From Pine View Farm

Meta: Maintenance The Mystery of the Disappearing Sidebar (Sticky) 0

Update: I’m having issues with the sidebar. It appears when I click on individual posts, but not when viewing the front page. I am working on it, but doing so carefully. In the meantime, I’m not getting upset (keep repeating to yourself, “Frank, it’s only a hobby learning opportunity”) and hope you don’t either. I will document my adventures in this post in the area below the fold. In the meantime, you may see strange things happening as I test, but the regular stream of drivel will continue unless everything stops working. If you want to email me, the email link, which is normally over there —-> on the sidebar, is frank@pineviewfarm.net.

I will update this post as I try to shoot the trouble.

This is the original version of this post. Since it posted, the issue has morphed into something more. I suspect the issues are related, as they appeared at about the same same time. Nevertheless, I consider the sidebar issue the larger of the two.

I had a couple of posts lined up today that did not post. I cannot figure out why, but I will. I also have some loose ends to tie up from my move from shared hosting to a VPS; I will take care of them this week. I hope that they do not require me to call my hosting provider’s most excellent tech support, not because I don’t like their tech support–I do–but because I want to fix them without issue. (I’m working on, but lazily.)

This site may be offline sporadically when I do, but, if it does go offline, you can comfort or frighten or amuse or sedate yourself with the thought that I will be back. Driveling on the interwebs is what I do.

I will “unstick” this post once I am done.

If you are interested, or even if you are not, my hosting provider is GoDaddy; I use them because Todd recommends them (full disclosure: their advertising supports Todd’s podcast, but I have corresponded with Todd and can attest that he is one of the good guys). I have found GoDaddy excellent by any measure.

Update, 2017-04-23

A web search tells me that disappearing sidebars are not unknown on WordPress, though, in almost 12 years of using WP, I’ve not experienced it before. I’ll dig into that tomorrow, but I do not expect quick results, because of the aforementioned “carefully” thing, plus I have commitments.

So far, I’ve verified that the problem manifests itself on both Linux and Windows (I don’t have any iJunk) and in multiple browsers (Firefox, Vivaldi, Konqueror, and Windows Internet Exploder), so it’s clearly not a browser issue.

You may see the theme–that is, the appearance and layout of the blog–change as I do my testing, plus you may see posts come and go as I change their status from “Published” to various permutations of “not published” as I try to figure this out.

Troubleshooting is annoying, until you shoot the trouble. Then it retroactively becomes fun.

Update, 2017-04-25:

I have reactivated my original theme for the website, which was optimized for 800×600 displays back in 2005. It seems to be working okay, so I will leave it in place for a while. I tried some of the default WP themes with mixed results.

I conclude from this that whatever is causing the issue interacts with elements that are in some themes but not in others.

I looked at several articles about “disappearing wordpress sidebar” and found that most of them pointed to problems that occurred after an element was introduced or changed. I’ve changed nothing, other than by adding or editing posts.

Now I’m off to the dentist, which is likely to be more fun than trying to troubleshoot this.

Update, 2017-04-27:

I will leave my original theme in place for now, as it seems to working properly and I will unstick this post tomorrow.

When I get a round tuit, I will resume my troubleshooting. (I once had a boss who would drag out a round tuit when it was appropriate. She was the best boss I ever had.)

You know, for all that I had no idea what I was doing, I think I did a pretty good job on my original theme.

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