How A WordPress Plugin Ate Two Days Of My Life

537104_helpWordPress is simply a great blog platform. Easy to install, easy to use, easy to configure to suit your needs, WordPress has another advantage: the big number of free plugins and themes.

However, not all freebies are good in all situations. Let me tell you this story:

I’ve become a fan of Microsoft Live Writer after I read a review on a blog. For those of you who don’t know what’s this about, Microsoft Live Writer is a free blog publishing software. You download and install it in your computer, then you input the details of your blogs, and that’s it! You write and edit your drafts locally, using the same tool for all your blogs, then you publish them directly from Live Writer’s interface. The text editor is better than the WordPress one, the saving speed is much bigger, as you don’t have to wait for the server all the time you hit “Save”, and you can easily insert pictures, tables or videos in your posts. Besides, the Publish button is not close to the Save Draft one, so it’s difficult to miss and publish an unfinished post by mistake.

But my countless attempts to make it work failed invariably. Two days ago I remembered about this software, and I set myself the goal to make it work. (That’s so funny, my resolutions for 2008 cost me so far the losing of all my emails and addresses and the death of my wireless network card).

I installed Windows Live Writer (the 3rd attempt was successful), but when I tried to post the post draft to the blog, I invariably got this error message:

The response to the metaWeblog.editPost method received from the weblog server was invalid: Invalid response document returned from XmlRpc server

I checked the blog, and the draft was not there. I tried to edit the .htaccess file, I treid to figure out who this XmlRpc server was, I gazed into the xmlrpc.php file for hours, I even thought that it could be Dreamhost’s fault (they have some protection settings for their servers which caused some scripts not to work on other occasions).

Then I started to disable plugins on my blog, one at a time, with no success, until I hit the Google Sitemaps Plugin. After disabling this, it worked (and I wished so much that this plugin’s name would have started with an “a”).

The simpler way (which I thought afterwards) would have been to Google for the error message, case in which I would have found the same solution, but without putting my mind at work for two days.

As a conclusion, in case something goes wrong with your blog, try first to disable the plugins and see if this fixes your problem. You might get it done very quickly.

11 Comments

  1. Many, many thanks for your post. I installed Windows Live Writer a few days ago to use for my WordPress blogs. I got the same error you did but only invested an hour in frustration before moving on to other tasks. I’ve disabled my GoogleSitemap Plugin and it works perfectly now. Thanks again!!

  2. I never understood why they had the google sitemap plug in…wordpress has a sitemap automatically and it is fine.

    Different combinations of different plug ins work differently depending on the template you use. I guess that’s why they call it “self-hosted” because you’re on your own in figuring out what works for each different template…hahaha:)

  3. 😆 Bobby, you are so right! Guess what: I’ve changed the blog template a couple of months ago, but it still wants to display the sidebar of my previous template. So I copied also the former template in the themes directory, and deleted all code from the sidebar.

  4. Whenever I experience any error message which I don’t have a clue about, the next thing I do is to search for a particular term in the error message and before you know it, you already have an idea as to what to do.

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