Support » Fixing WordPress » Problems with Admin Bar and Recent Comments Widget in Dashboard after upgrade

  • Resolved Abigailm


    After upgrade to 3.2, I experience the following problems:

    1. On Dashboard, home page, most widgets did not load, admin bar did not load, and screen options & help drop down menus would not work.

    I resolved this by adding coding to functions.php in my theme to disable the recent comments widget. (First I disabled all widgets and then restored them one by one to determine which was the problem). So problem is now resolved, but only if I do not use that widget.

    2. On the comments page, the screen options & help drop down menus do not respond to cursor clicks. All other functions on the page work as expected.

    Disabling all plugins did not help. I do not have a large amount of comments and have no special plugins for comment management installed. I am running Akismet and the Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin to fight comment spam.

    3. Admin bar does not display when viewing main web site, even though I have activated that option in my profile.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Update:
    I created a new, clean installation of wordpress on my server for testing purposes, and installed the Twenty Eleven theme. This is located in a different directory (different user account) than the site referenced above. NO plugins.

    With this installation I still have problems #1 and #2 above.

    I do not have problem #3 — that is, the admin bar will display on the main web site, but not on the home page of the dashboard or the comments page.

    So I think this has ruled out a problem with my theme or plugins, except for possibly the admin bar display. (However, the #3 problem has been intermittent on the site I initially mentioned — it was gone, it showed up for awhile, and now it is gone again so that’s tough for me to figure)

    Running PHP 5.3.6; MySQL version 5.0.51


    Once I set up the 2nd test site I figured the problem had to be with my PHP, and I found that the following extension was not activated:

    JSON JavaScript Object Notation Support

    So I installed & activated that extension and now everything works ok.

    I need to note that I upgraded my PHP about a month ago, and at the time was confused about what extensions were needed. I asked some techie friends for their advice and also made sure to refer to this page:

    No one mentioned the need for the JSON capability.

    I’m just mentioning this because it would probably help a lot of people if there was a page on the site that had a specific list of all PHP extensions require for 3.2. A lot of users might need to upgrade their PHP version specifically to meet 3.2 requirements, and they may run into the same problem I did (i.e., not knowing which extensions are necessary and then running into a problem later on).

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    Abigailm – Thanks. I’m just now sending a note to a dev about this one. This is a NOT insignificant number of people with JSON issues!

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    No one mentioned the need for the JSON capability.

    Nobody told us that there were hosts that didn’t have JSON capabilities in PHP 5.2+. PHP itself says it’s built into PHP 5.2+:

    As far as I knew, this wasn’t even an extension. It’s built right in on all the setups I’ve seen.

    I would expect 3.2.1 to solve this issue. Or maybe the hotfix plugin. Dunno.

    Nobody told us that there were hosts that didn’t have JSON capabilities in PHP 5.2+. PHP itself says it’s built into PHP 5.2+:

    No, it says it is bundled and compiled in “by default”. If you install by running their standard installation program, then that’s what you would get. But many people rely on their web hosting companies to precompile installations for them, and those companies may change the default options for a variety of reasons.

    I’m hosting with a managed private server on a unix platform with a major, pricey hosting company (Verio). So you are probably going to discover that there are a LOT of users with non-standard installations of PHP — it didn’t come up before simply because the previous versions of WP ran fine without it.

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    The json compatibility layer will be back in WordPress 3.2.1.

    Annoying that hosts have to customize things even down to what php core code they’re running. Frankly, I’d like to get a list of these hosts so we can build a “do-not-use” list or something.

    The json compatibility layer was removed from the WordPress trunk code months ago. It’s been in beta/RC for at least a couple months. Nobody complained about this issue that I saw anywhere.

    Wouldn’t it just be a lot easier to LIST the PHP extensions needed at

    If there is a “NOT insignificant” number of people running into problems, and a decision already made to restore the json compatibility, then obviously it is a real problem and useful for me to report it.

    I posted my problem here, didn’t get a response on this thread, then figured out the solution and came back to post to let others know, in the hopes that it would help others.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    You solved it over 3 hours and I suspect it was time when a lot of us were asleep 🙂 There’s always a bit of lag time with new errors.

    Don’t think we’re not grateful for the report AND resolution! We are!

    But Otto’s point is more that no one complained in Beta Testing. Solution: We need more beta testers. (I saw ONE complaint and it was directly related to a theme, which was resolved by fixing that theme.)

    Oh, I don’t mind that I had to solve my own problem — that often happens. Whenever I post on something it means I’m doing my level best to work on it at the same time, and once I installed a clean new copy of WP that was enough to signal that my problem was at the server level.

    I’m just frustrated by a response along the lines of there being something wrong with my host because it doesn’t occur to developers that users may have non-standard options running on PHP. If there is an option in any program that can be activated or deactivated, then there are going to be platform variations to account for. Someone, somewhere is bound to have shut something off for or not activated it in the first place for one reason or another.

    Again I do NOT expect open source software developed and distributed free of charge to be perfect. I assume there will be bugs — that is WHY I reported my problem and the solution when I found it. I’m trying to *help*, but obviously beta testing isn’t the end of the process.

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