No, it’s not a new online game. But I recently decided to run W3 Total Cache here at LoneWolf’s LMA.
And it didn’t play well with SexyBookmarks (is it just me, or is that kind of delicious name for a plugin 8=)
The Great Plugin Conflict
I installed the cache shortly after upgrading to WP 3.3, so at first I thought it was a problem with that. But my other sites that run both SexyBookmarks and WP 3.3 weren’t having any problems, so I turned back to the caching plugin.
The problem was that the icons for the bookmarking weren’t showing up on my posts. I did some digging and found that people using CDN with W3 Total Cache were having similar problems with their SexyBookmarks. But since I’m not using a CDN yet, the solutions that they presented didn’t solve my problem.
So, here’s the conundrum. I want to run the cache to speed up response time of the site. This is good for SEO and user experience. It also saves the load on the server (so when I become incredibly popular my site won’t crash 8=)
But, the sharing icons are very important as well. In fact, it is critical to make sharing easy to build SEO in today’s world. So I need something there. And I really like SexyBookmarks. Not just the name, but the look of it as well. It is flexible and integrates well into my sites. But I was looking at the possibility that it would have to be replaced.
I decided it was time to contact support. I figured that the people at Shareaholic must have dealt with this before, so I left a support ticket there. Unfortunately, with the holiday season in full swing it kind of slipped through the cracks. But I finally heard back from them today (and we got it sorted out when they pointed me in the right direction).
In the short term, I added the ShareBar plugin to get the big social media names up there. I like it so much that I plan on keeping it up in addition to SexyBookmarks. I think they compliment one another quite well.
Anyway, back to the battle.
The Shareaholic rep reported that they were unable to find any reported problems with W3 Total Cache and SexyBookmarks other than those relating to the CDN. She tested on a test machine and couldn’t see the same problem.
But she was pretty sure that it had something to do with the minify options for W3 since Shareaholic already minifies the code that they use. She gave me a few things to try out (including going back to the Twenty Ten theme to see if there was a theme conflict).
The first thing I did was to tell W3 to leave the SexyBookmarks code alone when minifying. I went to the Minify tab of the W3 Total Cache plugin admin and added “wp-content/plugins/sexybookmarks/*” to the Never minify these pages list. Clear the cache, reload the page and voila — still no bookmarks 8=(
Dang! I was sure that was it.
So I went back to make sure I typed it right. It was fine.
More head scratching. Clear the caches again — selected Clear All Caches this time. Still no joy.
Scrolling through the General tab of the W3 settings and there it was! Minify mode! There is a line beside this option (which can be set to Auto (the default) or Manual).
Select manual mode to use fields on the minify settings tab to specify files to be minified, otherwise files will be minified automatically, but will not use the CDN.
Basically, this is telling me that if I have the mode set to Auto it will ignore everything on the Minify tab and just try to minify everything!
Sure enough, I changed this setting to Manual, cleared the cache and I was back in business!
Now, I did have another entry in the Never minify these pages list which may have been what is needed. The contents of that field are now:
So you might get by with just the first entry in that list, provided the Minify mode on the General tab is set to Manual.
But I don’t mind having the extra line in there. Shareaholic has everything minified already so that isn’t going to hurt anything.