouldn’t someone just use that same Google Apps account to make a Google site for a simple web page, or forward your domain name then to any free blogging service where you could put up something very simple? Or forward it to a flavors.me page as we already learned from Lifehacker Academy? (Oh, I like the sound of that!) If you forward with a temporary mask then the user wouldn’t even see the other domain name, right?

The user @androidhelpers said if I needed cPanel to move from one host to another then I wasn’t really a developer. And he tried to claim that DreamHost was no different from other hosts in requiring upgraded services for complicated installations.  Well, he’s wrong.  And not only that, he ignores the point about support just simply being unavailable at all for hours on end, with no explanation, rhyme or reason!  My follow up post:

@androidhelpers I know how to transfer sites from one host to another, thank you, the point was that it was horrifically difficult to deal with DreamHost on every possible level.  And cPanel transfers the entire account: email accounts, data in the email accounts, databases, and files.  Since so many people use cPanel, at this level of hosting it is much more appropriate.  Because there’s very likely going to be a point where the lack of service from DreamHost will necessitate your move to another host.

But that wasn’t the point about “proprietary” hosting software – the point is that if you search the internet for reviews and posts about hosting companies, the complaints where people went with their problems unresolved for weeks at a time were in my experience easy to find for DreamHost and MediaTemple and for what I could find, the situations were similar to my nightmare with DH: the employees could not figure out what the problem was because the software is unique to that host.  And that is an enormous, enormous problem.

There’s nothing persistent about WordPress, single or multiuser edition.  Every other host I have encountered has not complained about running WP multiuser in a shared environment.   Dreamhost is the only company trying to upsell – and they are constantly trying to upsell 24/7/365 for no good reason, and they were the only company offering shared hosting that claims to require a virtual dedicated server for a WordPress multiuser installation.

Widget Alignment

Have you ever had this happen?

You know, where you took some code, put it in the widget, but the item you expected to look so nice – because after all, Amazon programmed it, right? – but the widget is on the left side of the column looking all weird?

A way to get around this is to add your own centering tag to the code.  so paste the code that the company gave you, and put <center> at the beginning and </center> at the end.  Don’t cause any editing of the code that the company gave you, not even an extra space!

Now really geeky technical people will tell you this is not technically correct.  Well, they’re right, but since this works for just about everyone on both sides of the web page, we’re going with it for now.  And if your WordPress guy insists it’s wrong and insists you should do it the right [read: pay him to do it] way, then you need another WordPress guy.

[When this begins to be nonfunctional for many users, we'll update it.]

WordPress first steps

When I install WordPress, I install a comprehensive set of plugins and configure them for use.  With 2 good friends having recently started WordPress blogs, here are some minimum things I do for each blog I set up.  I’ll follow up with more advanced things later.

Change your category of uncategorized to a category name that will describe your most general miscellaneous topic, and no, don’t use miscellaneous.  Your audience is not helped by “uncategorized”.  And Google/Bing won’t know where to file you.

In Settings-General, set your time zone.  You’ll thank yourself later.  Well actually you won’t, because you won’t know the silly problems it saved you from.

Akismet spam filter - usually downloaded with WordPress.  For blogs making money there is a licensing issue for which people turn to the TypePad spam filter.  It’s essentially the same, I believe.  This requires registration for a “key” – this is probably the most important thing you will do for yourself because spam will overpower your blog faster than a fox in a hen house.  The spambots seem to sense the presence of the filter and they stay away.  It’s fantastic.

Check the Discussion settings and make sure it makes sense to you.  I don’t have any particular advice here.  Remember that on each post and each page you can disallow comments individually.

Check the privacy settings.  Under Settings, Privacy, there is a setting to block search engines.  Some automatic install programs from hosting companies block this by default.  I say to you my friend, be found!  Seriously though, choose whatever you want.  (On my host, “Quickinstall” blocks search engines; “Fantastico” does not.)

I highly recommend:  Beginners delete the W3 total cache plugin, if it is installed.  On my host, “Quickinstall” installs it with WordPress; Fantastico does not.  If you have the WP Supercache plugin installed, it is fine to use – although troubleshooting this is an intermediate/advanced technical skill.  If you turn it on, you have a 99% chance of it working fine, and if that is your experience then great.

For SEO and general navigation, I recommend setting the permalinks to something simpler than the default:  Usually I do just the post name:  /%postname%/, but sometimes, like on this blog, I put the year in the middle: /%year%/%postname%/.  On network installs, the word “blog” gets inserted in there and for the interim, that’s not negotiable.  If you don’t have the word “blog” in there, you’re good.

No, I don’t know what to make of the Hello Dolly plugin, but being in the know, I have my suspicions.  Have you seen the clip of Carol Channing boxing with Mike Tyson?

Please feel free to comment below.  If you are a beginner who has had an “aha” moment with WordPress, I’d like to hear about it.  rob@wpgeniusbar.com

Choosing a Theme is Impossible!

I can’t find any theme that suits me well and that works well out of the box.  Or looks like exactly what the preview shows.  Finding themes is a pain in the butt.  I keep coming back to Ashford because it forces me to be simply organized.

Welcome.

wpgeniusbar.com has moved to a separate multi-site installation so that I can set up subsites with theme demos and sites for testing. I plan to blog more vigorously in 2011, and for your benefit. So if you’re here, please let me know how I can help you with WordPress, the best software ever!

WordPress Planet

WordPress Planet is an aggregated site of 31 (as of this writing) blogs about WordPress.  Many of the blog entries you will see there might very well be above the head of the WordPress code-free user, but it has been my experience that reading things over my head about WordPress has been the best way for me to understand what’s possible (and sometimes what’s not) when it comes to WordPress.  And without a doubt, sooner or later, everyone writes something that has been helpful to me.

The best part of WordPress Planet is that you don’t really have to subscribe to it – it’s piped in directly to your dashboard on every WordPress installation!  The widget that displays “Other WordPress News” is WordPress Planet!  You can even customize that widget, it’s very neat.

Get more detail at WordPress Planet: http://planet.wordpress.org/

WP Questions

wpquestions.comI came across this website where you can post a question with a price you’re willing to pay for the answer and people answer your question.  Apparently multiple people can answer the question, so I wasn’t totally clear if this worked on the honor system or the person with the question could pick the answer they liked the best?

I haven’t used the site, so please leave any feedback in the comments below.

wpquestions.com (affiliate link)