Plugins automatic been disabled

Hi,
Some plugin have been disabled without permission inside my WP Multisite sites.
I think they have been disabled after something update.
I just think this is very strange happen.
Can you guys recommend something to do.

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi ferreirex

    I hope you're fine today!

    Most often it happens if the update doesn't go fine for some reason - either the update process itself fails or the plugin is "broken" after update. But it's difficult to say something more without knowing more about the case.

    Is that any site that you have registered with us (in The Hub) and if so, is there Automate enabled for it? What are the plugins affected?

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    HI ferreirex

    Thanks for response!

    I'm not sure though if I understand correctly:

    actually that have been happen all Plugins doesnt have been Network Activated, just the ones have been activate for each subsubsite.

    You mean that plugins were network-enabled and then they suddenly become "netowrk-disabled" and instead enabled on sub-sites separately? Or that the plugins that were automatically disabled were those that were enabled on sub-sites but those network-enabled remained unaffected (so they are fine and were not disabled)?

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • ferreirex
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Sorry about my last explanation, I the worst person to explain something.

    The plugins that are Network Activated works all the time fine, never stay disabled.

    The other plugins just have been activated in some subsites they time to time have been disabled.

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi ferreirex

    Thanks for clarification :slight_smile:

    For sure that shouldn't be happening "on its own" unless it's either a result of some "under the hood" issue or there's some tool/plugin that is actually intended to do this. Are you by any chance using some plugin such as e.g. Pro Sites or any other plugin related to sub-site and/or plugin management?

    Would you mind me moving this ticket from Members' discussion forum to our Support Forum so I could actually check the site?

    If that's fine for you please enable support access to the site by going to the "WPMU DEV -> Support -> Support Access" page in your site's Network Admin and clicking on "Grant support access" button there and let me know in your response here once it's done.

    I'll then move the ticket, access the site and see if I can find the reason for such behavior.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • ferreirex
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi Adam Czajczyk ,

    Thnaks for the reply, Yes Im usgin Pro SItes, Yes you can move to Support Forum, and yes you can check the site.

    Today I have other problem when I try to login to Admin I got an error

    "The site is experiencing technical difficulties. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions."

    Never happen to me before.

  • ferreirex
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    The problem with the error
    "The site is experiencing technical difficulties. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions."
    I have disabled and activated the Plugins folder, and I can enter in the in the admin area.

    I have Grant the Access :slight_smile:

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello ferreirex

    Thank you for response!

    As for the "Technical difficulties" error.

    This is a message from WordPress that basically says there's been some Fatal Error. The recent WP uses such "nice message" instead of site going completely blank or broken whenever possible. There's no way tell what caused it easily apart from the fact that it was most likely caused by some plugin conflict (because disabling plugins helped) - unless there's debugging enabled.

    Therefore, I'd suggest adding following lines to the "wp-config.php" file of the site, right above the /* That's all, stop editing! */" line:

    define( 'WP_DEBUG", true );
    define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
    define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

    Once they are there try enabling all the necessary plugins (that you had enabled before) back and watch the site. If/when the issue happens again, look for the file named "debug.log" inside the "/wp-content/" folder of your WordPress install.

    It should contain some "Fatal Error" information that should suggest what caused that. Please feel free also to share the "debug.log' with me if you need help with it and I'll take a look to see what I can find. To share it either rename it to debug.txt and attach to your response here or (also if it's too big to get attached and is rejected) upload it to your Google Drive, Dropbox or similar account and share a link to it with me here.

    This should help identify what caused that error.

    As for plugins being deactivated.

    I checked the site but I must say I see nothing unusual or particularly wrong there. However, I notice two things that I think are most likely directly related:

    1) you are using Pro Sites and you do have a Premium Plugins Manager module enabled in Pro Sites

    This module is meant to manage access/availability of the plugins on sub-sites. If the plugin is network-enabled, it's fine and it's "excluded" from this manager. But if it's not then:

    - super-admin can enabled it manually on any sub-site
    - admins of sub-sites can only enable them if their sites are of a level that plugin is allowed for

    Currrently no plugin is set to be allowed for any level. In other words, Plugins that are not network-enabled cannot be activated on sub-site unless super-admin activates them manually. However, that can also result in plugin being automatically deactivated. For example:

    - a site was created as free site (so no pro sites level)
    - super-admin enabled plugin "ABC" on that sub-site
    - then the site was upgraded to level "VIP" e.g. by admin of that site or by some script (I'll get to it below)
    - plugin "ABC" is not allowed for level "VIP" (see "Network Admin -> Pro Sites -> Premium Plugins Manager") so it gets deactivated

    2) Apparently you're also using WHMCS Provisioning plugin.

