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The site I'm working on has a very strange problem.

  • When any page is updated, the Front Page is updated with the same content.

  • Changing what page is set to the 'Front Page' seems not to matter. I duplicated the front page and pointed the static front page to the new page, but the problem persisted. (The old Front Page no longer updated improperly)

  • Digging deeper, when I make a change to any page, front page included, creates multiple revisions of the page, not just one (Usually 3?)

  • Installing the Activity Log plugin revealed the page is being constantly updated by both me, another administrator who I know is not currently updating it, and sometimes a blank-non user with the server IP, multiple times per minute.

I find no PHP errors, or anything in debug.log that helps illuminate the problem. I've disabled any new plugins we added (all are A+ plugins; WordFence, W3 Cache, Yoast). The problem seemed to happen after connecting WooCommerce subscriptions, but i don't feel like that could be the cause.

I've tried:

  • Disabling new plugins
  • Reinstalling WordPress
  • Changing the front page
  • Rebooting the server

I've never seen anything like this, any help is appreciated.

  • Have you looked at your theme's front-page.php? When you've tested "reinstalling wordpress", did you start with a clean install without plugins, and still got the same behavior? – janh Oct 20 '17 at 21:16
  • Nothing seems unusual (i think) about front-page.php. I reinstalled from the updates page, I did not do a total clean install; I am worried about causing downtime if I can avoid it. – digiacom Oct 21 '17 at 1:38
  • I've taken a screenshot of the Activity Log plugin output: dogorado.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/acitivity-log.png Note that there are 800+ entries, but I only installed the plugin shortly before posting this question 4 hours ago - and nobody is working on the site. I used WP Crontrol to check if a cron task was at fault, but couldn't see anything fishy. – digiacom Oct 21 '17 at 1:51
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The issue was my theme; a recent update to it (Hestia Free v1.1.51) caused Page Builder by SiteOrigins to break page updates by copying the updated page content to whatever page was set to the Static Front Page. That version of Hestia also generated numerous page updates to the static front page, often many per minute.

I have rolled back to Hestia Free v1.1.50 with WP Rollback and the problem has vanished. I will contact the theme creator.

  • In case it helps, I figured it out by disabling all plugins except 'activity log', noting that the update behavior on the log continued. Then I isolated 'Page Builder by SiteOrigins' as the plugin which caused the content duplication. Afterwards I switched to Twenty Seventeen theme and observed the Activity Log issue ceased, along with the content duplication, helping narrow down the issue. – digiacom Oct 21 '17 at 4:00

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