HELP! WP Super Cache Broke My Site!

by Dave Curtis on 05/02/2013 · 2 comments

in Case Study, Wordpress

You can’t log in, you can’t see your site menu, you can’t see anything at all except a lot of code which looks like this:

HELP! WP Super Cache Broke My Site

HELP! WP Super Cache Broke My Site

The front page of your site will look something like the above (hopefully, since my fix fixed exactly that).

Skip the crap! Get to the Fix!

Almost all of the well meaning forums and help people are programmers. Bummer. Programmers look for programming solutions just like lawyers look for legal solutions, brick and block layers look for brick and block solutions etc… ok so you ask “HOW THE *@#* DO I JUST FIX THIS? I’M NOT A PROGRAMMER!” (you ask calmly after asking 20 people 100 questions over and over and nobody understands and they all tell you to debug the php and see what line of code the debug stops at and look up the WordPress Codex, and ones and zeros and … WTF?? What the, HOLY SHIT – MY BUSINESS IS RUINED IF I DON’T FIX THIS and  I should learn PHP *today* because you’re a bejeezis *@#*ing idiot who doesn’t know how to fix this without PHP programming ability? Not meaning to point out anyone in specific but the WP Super Cache Plugin Author himself actually told one panicked user (and I quote):

“unfortunately you need to learn a lot about hosting and how PHP and WordPress works. Read the WordPress codex, use Google. Otherwise, base your business at where you won’t have to worry about any of this stuff. ” ~Donncha O Caoimh

That’s just swell, I think that clears things up nicely. Let’s just all take a month off so we can go do that. Seriously. Programmers seriously crack me up. In support there are only two types of problems: Hardware and Software. But I digress.

Here’s how to fix it if you’re not a programmer – the EASY way:

You have to FTP into your blog/site or you have to use your download manager in your control panel. If you can’t even do that then get someone who can.

  1. Now download your config.php file from the root of your blog.
  2. Now make a copy of it so you don’t screw it up, just in case (it’s already screwed up but so what), and rename the downloaded config.php to broken-config.php.
  3. Get your hands on a fresh copy of the config.php file or one from any WP Blog that does NOT have WP Super Cache installed on it already. HELPFUL HINT: You can simply download WordPress as a zip, extract it, and use the config.php in the extracted folder.
  4. Rename the good config.php to good-config.php (you may as well make a copy of this one too since you might screw this up and need to start over, so do it. Make the copy.)
  5. Now open up both the broken-config.php and the good-config.php files in a text editor. (Notepad++ will work, Notepad.exe, EditPad.exe [it has tabs, I also like it for other reasons]. I don’t like Notepad.exe because sometimes the wordwrap feature saves the file weird and it won’t work unless you re-open it, unwrap the sentences, save and re-upload.)
  6. You’re going to abandon the broken-config.php file and only copy over the correct setup information already entered into it into the good-config.php file. When you’re done you’re going to upload the good-config.php file.
  7. Copy and replace all of the following information from the bad one (which has your wp blog database access information in it) into the good one (which is fresh, uncorrupted by WP Supercache, and does not have your WP blog database access information in it). NOTE: The bold lines are what you’re looking for – the RED writing is what you’ll be replacing with your own old config.php’s data.


/** The name of the database for WordPress */

define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘your-database-name-goes-here‘);

/** MySQL database username */

define(‘DB_USER’, ‘your-database-username-goes-here‘);

/** MySQL database password */

define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘your-database-password-goes-here‘);

/** MySQL hostname */

define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’);  <—-This will likely remain localhost, but if it is different, change it as well.


Then do all of the authorization keys (from the broken to the good):  NOTE: Your broken one may have more or less “define” lines than the good one. That’s ok – use them all: Don’t leave any of the authorization keys out.

define(‘AUTH_KEY’,         ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);

define(‘SECURE_AUTH_KEY’,  ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);

define(‘LOGGED_IN_KEY’,    ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);

define(‘NONCE_KEY’,        ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);

define(‘AUTH_SALT’,        ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);

define(‘SECURE_AUTH_SALT’, ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);

define(‘LOGGED_IN_SALT’,   ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);

define(‘NONCE_SALT’,       ‘kjgjagjagjasjflkjjiekrejelrjekjrlkjl898advww00ccfaksjdfljvijiu32’);


Now it’s ready to upload – but you’re not done yet! Now you have to get rid of WP Super Cache or it will probably break your site again. (oh joy!).

So here’s what you need to do according to a guy named “Weaver” on – his instructions didn’t work for me, but he was helpful in identifying the locations of the files & folders you want to make sure are deleted:

/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache   <–delete the entire wp-super-cache directory

/wp-content/cache   <–delete the entire cache directory



Also go into your /wp-content/plugins/ folder and delete the wp super cache folder. You can download all of the above files & folders to your computer if you’re afraid to just delete them, but I deleted mine right away. My advice is to always backup anything you’re working on so any changes can be undone.


Ok, so now you save and upload, then rename the file from good-config.php to config.php. Your blog should now be working properly again. This post was written about THIS blog which I discovered was down today. Once you know the steps (above) you should be able to have it fixed in about 10 minutes.

Good luck!

(Meanwhile, if you’ve followed the advice of the php programmer, after studying the Pseudo Code beginners programming theory book you should be on about page 7 [a month and a half from now if you’re lucky] of the introduction to PHP Programming’s 1,200 page PHP BIBLE. )


1 Yoly October 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Thank you! This article was a lifesasver and because of it I was able to fix my blog.

2 Dave Curtis October 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hi Yoly – more than glad to help. The answers out there are just not adequate to handle this dire emergency situation. A plugin that trashes a site needs to have a set of simple, step by step emergency recovery instructions and not advice to stop living and go back to school to learn a new language. Either that or a severe warning in the top of the plugin’s description and a confession “I don’t know any way to fix this if it happens”.

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