    Unfortunately, this plugin was retired years ago and we no longer develop it for quite some time and I cannot guarantee in any way that it's fully operational or even fully compatible with current versions of Pro Sites and/or WHMCS. I do see, however, that for at least some of these sites Pro Sites "history" includes action from/by WHMCS. If there were any updates e.g. of Pro Sites status (with all those plugins being disallowed for Pro Sites levels) or e.g for some reasons Pro Sites status expired or was withdrawn from those sites temporarily and then gave back - again: those disallowed plugin that were manually enabled would be automatically disabled.

    I realize that what I wrote above may sound slightly "twisted" but I hope you get some sense out of it :slight_smile: I'm not fully sure whether it was that because there are no such logs that could tell us exactly what happened but this is most likely scenario here.

    What I'd suggest to do would be to make sure that all the plugins that are not network-enabled and should be kept active on given sub-sites are actually permitted for relevant Pro Sites level in Premium Plugins Manager ("Network Admin -> Pro Sites -> Premium Plugins Manager").

    It might also be a good idea to check the WP Ultimo plugin instead on some test site. Since Pro Sites is now retired also, WP Ultimo is a great alternative (they also either already provided or will provide soon a migration tool to let you easily and securely move from Pro Sites to WP Ultimo).

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • ferreirex
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi Adam Czajczyk ,

    Thank you so much for your answer, I will try to explain me as best as I can.(Im a desaster on that haha)

    1 - The "Technical difficulties" error
    I have attach the file, I dont understand some details, but I think the Plugin Humcommerce have some errors but I dont know if is this the problem.

    2- Pro Sites and WP Ultimo
    I dont know the Pro Sites is discontinued, I have checked the WP Ultimo and is something I need to think on that.

    3- About the WHMCS Provisioning plugin
    I dont have any troubles since a 2 weeks ago from having the Plugins been disabled, I really dont want this to be the problem, its really nice to have everyhting sync.

    4- For the subsites I just need some Plugins enbled on some and other I dont need, if you can recommend if I shouldnt have the Premium Plugins Manager I will remove him.
    Really need a recommendation on that.

    Thank you so much for the help you have been provided.

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello ferreirex

    I will try to explain me as best as I can.(Im a desaster on that haha)

    Don't worry about that, one way or another we can always get to the point :wink: And you're not that bad at it at all, believe me! :smiley:

    1 - The "Technical difficulties" error
    I have attach the file, I dont understand some details, but I think the Plugin Humcommerce have some errors but I dont know if is this the problem.

    I admit I'm not familiar with this plugin. The file, however, apparently didn't come through - it might be too big. Could you please upload the file that you tried to attach to some file storage service of yours (such as e.g. your Dropbox or Google Drive account) and share a direct link to it with me here?

    2- Pro Sites and WP Ultimo
    I dont know the Pro Sites is discontinued, I have checked the WP Ultimo and is something I need to think on that.

    Yes, I'm afraid it is. We've retired some of our plugins recently and Pro Sites is one of them. It doesn't mean that we won't assist you with it - we will and there should be also critical security/compatibility fixes released if necessary via our GitHub account but there'll be no new features, no automatic updates on the site and no further development. WP Ultimo is probably the best replacement around and they are also working on a Pro Sites importer to help you seamlessly transition. I'm not sure when they're going to release it so you might want to wait until they do but I think that'd be the bet shot in the long run.

    3- About the WHMCS Provisioning plugin
    I dont have any troubles since a 2 weeks ago from having the Plugins been disabled, I really dont want this to be the problem, its really nice to have everyhting sync.

    Yeah, I understand that but, as I explained, that's a "long gone" plugin and I while I have no way to guarantee it will work fine, I can't also rule out its possible involvement in the case. I referred to it because the sites on your setup has WHM events logged in in pro sites logs, stating that they were created/updated via the integration. That changes the standard "Pro Sites" workflow.

    4- For the subsites I just need some Plugins enbled on some and other I dont need, if you can recommend if I shouldnt have the Premium Plugins Manager I will remove him.
    Really need a recommendation on that.

    The question is whether there are admins of these sites (other than you) that should or should not be able to enable/disable plugins. If not - you can safely deactivate Premium Plugins Manager module in Pro Sites and his will 1) disable any "plugin availability management" (unless WHMCS is involved but I"m not sure; I don't think so) 2) you as a super-admin can do anything on entire setup so you can network-enable some plugins and some other you can just enable on sub-sites only.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • ferreirex
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi Adam Czajczyk ,

    Sorry for all of this time, I have been on holidays and now I have extra time to look with better eyes into this.

    I have disabled the extras modules for the plugin Pro Sites and have been working fine, or, until now I don't have any troubles with Plugins been disabled.

