Support » Plugin: Heartbeat Control » Crashed Three Websites

  • Resolved kengray20


    We are told religiously to update our sites as soon as possible.

    I cannot count over the past five years how often a plugin update has crashed a site.

    This morning Heartbeat Control successfully crashed all three of my sites with the loss of some material on them.

    I am sick to death of having my operations compromised by careless code.

    I’m sorry to be so blunt, but if you can’t write safe code, you should not be releasing updates. You should not be creating plugins.

    I work very hard to get people, as do many other people around the world who use this plugin, to my sites without sloppiness hampering those efforts repeatedly.

    I do not deserve to have three sites crash because someone was careless.

    Please get it right.

    Ken Gray

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Plugin Author JeffMatson


    The issue existed for about 3 hours and hit less than 5% of sites. Unfortunately, those who updated as soon as it was pushed saw the issue. It’s fixed now in the current version (just replace the plugin files), but I know it’s frustrating.

    While I tested several times, an accidental typo happened.

    Please keep in mind that while I do try to keep the highest quality possible, we’re all human and make mistakes.

    I don’t think it’s productive to slam a plugin author that made a mistake for the deficiencies in this entire system.

    I know that this discussion isn’t the place for such thoughts but just to make it clear: if WordPress can spit out a precise error message that there’s a problem in line 36 of the plugin’s main PHP file – why isn’t there a simple check in place BEFORE the plugin gets automatically updated in the (for me) wee hours of the morning?

    And just the same, as long as there’s not some kind of simply and automatic code “audit” in the plugin repository that checks for such dependencies (“are all referenced files in the ZIP archive?”), these problems will happen again…

    This case is just a symptom of a larger issue.

    Plugin Author JeffMatson


    @antermoia Overall, this isn’t a plugin that I’ve previously maintained much and the initial release was never intended to be as large as it has become.

    For that reason, unit tests weren’t written and I noticed a potential issue (in 1.1), which when hastily corrected, led to a typo that wasn’t able to be caught by my IDE (in 1.1.1). Admittedly, the minor change wasn’t tested when committing it, so it got through.

    I thought I caught it quick enough to minimize damage, but clearly I didn’t (although thankfully it looks like it only impacted less than 5% of sites).

    I recognize the mistake, but the overall backlash is entirely overkill and honestly decreases motivation to continue developing open source plugins if I’m going to become a target for something I give away entirely out of good will.

    I woke up to error messages from my cron job and found it easy enough to fix with the error message – of course I was initially annoyed, but as I said, I’m more baffled by just how easy it is for one missing slash to wreak such havoc. :-}

    It must’ve been a long day for you already, to wake up to all of this. Please have a beer and a pizza on me tonight and ignore the haters.


    Plugin Author JeffMatson


    Thanks for the support and understanding. I really appreciate it.

    And yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have deployed at 7am when I had been up all night. Dealing with an onslaught of support tickets on roughly 2 hours of sleep isn’t very fun. Lesson learned. 😉

    @jeffmatson, please don’t lose motivation. For all the backlash, there are many who appreciate the tools, but you won’t hear from them because things usually just chug along without issue and are taken for granted.

    Not to dismiss the inconvenience some people seem to have been caused, but it a lesson that is drummed into all of us who use plugins of any kind in WP in any kind of professional capacity, we know that it is fundamental to stability of the site that before updating plugins of any kind, a backup should be taken immediately before updating.

    There is also a responsibility on the administrators of a website to ensure that they perform their updates to plugins at a time when it is least likely to impact their own, or their clients businesses, and updates should be performed at the appropriate time with the understanding that things do sometimes go wrong.

    For business critical sites it is quite frankly irresponsible of the site administrator to simply click the update button and assume that it will be perfect every single time for all of the plugins they use.

    Professional site administrators for critical operations websites wouldn’t even dream of updating plugins on a production site, they would do it in a development environment and test things before pushing the changes live.

    Yes, you made an unfortunate error, but the reaction by some people has been way over the top.

    I know I already thanked you, and I won’t belabor the point any further, but I am certain I’m not the only person who understands that things do on occasion go a bit wrong, and that it is not the end of the world, and also that we all have a responsibility to take our own precautions before making changes to our websites.

    The main thing is that you reacted very quickly, and fixed the error within hours, which was the responsible thing to do.

    Plugin Author JeffMatson


    @gecko_guy Thanks so much for your support. It helps a ton. It feels wonderful to know that my hard work is still appreciated, even if there are a few bumps in the road along the way.


    First of all thank you for your effort on making and maintaining this great plugin.

    Everybody makes mistakes sometimes we are all humans so everything is ok. I understand that someone can be angry because of problems caused with this update but please keep in mind that it is a free plugin and good will of a man that made it.

    I have been using it for a while and it seems like it helped me a lot on one of my websites.

    I am using the following settings:
    Allow Heartbeat

    Post Editor

    60 seconds

    I am wondering what will happen if i activate frontend option do you think it can cause some problems?

    Website in question is

    Thank you in advance,

    Best regards


    Thanks for the update. Keep in mind a responsible admin should be testing any update in a staging environment 1st. Certainly not 3 production sites at the same time. This plugin has been a godsend for our site which is hosted on Godaddy and continuously got hung up with run away PHP processes and would basically crash. Finally figured out why and your plugin was the answer to solving it! Thanks for providing it and for continued support of it.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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