• Plugin Contributor David Artiss


    Original update: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/empty-needle-error-please-read/

    I know – it’s been weeks. I am actively looking at this but I’m drawing a genuine blank.

    Here’s what I know… with version 1.0 or above of this plugin, after a number of days the settings are being wiped and slowness and general problems occur as a result (the plugin wasn’t designed to cope with a lack of settings for the simple reason that it should never happen). I’m able to recreate it on my own site but, as you can imagine, it takes a week each time to get it to fail and then, debugging added to my site, isn’t yielding anything useful. I’m still digging but if anybody has any ideas, it would be appreciated.

    If you get the error then the simplest way to restore your site is to head to Settings -> Footnotes and put your settings back in again and then click the save button.

Viewing 9 replies - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • seuser


    Glad it helped 🙂



    Hi David,

    I think the better way to approach the options save would be using WordPress settings API instead of a custom form submission method for POST. That way you can also safely ensure that your plugin settings are updated only when the ‘submit’ button from your plugin options page is pressed but not when other options are saved or updated.

    Here is a guide to WP settings API and there are useful functions to automatically render the options in your relevant form fields (settings_fields, do_settings_fields() and automatically update the options when the form is submitted (register_setting).

    So, in your options form, you can add these two lines immediately after the form tag:

    <form ...

    and before closing the form you can add the submit button using the function:


    To register your custom settings group so WP knows that they are valid options to be automatically processed, you can use the register_setting function in an admin hook.

    add_action('admin_init', 'register_footnotes_settings');
    function register_footnotes_settings()
        register_setting('footnotes-made-easy-settings-group', 'your_option_name');
        register_setting('footnotes-made-easy-settings-group', 'your_option_name');

    I would advise to use your option_name as an array for all your fields so as to store the options in a serialised array rather than each single option. Otherwise, you will have to register each option field separately using the register_setting method as shown above.

    I hope it helps.


    Plugin Contributor David Artiss


    I’ve now released version 1.0.2 of the plugin which, I believe, resolves the un-going issue.

    Apologies for how long this has taken to resolve.

    Unfortunately the Version 1.0.2 isn’t working as well 🙁

    Plugin Contributor David Artiss


    Thanks for letting me know. Can you confirm what happened? I’ve had no other reports that this hasn’t worked and it’s been working perfectly on my own site as well.

    I use it for talmud.de – as soon as I activate the new version I get hundreds of lines with this error: [snip] is the path on the server. I deleted some elements:

    Warning: strpos(): Empty needle in [snip] tlmd/wp-content/plugins/footnotes-made-easy/footnotes-made-easy.php on line 260

    What happened: I updated the plugin, I activated the plugin, I reloaded a page without any footnotes: Fail with the error message above.

    So, I deactivated it, activated it again, opened the settings page, saved the new settings, reloaded a page without footnotes: Fail with the error message above.

    Plugin Contributor David Artiss


    Can you provide me with a screenshot of your Footnotes settings screen? That would really help.

    Plugin Contributor David Artiss


    Ah, I see – most of your options are still blank and that will be causing the issue. Make sure you fill in all the settings, save and the error should go.

Viewing 9 replies - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)
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