    In the other part sometimes still have the problem with the error message.

    I have uploaded the log file, if you need extra Granted Access I can do.

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi ferreirex

    Thank you for getting back to me!

    I'm glad to hear that there's no more "unexpected plugin deactivation" and as for the error message - I still don't get any log file, I'm afraid.

    Did you try to attach it to your last post? If yes, it's possible that it's just too big. Could you please instead upload it to some file storage (such as your Dropbox or Google Drive or similar account) and respond here with a download link to it?

    I'll check it and see what to do next about that error message.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi ferreirex

    Thanks for sharing the log, I was able to look into it now :slight_smile:

    It seems that there's a Fatal Error showing up repeatedly every now and then and it's triggered when there's a Hummingbird Page Cache being cleared. I admit I've never seen it before and while I tried to come up with possible explanations on why it happens I must say I'm still not sure.

    I've asked our developers for consultation on this so please "stay tuned" and I'll get back to you here as soon as I get to know more from them.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi ferreirex

    It seems that's actually related to the fact that for some posts there's an unexpected "author" set. What I mean by this is that the code fails at the point where WP is trying to get a permalink of an "author" as it gets "0" ID - which in a standard WP configuration is impossible.

    Please note:

    - by "author" in this case I mean an ID of a user account assigned as author to the post; every post in WP has an author
    - a "post" in WordPress doesn't necessarily mean "post" as in "Posts" in the wp-admin; in fact it can be post, page, image, any custom post type such as product or portfolio or even some "invisible" posts of custom post type added by theme or some plugin.

    Taking that into account, I'll need to dig a bit deeper and I'm afraid a support access is to limited for this as it doesn't let me access files on server and look into the database. Would you be able to provide me with access to those then?

    Note: Don't leave your login details in this ticket.
    Instead, you can send me your details using our contact form https://premium.wpmudev.org/contact/#i-have-a-different-question and the template below:

    Subject: "Attn: Adam Czajczyk"
    - Site login URL
    - WordPress admin username
    - WordPress admin password
    - FTP credentials (host/username/password) and phpMyAdmin access
    - cPanel credentials (host/username/password) - that's preferred over FTP, if available
    - Folder path to site in question
    - Link back to this thread for reference
    - Any other relevant urls/info

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi ferreirex

    Thank you, I received your message.

    I did some more research on your site and server.

    The Fatal Error happens when there's Hummingbird Page Cache purged and it's trying to purge cache for a "post" (as in WP post , meaning any entry in _posts table, may it be post, page, any custom post etc) that has an author of ID 0.

    As I mentioned earlier, every post in WP has an author but there are exceptions if it comes to ID. For example, some of Hummingbird's Asset Optimization data is stored as posts (custom post type) and they do have author ID set to 0 - they are not assigned to any author as they are not related to any user.

    Whenever Hummingbird purges Page Cache, it also attempts to purge "author page" cache. Reason for this is to make sure that if a post was added/edited, that change is reflected on the author post archive page. That's perfectly normal.

    When a post has author of 0 id, WP is not able to find permalink for such author page (as there's no such author and author page) and that triggers a fatal error.

    However, I admit it's unclear to me so far why it's even trying to do this. The Hummingbird data that I'm referring to is a special kind of data and it shouldn't be causing this.

    That HB data might "rotate" and most of the posts stated in the debug.log don't exist anymore so it's difficult to research that in the database - I checked that and was able to find only one of the posts showing up in error messages and the message itself was quite old already. There are newer once but no related posts anymore.

    However, these posts are hidden and should be "invisible" to Page Cache and, actually, everything else. It looks like "something" on the site is actually making them "visible", in that sense that they are treated by Hummingbird itself as regular posts. That's quite strange and I admit I didn't manage to find what exactly is "unhiding" that post type.

    I've consulted it with one of our developers and we came up with the idea that at the moment, the simplest and less invasive solution will be to simple skip applying "purge cache" HB function on posts that has author set to 0. These posts are (should be at least) "internal" posts that are never directly "printed out" to the end user so they are not cached by Page Cache anyway. If that post type was "hidden" as it is expected to be, the "purge cache" wouldn't process them anyway as well.

    That said, I've applied a patch of your Hummingbird instance installed on your site and let's see if that helps. If a "Site experiencing technical difficulties" issue happens again, we'll need to check error logs again to see if it's still the same thing going on or something else. But the patch should be skipping the "0 author" posts now so that should fix that. It will also be applied to upcoming updates of the plugin so no need to "re-apply" the patch after each plugin update on the site.

    Please keep an eye on the site and let's see if the solution fixed the issue.

    Best regards,
    Adam

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