Orphaned Greater Than > at the Top of WordPress Site

by Jhet Bhlak on February 10, 2013

wordpressI was having some issues today with another WordPress website that I run.  Here is a list of a few of the problems I was having:

  • There was a “>” sign at the very top of my site.
  • Intermittent DNS connectivity issues.
  • Code missing from the <head> section of the website.
  • Site down and trying serve up a GZ file instead of the website.

First, I tried to solve these issues on my own. That didn’t work out so well. After scouring all the php files and all the functions, I found one orphaned “>” sign. I removed it. And that did….absolutely nothing. WTF? This is also when I noticed the missing code inside the <head> section of the site. I was including jquery version 1.9.0 but the website said I was including version 1.8.3.

Ok, time to call in the big guns. I call up the hosting company, Hostgator, and the gave me a good direction to start in. They said delete the cache and disable auto updates in the “Quick Install” module in the control panel. The tech at Hostgator was seeing different code than I was when he viewed the source for the homepage and that was one of the reasons he thought it may be an auto update issue. He saw wordpress version 3.4.2 where I was seeing version 3.5.1. For the cache issue, I originally thought they are talking about the WP-SuperCache Plugin but that was disabled months ago.

Well it turns out that there is an actual “cache” folder in the wp-content folder. (This may be part of WP-SuperCache.) In either case there were still cache files located in there. So I deleted them. WALLAH! The orphaned “>” is now gone from the top of the page. It was the one I removed from the <head> section earlier. Also, my jquery version 1.9.0 started loading.

This is where I started having the GZ download instead of the site showing issue. So I called up Hostgator again to find out if they could help track it down. And they did. It turns out that it STILL was a cache issue. Apparently, the cache plugin still had code in the .htaccess file that was causing the site to serve up the .gz file instead of the actual website!

So 6 hours later, the website is up and running fine. And a little faster to boot!

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