I am re-themeing a very large site. Unfortunately I cannot

Hi I am re-themeing a very large site. Unfortunately I cannot re-theme with a theme from here (I'd like to, but none meet the specs)

But I am looking for some advice on the best way to re-theme this huge site and avoid as many major issues as possible..

I heard that some plugins need to be activated after other plugins and that there is sometimes and order to it.

I have listed which plugins that are currently on the site (I did not build the site, and I have not heard of a few of these plugins).

Can you please tell me which of these should be deactivated to reduce major issues and known conflicts? There are a few that were not active anyway.

Also, if you can please tell me if there is an order to re-activate them so that they will be installed in the correct order to reduce issues and conflicts.

Also, if you can let me know if there are any known issues with any of these, I'd really appreciate it.

Adminer - (not active)
Akismet
All In One SEO Pack
Author Information Widget
BackWPup
Black Studio TinyMCE Widget
Cart66 Importer - (not active)
Cart66 Professional
Embed Iframe
Facebook Comments
Facebook Members
Fixed Social buttons
Google+ Plugin
Google Calendar Events
Google XML Sitemaps - (I deactivated so no problem with duplicate content while I re-theme)
Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms MailChimp Add-On
Hyper Cache
InfiniteWP - Client
Jetpack by WordPress.com - (not active)
MailChimp
Multiple Twitter Widgets
Optimized Dropdown Menus
PHPurchase - (not active)
Pinterest Pin It Button
Portable phpMyAdmin
Redirection
Revision Control
RSS Image Feed
Shareaholic | share buttons, analytics, related posts
Syndicate Out
Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)
TinyMCE Advanced
TubePress
Under Construction
WP-Mail-SMTP
WP Smush.it
WP Super Cache - (not active)
Yoast Breadcrumbs

Thank you!!!

  • Patrick
    • Support Monkey

    Hi there @Emex Online

    Welcome to the forums, glad to have you aboard! And Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Usually, best practice when making changes that you anticipate may cause issues is to deactivate all plugins. The install and enable your new theme.

    After that, activate each plugin one at a time and test to ensure that the functionality of that plugin is as intended.

    As for the order in which plugins should be activated, there is usually no specific sequence that needs to be respected. Unless a plugin depends on/requires another plugin order to function. For example, BuddyPress plugins require BuddyPress. If it isn't active, the dependent plugins won't work and may throw errors or break things. :slight_smile:

    Also be sure to avoid obvious conflicts that can arise by having multiple plugins that perform the same functions. You have 2 cache plugins on your site, so you should choose one and remove the other.

    Also be careful when activating plugins with social sharing features such as Fixed Social buttons & Shareaholic. They may run conflicting scripts.

    Really, it's a matter of taking things in slow steps, and checking at step.

    If you run into any specific difficulties, please don't hesitate to post again. We're here to help. :slight_smile:

  • Emex Online
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    HI @Patrick Cohen

    Thank you, yes, that's good advice.... I will definitely do that.

    Regarding the order of plugins... I heard this from my hosting company because I recently had an issue on a large site...

    I had installed w3tc (w3 total cache) and it was working really well and gave great site speed. I was about to launch the site (large 700_ product site) and I wanted to put some security on it before launching. SO i was trying to install bullet proof security. W3tc had just been updated a couple week before and I didn't see any known errors, but when I installed bps then the w3tc errors became know. I had a very hard time with it cause the w3tc forum gave no help. Thankfully the bps people responded and helped me. I ended up having to call my hosting company to help resolve the matter as well... it took a lot of time and created a lot of stress... all of which I'd like to avoid in the future... hence the reason I signed up here... I wasn't expecting and issue that big and it wasn't easy to get w3tc off. Of course now the site is slower, so I'm looking for other things to help with that.... thinking of cloudflare... my hosting company suggested,

    But in the midst of the conversation my hosting company told me that maybe if i had installed them the other way around it may have worked because sometimes it has to do with hos the plugin read the files???

    So that is where that part of my question came from.

    Also, as you see the list of plugins, do you have any recommendations of better ones that these that you have here? You have so many and there are so many on this site, it'd be hard for me to find what I'm looking for without a little help :slight_smile:

    Thank you!

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi @Emex Online,

    I'll see if anyone else has anything to add here as well but something that especially stood out...

    Is there a reason you've got Portable phpMyAdmin installed? That thing seems to be a standing security risk:
    http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/portable-phpmyadmin
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/portable-phpmyadmin-unsafe-for-wordpress-consumption/

    Plus, you've got Adminer listed, which should more than suffice for on-site access to your database.

    I imagine it would be worth removing that other plugin and sticking with Adminer on an "as needed" basis.

