It’s the little things…

For a while now I’ve been trying to chase down an issue with the site not displaying correctly in the Firefox browser. If you’ve been looking here using it you have seen some definitely un-styled renderings. I checked it in IE – no problem (well, apart from it being IE! 🙂  ). Checked in Chrome. No problem. Firefox? EEEEEK!

Initially this looked like it was an issue with the skin I was using. This is a customized version of the “Skeleton” theme which I selected to make use of responsive design and make the site accessible to mobile devices. After various research I found a few pointers to possible options but nothing concrete.

A few days ago I downloaded version 4 of the Artisteer template editor. The new version has support for responsive sites and I was interested to see how well it worked. Also, with the problems on the current skin I was wondering if I should switch back to an Artisteer skin.

I tested the new responsive functionality by first converting the skin from my Vette Dreams site. The results were certainly impressive. In about ten minutes I had the old template re-saved and when I checked everything was adapting nicely. That’s the kind of technology I like! It’s what I call IJFW design, It Just Funking Works!

Buoyed by that success, I converted the old DMK template to the new Artisteer environment, uploaded here, clicked the apply button and… BLANK! Zero, nada, nothing, bugger all.

After a few checks to make sure I’d done things right I tried again, with the same result. Then I took the theme from my ‘vette site and tried that. Again, all I had was a white screen of nothing. Again more head scratching and research, nothing really provided any clues.

Then I tried switching to the previous but one theme. This was the one that was on the site before I added the responsive skeleton and had been happily working for months. Yes, you guessed, blank.

This seemed to muddy the waters further initially, but as I thought about it I realized it actually clarified things. It couldn’t be the skins themselves but rather something that was interacting with them.

The two sites are the same version of WordPress so that wasn’t a likely issue. They do however use a number of different plugins. I wasn’t sure that these could cause these issues but it was an easy matter to try switching them out. Sure enough, the third plug-in I tried – All in One SEO Pack – turned out to be the culprit.

Sometimes working with these things is akin to being Holmes solving a crime, you have to sift the clues and find the explanation.

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth…”.

Sometimes the little things can bite you when you’re least expecting it.

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