Please Clearly Denote at the Plugin Front Page that it is NOT Multi-site compatible

Folks....Luv you guys - and I have just been through an ordeal. The restore from this plugin dropped my super network admin - locked me out of my site - took up some time trying to reconfigure the data base to get back in. Since this is WPMU-Dev, a company that specializes in Multi-site, the assumption is, unless otherwise noted, that the plugins are multi-site compatible. It would be very helpful if you would mark it clearly in the plugin pitch that it's not multi-site compatible... I am back into my site now - so no real harm done - just a big time waster. On another note, you guys are doing a great job. I am very excited about all the new products that are rolling out. Keep up the good work.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey msaizan.

    Thanks for the feedback and the kind words you have to day!

    Its always appreciated.

    We do mark on each page what they are compatible with. I've attached some screens to demonstrate.

    This year we are going through a ton of changes, including documents, new staff to handle queries and changes to our site so all feedback will be taken on board.

    I suppose even though we state compatibility are you looking for something which just states what is missing in there. Kind like a "This plugin works with" as we have and then also a "But we don't work with".

    How would you envisage it working, I mean pacement, colours, etc?

    Thanks again for the kind words and feedback :slight_smile:

  • msaizan

    Thanks for your speedy reply Timothy. The problem here is that this plugin alters the data base in such a way that it locks the administrator out - so it's not just a matter of it "working perfectly with..." it not only doesn't work with MS - it causes a damaging alteration to the site - (although damaging is really too strong of a word...i am just trying to make my point). some plugins when they are not MS compatible - they just don't work at all or it causes some scripting errors or plugins to not play nice - and you just delete the darn thing and everything is hunky dory from there. BUT when a plugin is going to do something as major as drop the super admin and cause a change to the data base that locks the administrator out of the site - I think there needs to be a WARNING. "Works perfectly With"...doesn't say it succinctly enough that this is not a plugin that you should install if you are running a multi site or network.


  • Timothy Bowers

    I fully understand, this is a topic which just recently has come up a fair bit and its something we are looking to improve upon. (displaying of non compatibility)

    Anyone else who finds this and has this issue then please do the following:

    1. login to your database with phpmyadmin if you have it.
    2. Find your admin user, get the user_id for it - probably 1.
    3. Go to the wp_usermeta table and look for the options wp_capabilities and wp_user_level
    4. Set the wp_user_level line to 0.
    5. Set the wp_capabilities line to


  • Paul

    @msaizan For our own investigations into this matter I would like to gather some specific information about your site setup. As the developer of the Snapshot plugin, information you can provide will be used as part of the testing. I did test this on different Multisite configurations without issue. The plugin simply dumps the database tables then the restore inserts the records. No altering of this information is performed. But as you have not been the only user to report this issue I feel it important to try and at least investigate the issue in some detail. So if you could provide answers to any of the following questions that would be terrific.

    1. What version of MySQL is your site running?

    2. What version of PHP?

    3. What version Apache?

    4. Related to MySQL do you know the character set defined for your tables? If you have access to phpMyAdmin check the image I've added.

    5. Similar to question #4 do you know the Table Type defined?

    I think this information should get me started. Thanks for the help and brining this issue to our/my attention.

  • msaizan

    Thanks @PaulM, Always glad to help. I will dig in and get the detailed information to you as soon as I can but a couple things right off the top. I am on a Hostgator standard dedicated server (versions are the same for all Hostgator servers) - and I am running a multi-site Network - more than one network on a single install. As an aside, had I not seen that others were encountering the same issue, I would have probably not said anything because I am running a network - and it's not the usual multi-site install...anyway, I will get the rest of the info to you soon as I can...

  • Paul

    Thanks @msaizan no rush. I understand about the multi-network. Still I feel the Snapshot plugin should work correctly. Also forgot to ask in addition to the question would it be possible to have access to the snapshot zip file. This would be helpful in possibly seeing if there was some record corruption during the backup. Not a requirement as I know there may be concern about data privacy. But thought I would ask. You could make it privately available to only me. Let me know if you are willing on that pint and I will provide instructions on how to get me the file URL.

    As always thanks for being part of the WPMUDev members and for trying the Snapshot plugin.

  • msaizan

    I know my data is in good hands so I have no issue there - but I deleted the plugin right after i got booted - thinking maybe that would get me back in to the am i still gonna have a zip file? or is there a way to get it back?

    otherwise I am happy to try to reproduce this for you on a test site with the same theme and plugins installed - in fact I can give you access to the test site on my install and you can run through it yourself on my site.

    So what actually happened is the backup went fine. It was on the restore that things went awry. It dumped the tables but did not restore parts of the site... the super admin... right after i hit the restore - I went to a white screen and sorry I didn't note the error message - there was an error message there - but then refreshed and that is when I was booted out...went to login and then the system didn't recognize my email address or user name - didn't even recognize "admin"...

    anyway, send instructions or let me know where you want to go from here.

  • Paul

    It sounds like the restore part of the plugin just hit the server/PHP timeout limit. This is one of the major concerns about doing the restore "on demand" via a web form. In most production environments the PHP timeout could be as low as 60 seconds. In some cases lower. IF that is the case then it was not an issue of corruption but just that the rows were not restored. I'm guessing here or course not knowing the details. The current version of the Snapshot plugin creates a single backups file for all tables selected. The wp_user and wp_usermeta are alphabetically at the end of the file. Before each table is restores the table truncated. Meaning all rows are purged.

    So question for you from your most recent reply. You attempted the restore and it white screened. This is expected since the current version of the plugin does the restore via a simple form post. Then you say there was an error. I'm assuming it was the server timeout error via PHP. When you went to login and couldn't how do you fix this issue? Did you restore a backup from your control panel? Did you try viewing the tables via phpMyAdmin or something? I guess I'm trying to figure out what was the state of the restore at that point. I you can retrace that information that would be helpful.

    So first I guess try to see if you still have the snapshot zip file. Though when you delete the plugin via the WordPress plugins list it should have removed the files. The location depends on which site within your Multisite you ran the restore. Since this is related to the user and usermeta tables these are only part of the primary site snapshot backup. So the snapshot zip file would be located relative to your site in /wp-content/uploads/snapshots/ if this was from from a sub site the location would be /wp-content/blogs.dir/X/files/snapshots where 'X' is the site number.

    If you don't see the file then it might be easier to re-install the snapshot plugin and create a new archived zip.

    Thanks! Sorry for the very long reply. I really appreciate you working with me to figure this issue out.

  • msaizan

    i suspect it was the latter - the rows were not restored. I saw no evidence of corruption... one thing to note... this didn't function like the normal time out - it all happened very fast..i hit restore and boom - almost immediately went to a white within maybe within 3 seconds of hitting the restore...

    i was deploying on the main site...

    i did not need to restore from a backup in cpanel - the only problem was the lock out. I fixed that by going into phpmyadmin and re-adding admin as a user...and setting a new password - similar to the instructions that you guys have posted here for restoring the super admin..

    ok. i will see what i can do. glad to help.

  • Paul

    I'm not sure at this point. as you mentioned the error occurred right away not like a timeout. So at this point I can only ask you to try the backup of the same tables then the restore. I really need to see the error message you mentioned. If it is programatic like a misplaced variable then I can research.

    I would normally suggest trying this on an alternate environment but worried this might work and then we would not know 100% the issue.


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