    Cheers,
    David

  • Patrick
    • Support Monkey

    Hi again @Emex Online

    Concerning the issues with W3 Total Cache & BulletProof Security, you may find this thread from the W3 Total Cache support forum on wordpress.org of particular interest:
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/issue-with-w3-total-cache-and-bulletproof-security

    ...and then we have a similar discussion in the BulletProof Security forum, also on wordpress.org:
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/w3-total-cachecloudflarebulletproof

    ...finally, there is this potential solution to the issue at BulletProof Security's own support forum
    http://forum.ait-pro.com/forums/topic/installing-w3-total-cache-with-bulletproof-security-pro/

    :slight_smile:

  • Emex Online
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi @Patrick Cohen

    Thanks for the info on w3tc and bps.

    Any other insight on the rest of the plugins listed above before I move forward with the re-theme?

    Are they mostly benign plugins, or can any of the alter the files and cause damage/

    Thanks!

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi @Emex Online,

    I can't think of anything more myself, apart from knowing more specifics. This one kinda depends on how you have things setup. See, I'm curious about the Redirection plugin myself. Are you using that actively to redirect content currently?

    Also, the Embed iFrame plugin you have listed, are you actually using that for iFrame content currently?

    Sometimes plugins might be installed where they're not being used at all. It's understandable with plugins you use on an "as needed" basis, but some you might just be able to get rid of and make things easier to see.

    Cheers,
    David

  • Emex Online
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi @DavidM
    Actually, I didn't build this site, I am just re-themeing it... its a huge website and I am not familiar with all the plugins myself. That's why I was looking for info on them.... like if anyone knew of problems etc. Actually I will have to find out exactly what each plugin is doing on there and what its being used for... Some I know... others I have to look into. I'm hoping to be able to get rid of some of them to be able to be able to speed up the site.

    Thanks again!

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi @Emex Online,

    Oddly, this didn't occur to me til just now. But did you have a development or staging site setting for testing purposes with this?

    If not, you could probably easily set one up using the Snapshot plugin:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/snapshot/

    It would actually double as a backup too. :slight_smile:

    But with that, you could, for example, setup a test site on your local machine and load up that Snapshot into it, then have a better look at that whole plugin configuration while still being able to get back to the original configuration if needed.

    It's also possible with Snapshot, to optimize it all locally, then create another snapshot and load it back up on the live site.

    Just wanted to mention that in case you haven't already done something like that yet.

    Cheers,
    David

  • Emex Online
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    HI @DavidM

    Yes, I've heard of that because I have backup buddy. But since the sight was so large, I wasn't sure how well it would do in a migration, so I wanted to move it around as little as possible.

    I had actually recommended to the client that it should actually be re-built because I have no idea how many things have affected its database that are no longer being used since I wasn't the original developer.

    But at this point, I've actually, I already put the new theme. Now just trying to put each plugin back one step at a time.... leaving a day or so for back-ups to generate in between. Its taking a bit longer this was, but actually, in a way it was good because I had an error when I updated it to the new WP update and wouldn't have been able to fix it myself, so I'm glad it was on the server with the hosting company because they added the a line in the php config. So, I was grateful for that.

    Thanks for your advice on that, I will definitely keep that in mind for future projects. :slight_smile:

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi @Emex Online,

    Ah yes, I've used BackupBuddy in the past, worked great really. But I was using a shared hosting service back then and BackupBuddy slowed to a crawl and couldn't complete a full backup of a massive site back then.

    I think it really depends on the server, but direct backups through phpMyAdmin and files via FTP are time-tested and sure. These plugins just make it so much easier.

    Glad that's all coming together for you with that theme and site, etc.

    I just thought to mention something else that came up recently as well, regarding security. The following address some very important points on that matter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLV1BcivFAIdvAWcM9IEk5K6DFvOKBKReS&v=y_bIr1yAELw

    While it's focused on security, it oddly works out that your site will be faster still, because one of the focal points is on having as few plugins as possible. :slight_smile:

    Cheers,
    David

  • Emex Online
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    HI @DavidM
    Thanks so much! I will definitely take a look.

    I saw someplace that had something about generating security key codes and adding them info a file... is that covered here?

    The only thing is will that file be changed in wordpress and theme updates and then have to be redone each time?

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi @Emex Online,

    Going through some older threads, I just noticed you had some other questions. Sorry I missed this earlier, but the series didn't mentioned a key code that I could see (it's possible I missed the details with that though).

    I suspect you're probably referring to the following:
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php#Security_Keys

    No worries about updates with that though. That file should remain intact with updates, it won't be overwritten.

    Cheers,
    David

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