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A Funny Thing Happened in the WordPress Admin

March 18, 2014

After working on countless WordPress sites for clients and personal projects the situation that happened to me today never occurred before and I hope it never occurs again. Here’s the deets:

Since I use 1Password to manage all my various web passwords, I never check the ‘Remember Me’ box on the WordPress login screen. Thus, after a couple hours of inactivity or if I change wifi networks I am logged out of the WordPress admin. Today I had a meeting with one of the clients I have been working with for a few years and I was checking a few things on their site before I left my house for the meeting.

Upon returning home I had been logged out of their site so I had to reauthenticate which I did. I happened to be on the Appearence > Menus page so when I logged back in I clicked ‘Save Menu’ just in case I had forgotten to do that before I was logged out. For whatever reason, WordPress did not like that at all.

When I went to check a few more things on the site, all of the main navigation menu items were titled ‘admin’ both on the front end and in the WP admin. What happened? This was new to me. Tried the obvious: re-saving, clearing my cache, clearing the site caches but no joy. With 10 top-level menu items, 12 sub menus and 4 sub-sub-menus I did not want to have to go in and rename all of these manually.

Did a quick Google search and this was one of those times where all of the search terms are too common to find anything useful: “wordpress nav menu items named admin” or “menu items changed to ‘admin’ wordpress” came up with pages and pages about WordPress nav menus, admin menus, changing menu item names and the like but I couldn’t find any other example of my issue which in the mashup that is Google and WordPress is a very rare thing indeed.

Luckily for this client (and all my clients) I have daily database backups with BackupBuddy and was able to restore from yesterdays db and all is well – menus and WordPress equilibrium restored. But I’m stumped as to what exactly happened and how to avoid it next time.

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