Monday 13 October 2014

Debugging Issues with Strictly AutoTags or Strictly TweetBOT

Debugging Issues with Strictly AutoTags or Strictly TweetBOT

By Strictly-Software

You can purchase the pro versions (and download the free versions with less features) for these plugins here.

This article is about debugging issues you may occasionally get with these two plugins.

I usually find (as my code hasn't changed) that if the plugins stop working that the issue is down to one of these scenarios.
  • Another plugin causing issues.
  • WordPress code / update (bugs) - I usually wait until the first subversion is released before upgrading due to having to many problems upgrading to 3.7, 3.8 and 3.9 so I am waiting until 4.1 is released before upgrading this time.
  • Not enough memory on your server. Lots of tags equals lots of regular expressions to run which means memory usage.
  • Too many tags for the post save job to loop through on save. Trim them down regularly.
  • If you are on a shared server / VPS another user maybe taking up all your memory and preventing your site from running correctly - contact your hosting provider.
  • A hacker has caused issues on your server. Check your SSH file to see if it has been compromised with this console line /etc/init.d/ssh and view the contents.

Strictly AutoTags

Specific things to try with this plugin include:

  • De-Activating any auto-feed importer tools that create articles from RSS feeds and then saving a draft / published article from the test article in the Readme.txt file.
  • Ensuring you keep your tag list trim. If you have 25,000+ articles you shouldn't have many tags related to a single article or even three. So use the delete feature to remove tags with few articles related to them. The less articles, the more relevant the tags and the less memory is used.
  • If Auto Discovery is enabled and the test article in Readme.txt file works and tags are added the plugin is working. This means another cause for the issue.
  • Disable Jetpack, I have found this plugin to cause many issues.
  • Disable Post Revisions and set the Auto Save time so far in the future it won't cause problems. Depending on your settings you could be re-tagging your article every X seconds due to Auto Save and Post Revisions.
  • The code for disabling the WordPress features in the wp-config.php file are below.

/* turn off post revisions */
define ('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

/* set auto saves so far in future they shouldn't get saved on auto posts */
define( 'AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 10000 );

// increase memory limit
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '120M' );

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Strictly TweetBot

Specific things to try with this plugin include:
  • Disable Jetpack Sharing or Jetpack altogether. Having multiple tweet systems can cause issues such as duplicate tweets and Twitter thinking you are sending automated messages. Jetpack has also been found to cause issues with many plugins.
  • Ensure you don't have too many Twitter BOT accounts setup. If you do increase your memory in wp-config.php (see the above code for Strictly AutoTags)
  • Constantly check your Admin panel to see if you are getting messages back from Twitter such as "duplicate tweet" - "this tweet looks like an automated message" - "this account needs re-authenticating". If you get these errors then Twitter is blocking your tweets. Change the formats of your messages and prevent duplicates from being sent.
  • If you need to re-authenticate you can try to delete the account, then re-add it and see if it works straight away without requiring a new PIN code.
  • If this doesn't work then you may need to re-install the plugin and all the accounts one by one and re-authenticate the OAuth with new PIN codes.
  • If you are linked automatically with Strictly AutoTags then ensure that the AutoTag plugin is working correctly. Make sure the tag list is not too large, there is enough memory to run the tagging and that when a post is made the POST META value strictlytweetbot_posted_tweet has been added to the post. If it hasn't and the post has tags but no tweets went out then you need to find out why. Check the Strictly AutoTags help list for information on fixing this. Memory and the size of the tag list are two major issues.


Always remember that if the code in the plugin hasn't changed but then the plugin suddenly stops working LOGICALLY it is likely NOT to be the plugins fault. Therefore:
  • Have you just done something on the server or website? If so roll it back to see if that effected the plugin.
  • Have you just upgraded or installed a new plugin? If so rollback or remove it.
  • Check other plugins by disabling or removing them.
  • Ensure your host has not had issues e.g memory / CPU is too high.
  • Ensure any new plugins have not caused issues.
  • If you have just upgraded WordPress try rolling back to the last working version.
  • Try re-starting Apache, then if that fails try a reboot (soft).

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