Dreamweaver & Redux Framework Collide
I’ve been working with WordPress a long time. Adobe Dreamweaver (DW) even longer. In fact, I’ve been working with Dreamweaver since it was first developed by Macromedia and it was in its initial release. So much to my surprise, while troubleshooting the error in the title of this page, I was taken down a long rabbit hole to find the culprit and the solution. I share both with you below.
Maintain Synchronization Information
Dreamweaver creates a folder in each directory of your website’s architecture called ‘_notes’. The _notes folder serves two purposes:
- Allow Dreamweaver to maintain synchronization information with the remote server
- Design Notes – Design Notes are notes that you create against a web file. It’s a great way to share comments when working in a collaborative environment or simply to annotate reminders for yourself about the web page your working with.
I never found a deep need for Notes, however, I’m sure there are plenty of web developers who leverage the feature to some extent.
The website I was working with was using the Redux Framework. Redux is a simple, truly extensible options framework for WordPress themes and plugins. It is built on the WordPress Settings API, and supports a multitude of field types as well as custom error handling, custom field & validation types, and import/export functionality.
The Fatal Error
I was migrating my site from our staging server to the client’s production server when the website would only load to a white page. I’ve seen this before, several times, but usually it was due to a PHP version incompatibility or something minor like a missing wp-includes file.
But neither of those were the case. As I always do, I checked the server’s error log. That’s where I came across:
mod_fcgid: stderr: PHP Fatal error: Class 'ReduxFramework_Extension__notes' not found in /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/httpdocs/wp-content/themes/theme-name/admin/framework.php
The particular line in question in my framework.php file was invoking a class from the ‘extensions’ folder. After closely analyzing the commands, I saw that the class file path was written as such:
And that is where the error was stemming from.
The solution to fixing mod_fcgid: stderr: PHP Fatal error: Class ‘ReduxFramework_Extension__notes’ is actually quite simple. Because of the naming convention of the _notes folder, it was colliding with the PHP class and rendering the website useless.
So deleting _notes from the extensions folder resolved the issue.
I have never had an issue with the _notes folder. Ever. If you are experiencing the same issue and this blog post helped you resolve it, please be sure to like & then share it below. Good luck!