KinkyBlueFairy Hosted by Bagelhost

Fixing bugs in legacy or inherited code and server environments.

Background.

KinkyBlueFairy is a well known blog that's been around since 2004, and has been a WordPress site since 2007 (it has over 3500+ posts, and 420,000+ images). Given the lack of regular maintenance, the site was beginning to show its age internally. Certain things were mysteriously disappearing from the site's frontend, e.g. menus and post categories, whereas other things just stopped working e.g. social media share buttons. That said, the job was to fix these bugs, and migrate the site to Bagelhost.

Broken Compatibility.

Managing dependencies for the average WordPress website is difficult. While the maintainers of WordPress Core are organized and generous enough to provide backport security updates for even very old versions (version 3.7 released in October 24, 2013 is still being patched in 2019), this is not the case for plugins and themes.

The current nature of WordPress theme and plugin development, is that you either upgrade to the latest version (which could break your site's functionality), or risk not having the latest security patches.

This leaves the majority of WordPress websites vulnerable—specifically those who were sold a WordPress website without the knowledge of this maintenance risk. This is a problem that Bagelhost seeks to solve, through a truly managed hosting service that's practical for non-technical users, and priced sustainably for the hosting service and its customers.

Fixing KinkyBlueFairy.

These were also found and fixed during the course of the project:

  • All edits to the core theme files were moved into a child theme.
  • The core theme didn't seem to be actively maintained anymore (the last update was in 2015). So I turned on WP_DEBUG to check for deprecated functions, and placed my fixes within the child theme.
  • The site relied on various plugins that were now incompatible with the installed WordPress version, so I looked for replacement plugins that were currently well-maintained.
  • For some functionality, a few lines of code could replace the need for a plugin dependency, so I did that were I could.
Post-migration Performance.

The site's loading speed was noticeably improved, thanks to all the server-side dependency upgrades and Bagelhost's secret hosting sauce.

I used Pingdom to run a speed test, since that's a tool that non-technical people can also use themselves. The screenshots of that test are below:

Old Server

New Server