Removing and adding new plugins

I'm still building my first multisite, well actually, I've started others but made a good number of mistakes and started over 3-4 times. I probably didn't need to start over but multisite problems still intimidate me because I haven't done a restore and have read that it's a lot of trouble. I use backupbuddy for single site installs and love it—I can be fearless when working, knowing I have a backup plan. But with multisite, I'm not that comfortable. So I have a few questions to set realistic expectations.

1. Is it bad to try plugins and then remove them to try something else? I worry about what each plugin leaves behind. I feel like even if I remove a plugin, it can leave files behind that can or will cause problems.

I had a pretty clean install this time and was almost through with the setup and ready to develop the theme layouts but went back through the plugins to see if I could reduce the count and then started adding and removing. So now my install is not as clean as I'd like it to be. This is why I stared over several times before. Am I safe continuing with the current install or should I start over with the exact plugins and stick with them so that I don’t clutter my database? I’m not having error or warnings when testing. Occasionally it seems like a script get stuck and takes a little while to run but then everything is fine.

2. Can I use the WordPress debugging process for multisite also? http://codex.wordpress.org/Debugging_in_WordPress Or is there another process for multisite?

3. Are there any other tools/plugins that I need to check to be sure everything is running smoothly and trouble shoot before problems arise?

This is a larger task that I had anticipated. I'm hoping to have it up and running well before my annual payment is due! LOL

Thanks for your help - Jan

  • Jan

    Case in point – I just did a test on new site creation and received a new warning message.

    Warning: fopen(/home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-content/plugins/rotating-images/rotating-images.php) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3508

    Warning: fread(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3511

    Warning: fclose(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3514

    The same thing happened when I removed Formidable. This time it’s Rotating Images. I have installed and deleted this plugin many times on a single install without a problem. I thought that the problem was with Cloudflare in the case of the error message with Formidable but I don’t have the site on Cloudfare now.

    Going to install and delete again to see if the warning will go away.

  • aristath

    Hello there Jan, I hope you're well today!

    When you deactivate and delete a plugin using the plugins menu on WordPres, their files are removed and their database entries are usually also removed. When the database entries are not removed from the atabase, they simply stay "dormant" until you re-activate the plugin. This is just so that the plugin "remembers" your settings and if the plugin is properly coded then there's no problem with that.
    The plugins that you should be careful with are usually caching plugins. These tend to copy files in your wp-content folder, add entries in your .htaccess file, your wp-config.php etc. These should be automatically removed when you de-activate and delete the plugin using the dashboard.
    They will not be automatically removed if you simply go to your plugins folder and manually delete the plugin using FTP for example.

    So I'd say that you don't have to start over, provided you use the recommended method for deactivating and deleting them.
    For future reference though, it 's best if you keep your development and production sites separate. So you could have a "clone" of your production site where you test out plugins, configurations etc, and only apply to your production site the modifications and plugins that you 've tested and verified on your test site.

    2. Can I use the WordPress debugging process for multisite also? http://codex.wordpress.org/Debugging_in_WordPress Or is there another process for multisite?

    Yes, he method is the same. No need to do anything special.

    3. Are there any other tools/plugins that I need to check to be sure everything is running smoothly and trouble shoot before problems arise?

    Not really... the link you posted above should cover you.

    I hope that helps!

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Jan

    Thanks for the quick reply @aristath,

    That is a great explanation, very much appreciated. I usually remove a plugin via the dashboard but have been guilty of removing them via FileZilla or File Manager. I will make a point of removing them via the dashboard now that I see that's a critical step in keeping the database clean and keeping WordPress in loop of what I'm doing.

    On the testing site and production site comment. I'm working on the production site but it is not live. I plan to clone it to another domain to use as testing once I'm think the one I'm working on is ready to go live.

    Is there a sequence or method that you know that makes more sense than what I'm using?

    Thanks again for your help - Jan

  • Jan

    @aristath,

    I don't know if you saw my post above your reply. I made it while you were creating your reply. I have installed rotating images again and removed via the dashboard, as before. It is creating a warning message.

    Warning: fopen(/home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-content/plugins/rotating-images/rotating-images.php) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3508

    Warning: fread(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3511

    Warning: fclose(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3514

    Actually I'm wondering if it's ProSites that's creating the warning message instead of the plugin that was removed. I have deactivated all plugins and still get the error message until I re-install the plugin. I don't have to activate the plugin but just have it installed. Any advice or suggestions?

    Thanks again for your help - Jan

  • aristath

    Warning: fopen(/home/wpinsta/public_html/wp-content/plugins/rotating-images/rotating-images.php)

    This error indicates that the server is trying to write to wp-content/plugins/rotating-images/rotating-images.php and is not able to. The other errors are just a consequence of the first error message.
    So simply change its file permissions to make it writable by your webserver and try it again. :slight_smile:

    Cheers,
    Ari.

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