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Missing post grid element on pages built with WPBakery

This article in applicable to a WordPress installation with WPBakery plugin. I came across this issue when the Post grid elements created using WPBakery plugin were missing on the pages.

Check the payload and response of requests to admin-ajax.php file in Chrome’s network tab related to pulling data to populate the post grids with. You might see the following:

  • failed_to_get_id as one of the parameters in the payload
  • {“status”:”Nothing found”} as a response

If your case is the same as mine then:

  • You have just upgraded from PHP 7.2 to 7.3
  • Your WPBaker plugin is somewhat out of date

In the code of WPBakery plugin search for the following portion of a regular expression: “:([\w-_]+)

In PHP 7.3, for the above regular expression to work as expected so that the hyphen matches, the hyphen needs to be escaped: “:([\w\-_]+)“.

Replace the all the regular expressions like the above in the code of WPBakery or upgrade the plugin to the latest version, if you can.

The following files contain this regular expession:

  • include/autoload/hook-vc-grid.php (don’t forget the getShortcodeRegexForId() function)
  • include/classes/shortcodes/vc-basic-grid.php

Once you make these changes, the post grid should start working – just resave the posts.

One way to check if things are working or not is to look in the wp_postmeta database table. WPBakery populates the _vc_post_settings meta field with the settings for shortcodes used for various WPBakery elements. If things are working well you will find that the _vc_post_settings meta value has a long array of values.

MySQL binlog files are taking up all disk space

I am running Flywheel’s Local app on a MacBook Pro and noticed that I was constantly running out space on my MacBook’s SSD. Even after I cleared big chunks of space it would quickly fill up and run out of space.

The problem was MySQL and its binary log files (located at /Users/<username>/Library/ApplicationSupport/Local/run/<random-hash>/mysql/data) – the new binlog files kept on appearing and eventually would fill up all the available space on the SSD.

Add the following line to the [mysqld] section of the MySQL server configuration file template (my.conf.hbs). It is located in the /app/cnf/ directory of your Local’s site.

expire_logs_days = 3

The following will tell the MySQL server to only keep the binary log files for up to 3 days and delete the older ones.

Alternatively, you can add the following (which will completely disable the logging)

skip-log-bin

Restart the MySQL server and you will see that the old bin files will shortly disappear.

Note: do not delete the bin files manually – let the MySQL server handle it by using the expire_logs_days configuration.

Can’t edit database schema in WordPress running on Flywheel Local 5.x

Issue

I am using Flywheel’s Local (5.6.x) app for running WordPress development instances on my MacBook locally.

One day, I logged in to a WordPress installation, clicked on Add a New Post and was greeted with a somewhat more bare than usual edit screen:

  • All post’s custom meta boxes were missing.
  • Publish button was missing and replaced with Submit for review button.
  • When clicking on Submit for review button I was shown an error saying that I did not have enough permissions perform that action.

Investigation

I de-activated all the plugins to rule out any interference of their code with WordPress core – the issues remained with all plugins de-activated.

I checked the current user and confirmed that it has correct administrator roles set up. I also logged in as another administrator account and observed the same issue with adding posts.

I restarted the web and MySQL servers – it didn’t help.

Then, I turned my attention to PHP error logs – I ran “tail -f error_log” command and tried adding a new post. The recorded in the log error showed that SQL query failed because a post with ID 0 already existed:

Duplicate entry '0' for key 'PRIMARY' for query INSERT INTO wp_posts...

I quickly checked if auto-increment was enabled for the ID field in wp_posts table and … it was not!

Solution

I found a problem – there was no auto-increment enabled for the ID field in the wp_posts table.

When, I started my MySQL database client and enabled auto-increment, I could not save the changes. MySQL server complained that the default value (0000-00-00 00:00:00) for post_date field was invalid.

Incorrect datetime value: '0000-00-00 00:00:00' for column 'post_date' at row ...

Errors like above in MySQL happen when “NO_ZERO_DATE” is set as one of the MySQL modes. Please read https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.7/en/sql-mode.html for more details.

To change the value of MySQL mode when running it in Flywheel’s Local app you need to edit a template for mysql.conf file called my.conf.hbs. It is located in /app/cnf/ directory of your site within Local app. Add the following to [mysqld] section. You need to make sure that there are no NO_ZERO_IN_DATE and NO_ZERO_DATE in the value of sql-mode variable.

[mysqld]

sql-mode="ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY, STRICT_TRANS_TABLES, ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZERO, NO_ENGINE_SUBSTITUTION"

Once saved, restart your site within Local app, edit the wp_posts table add auto-increment to ID field.

Once the changes are saved, you can remove the line you added to my.conf.hbs file and restart the server.