When I first began blogging in WordPress, I installed every plugin and widget that came even mildly recommended. A world of buttons and settings opened before me.
Ever Try Something “Wild” That You Regretted Later?
Somewhere along the line, I was asked by a box to insert text that would only be seen once, by first time visitors. I dashed off some text and forgot about it.
Months later a friend asked, “What’s the deal with the welcome message?
“I’m not a first time visitor.” The welcome message was popping up at the top of the post content every time anyone came to visit the home page. It was invisible to me because I view my page as the administrator. It wasn’t even showing up when I logged out. But it was there.
I could not turn off the welcome message!
I looked everywhere for a widget that I must have once installed and then removed. I searched on “Turn off welcome message in WordPress” and then tried to find something called GreetBox, which apparently is no longer. “Oh no,” I thought, “I must have once used GreetBox, it changed things, and then I deleted it.” I installed other greeting plugins in the vain hope I could override the welcome message. No dice.
For me, the stuck welcome message screamed “Rank Amateur”
I could see the dumb little message (including a typo!) on Google’s Rich Snippets testing tool. The tool shows you how your blog post appears in a Google search (very educational even if you aren’t so dumb that you installed a permanent welcome message).
I dug into code
If some Theme or Style file had been changed, maybe I could find it and manually delete it. I went through all my WordPress files in Editor. No dice. It was a desperate move, I found nothing, and remained bewildered since code isn’t poetry to me, if you know what I mean, and I know you do.
I was at my wit’s end when I decided to turn off all my plugins
If a plugin was holding the welcome message text, I could turn it off by deactivating all the plugins and turning them on, one by one. I turned off all 41 of my plugins. Well some were off already. I had turned off Yoast’s WorPress SEO after Google Webmaster tools told me it could not see my sitemap index. I had reactivated HeadPress 2, la, la, la.
I was shocked when I found out which plugin
When I turned off all my plugins, some very scary stuff appeared in Rich Snippets.
A huge RED 404 appeared instead of my post Google search snippet. That was WP Minify. When I turned it back on, things got better. As I turned on other plugins, I noticed something promising. The welcome message was not appearing! I kept turning them on until . . . the darned permanent welcome message reappeared! I had found the culprit. It was none other than . . .