A glitch in my WordPress system: Solved.

I’ve had an odd problem with WordPress for a few days, although I didn’t notice it until yesterday evening, when I left a comment on the entertaining blog of my far-side-of-the-world cyber-friend Jo Eberhardt (The Happy Logophile).  When I swooshed the cursor over my name on the comment, up came not my URL but my username, quite worthless as a hyperlink.  When I checked back through past comments, I saw that the problem popped up a few days ago.  Why?  I had no idea.

I was pretty sure this was something I could find and fix, if only I could figure out where.  I posted a question to the WordPress forum, and received an answer from a helpful Happiness Engineer about the time I stumbled across the right place myself:  the web site line on the Personal Settings page.

But try as I might, I couldn’t change that line.  Or more precisely, I couldn’t make the change stick.  I’d type in the correct URL and click on “save changes.”  The screen would say “user updated.”  And when I opened the page to check it,  the line had reverted to my user name.  Every time.  Frustrated, I went to bed.

Nothing had changed this morning.  But when I got to work and signed on from that computer, everything was fine, web site URL was where it should be.  Aha, I thought.  Signing out and signing back in an hour later, that’s the secret.

That wasn’t the secret.  When I got back to my home computer this evening, the Personal Settings page once again showed my user name instead of my URL.  How could that setting not be the same on both computers?  Was there some hidden WordPress cookie on one and not the other?  What was different?  My work computer runs IE8 on Windows XP, and my home computer runs IE9 on Windows 7, but I really didn’t think that should matter.

Hmm.  What was the difference?  I tried rebooting, and even turning the computer off and on, which I don’t do all that often.  No change.  The web site line and the password box below it still sat there wrong and green and–wait a minute.  Green?  Why are those boxes green?  They weren’t green on my work computer, where everything was correct.

And then the penny finally dropped.  Green boxes, sitting right there in front of me.  And green boxes whenever Norton Identity Safe, my clever password storage and log in program, signed me in to WordPress.

I’m terrible about passwords.  Hate to change them, can’t remember half of them, use the same one for lots of things (I mean really, who’s going to break into my account at the Science Fiction Book Club and order extra books?).  So I have Norton log me into almost everything.  And when it does, it turns the username and password boxes green.  I’ve been using Norton far longer than I’ve been using WordPress, but I think once I had the blog set up I had no reason to go back to the Personal Settings page. 

Then one day last week I was wandering around my Dashboard, just looking at stuff, and I opened the Personal Settings page.  And Norton Identify Safe saw that box marked password, so it filled mine in, along with my user name in the box above it where the web site URL should be, complete with those tell-tale green backgrounds.  And every time I opened the page to check for changes, it did the same thing. 

As soon as I removed WordPress from the auto-log in list and signed in myself, the Personal Settings page came up with my blog’s URL in the right place, and no green boxes.

So I’ll keep WordPress off the log in program for a while, or stay off the Personal Settings page, and keep an eye on things, but this time I think I’ve actually solved the mystery.

Talk to me!

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