Solutions to Potential Setup Issues: Customizer

This article was last updated on the December 9, 2016.

It is of critical importance to us that X maintains the highest standards in theme development. We are continually building upon our platform to not only bring you new features, but architectural solidarity. While we have done everything we can to ensure that your setup and usage of X goes as smoothly as possible, occasionally errors do arise. Oftentimes, these issues occur simply due to a server configuration or rogue plugin interfering with X. We have put this section together in an attempt to help you better troubleshoot these potential problems should they occur.

Not Saving Options

A couple of users have reported an issue where their Customizer settings fail to persist after they save them, leave the Customizer, then come back at a later time. We believe this to be an error that is occurring on certain server environments during the installation process, or due to caching plugins not clearing properly. First, we recommend that you attempt to completely clear your browser cache, as well as ensure that any caching plugins you are using are cleared out as well. If this problem continues, download one of our XCS (X Customizer Settings) files from the Demo Content section and import it into the Customizer by going to Customizer > Import in the WordPress admin panel. This will reset the options for your Customizer and allow you to save you settings.

If you have tried the methods above and find that your Customizer is still not saving your options, take some time to read through the solution below and implement it on your site as it has been found to resolve any additional problems.

Unicode Content Error

Through testing and various user accounts we have found out discovered that the Custoimzer does not accept unicode characters and that inputting these can cause problems with your WordPress installation. If you are unfamiliar with unicode, it is an international encoding standard for use with different languages and scripts, by which each letter, digit, or symbol is assigned a unique numeric value that applies across different platforms and programs. Below are a few examples of unicode input and their output on webpages:

  • ♫ (♫)
  • ★ (★)
  • € (€)
  • ش (ش)
  • Φ (Φ)

These inputs appear to be problematic with the Customizer and should be avoided for now. At this time we are not able to discern why this is the case with the Customizer and this is also something that we do not have any control over as WordPress handles the sanitization of these inputs natively. We will update this article as we learn more about this issue, but wanted to notify our members about this situation so that they can be aware of this problem and how to steer clear of it at this time.

Not Working or Showing a White Screen

Depending on your hosting environment (e.g. shared, VPS, et cetera) and how big your database is, you might experience an issue when trying to access the Customizer. This is usually due to the Customizer timing out because of a memory limit in your server environment. The first thing you can do to remedy this is to enter the following lines in your wp-config.php file at the root of your installation:

define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );
define( 'WP_MAX_MEMORY_LIMIT', '512M' );

Upon entering in this information everything should begin to work as expected unless your hosting provider has a limit on these parameters, which would keep them from taking effect. If your Customizer is still failing to load, the next step would be to open up a support ticket with your hosting provider and ask them to increase your PHP memory limit to a higher setting, preferably 512M.

If you are working with X on a local server environment, appending the following line to your .htaccess file can solve this issue as well:

php_value memory_limit 512M

Another potential source of conflict can arise if the Cornerstone plugin is not installed upon activating of X. Make sure that you have the most recent version of the Cornerstone plugin installed at all times. If it is your first time to activate and use X, you will be prompted to install this plugin along with other our other recommended/required plugins.

If you are upgrading from a older version of X, make sure you deactivate and delete X Shortcodes before installing Cornerstone, to prevent any potential conflicts from arising.

If you are encountering a 403, 500, or 503 error when trying to view the Customizer, we have found that this is typically due to security settings or permissions errors with the server. For this particular situation, you will need to contact your hosting provider and ask them to ensure that your file permissions are set correctly. Additionally, this could be related to a ModSecurity rule being triggered due to a combination of keywords used in the core WordPress files for the Customizer. This should be able to be remedied by writing into the support team at your host and asking them to whitelist the ModSecurity rules on your domain.

It is likely that you will not have to implement all of these changes yourself, we are merely wanting to be as thorough as possible for users that will need these settings. As stated before, while only a handful of users have reported this issue to us, we are actively working on a solution that will hopefully eliminate this problem in the future. Keep in mind that this in no way affects the performance of your live site, this is merely a backend performance issue with how a very small amount of hosting environments interact with our Customizer rendering.