I was updating my blog and noticed that the comments on a particular post that was fairly current were closed. So I checked a few other posts and these were also closed. This confused me since I don’t close the comments on posts automatically. I know some people set time restrictions on older posts, but I never bother to do that so the note at the bottom saying “comments are closed” baffled me.
First thing I checked was the automatic settings in the comments area of my WordPress Dashboard. I checked in the WP area and the Disqus settings.
First and foremost were the “Discussion Settings” in WP. Nope, nothing out of whack there. Sometimes updates can cause problems like this and I didn’t remember updating Disqus recently but that doesn’t mean the problem hadn’t been there for a while unnoticed. As expected, nothing different in there either.
I got thinking about plugins. They can cause all kinds of conflicts with each other and I had run into this kind of thing before with outdated ones. The first step is always to ensure they are all updated, which they were. The next step is to figure out which is causing the conflict, unfortunately the only way to determine which is the trouble-maker is to disable all your plugins and re-activate them one by one until you find the error again. Being fairly confident of a few of them I disabled most, not all, and sure enough the comment problem disappeared.
Nice thing about WP plugins is the fact there is a “Recently Active” list for plugins as well as the Active and Inactive lists, especially if you are like me and have plugins that are installed but inactive that you are not currently using but may want to turn back on later as opposed to the ones you just turned off. So I began turning the recently active ones back on a couple at a time for those I was fairly confident were not causing the issue which left me only a couple of potential candidates. Sure enough it was a recently updated plugin, which meant thankfully I had only not noticed the error for a couple of days. As it turned out, it was the “Social Plugin for WordPress” plugin that was causing the error.
The trouble is figuring out what in it is causing the conflict with which other plugin. Since it was the commenting system getting screwed up, Its pretty safe to bet its a conflict with Disqus, but i’m not about to deactivate Disqus so I guess the Social Plugin will stay inactive until it’s next update. Sometimes you just have to wait for the developers to tweak it again to get it playing nice with the other kids in the plugin yard.