Try this first!

If you are having problems with WP Symposium, the following is the first thing to try, and probably the best way to work out where the problem lies. Around 98.275% of problems are solved this way.

Most problems appear with one of the following, or something similar:

  • the Panel isn’t showing friends online, or
  • the flashing “please wait” image just keeps flashing and nothing is displayed.

This suggests that there is a problem with Javascript on your site.

Make sure you have the latest version installed

With every release, bug fixes if needed will be included. Keep your version up to date (it’s also hard to support older versions of code…..). The latest version can be found on thedownload page.

Install Firefox/Firebug

Make sure you are using the Firefox browser, with the Firebug add-in installed and enabled – it will tell you if there is a Javscript error and where the error is.

Steps to follow

  1. First visit the Installation page to make sure the internal settings are updated
  2. Change your theme to TwentyEleven
  3. De-activate all non-WP Symposium Plugins
  4. Does it now work?
  5. If it does, re-activate your plugins one at a time, testing after each one is re-activated – when things stop working you’ve found a plugin that is clashing
  6. If all your plugins re-activate and you are still okay, change your theme back – does the problem now occur?

At some point in the above process, Firefox/Firebug may tell you that your have a Javscript error. An example of a common error is something like:

.autocomplete is not a function

The problem is that a plugin or your theme is loading a version of jQueryUI that does not include a function (autocomplete in this example). It may be a different function, but the above is quite common.

Using any plain text editor find out where in your plugin or theme jQueryUI is being loaded by searching the .php files in your plugin folder (under wp-content/plugins) for “jquery-ui”. Then comment out the line with two backslashes at the start of the line (//) and save the file. WP Symposium can then load the latest version of jQueryUI with an up-to-date set of functions.

For example, the file being loaded will look something like the following (although with an older version number):


Duplicate WP Symposium plugins

Easy to solve, follow these instructions on the WP Symposium blog.


Some web servers can be tight on the correct permissions of files and folders. For example, “page not found” can be reported if permissions are not correct (either too secure or not secure enough).

This is just a quick overview, read more about server permissionsls and chmod.

To see if you are getting the “page not found” problem, use Firefox with the Firebug plug-in installed and on the Console screen you will see red error saying “page not found” when the files are actually there.

Using an FTP client or command line access, check that plugin .php, .js and .css files (all files) are 644 (that means readable and writeable by your site admin, readable by groups and others). Folders (directories) should be 755 (that means readable, writeable and executable by your site admin, readable and executable by groups and others).

When copying files to your server, they may have been set as 777. This will cause problems with access (pages reported as “page not found”) and is very insecure for your site.

Each FTP client will allow you to check and change permissions in a different way. Read about how to use FTP clients to change file permissions.

If using a Unix (Linux, Ubuntu, Redhat, etc) server you can check permissions with the command “ls -l” – you are looking for the left column which will look like “-rw-r–r–” for files (which represents). If they are “-rwxrwxrwx” they are 777. To change them to 644 enter the command “chmod 644 *.php” or “chmod 644 *.js” (for example). To change folders, use the command “chmod 755 ajax” (for example to change the permissions on the ajax folder).

You can also recursively change permissions. Go to your plugins folder and use the following commands:

find . -name \*.js -type f -print -exec chmod 644 {} \;
find . -name \*.php -type f -print -exec chmod 644 {} \;
find . -name \*.css -type f -print -exec chmod 644 {} \;
find . -type d -print -exec chmod 755 {} \;

Windows Permission

You need to give “Write” permission to your plugins directory.

This must also be done for your images and temp directory. If using IIS7 the users requiring permission are: IUSER, IIS_USER, and NETWORK SERVICE.