I’ve been working with Jonathan Mead for a few months now, and recently had the opportunity to troubleshoot the WordPress plugin “Tweet Old Post” which grabs a previous post on your WordPress blog, and using a Twitter account, makes a post about it.

The plugin is pretty useful, especially for generating some traffic and keeping old posts alive on your site, but as with a lot of website issues, the software decided to randomly stop working. (don’t you love that?)

Jonathan shot me a message to troubleshoot. He’s enrolled in the IT Arsenal Lifeline program, where support is typically that simple.

I logged in and ran through basic troubleshooting, uninstalling, installing, contacting his host Media Temple and asking them for any relevant logs with errors in them. After a few changes and resets, I sat and waited to see if the plugin would fire, no dice, nothing.

Hmm, WordPress plugins can be finicky, sometimes they conflict with your web host, sometimes with other plugins, what to do next?

Research, meaning Google….which led me to the developer and [define:CRON] jobs.

I don’t advise trying to contact the person who created software you are using without exhausting other avenues, or even assume that’s always a possibility.

Fortunately, the developer, Ajay Matharu, supports his creations and after some banter on Twitter, informed me and others he had heard reports of the plugin breaking and was working on a fix.

Through some gentle and diligent coaxing, a new version of the plugin was released within the week, all credit to Ajay for his responsiveness and software skills, which resolved the issue.

I jumped back into Jonathan’s fantastic site, Paid to Exist, updated the plugin and got to inform him this pesky issue was now resolved! One of the best things I get to do is let someone know an issue is fixed, or complete.

I’m happy to say his response was positive.

You can’t always rely on contacting the developer, but it’s good to remember sometimes it’s best to go straight to the source.