We have always displayed a few relevant newsfeeds upon our web site, but it has never, to be honest been very high on the visitor list, or upon our own priority list. We long ago noticed that the default display for the ‘Newsfeeds Categories’ in the front end of our site comprised merely of two lines, one for each of the two newsfeed categories we use, which also acted as a link to the underlying newsfeeds in the respective category. There was no page header, no display of the breadcrumb information, and no details of the category descriptions. In short a very barren page.
Originally it was suspected that it might be a template or CSS type problem. Attempts to change the menu settings, resaving module specifications etc., all proved fruitless. It didn’t matter what the menu settings were, they were silently ignored. One is tempted to say it was a cache type problem, but bearing in mind that this has been the situation for several months, if not longer and the various caches’ had been manually cleared several times during that period, it was obvious that something else was amiss.
With the change to a new site template, the situation remained unresolved and it was starting to get a little bit annoying. So given a hour or so spare we decided to investigate further. Inspection of the PHP code underlying the display revealed no clues, and despite retrying all our previous steps we were no further forward.
Searching the web for similar reported problems drew a complete blank, apart from a link to a very strange problem we had ourselves encountered with the display of breadcrumbs on a previous occasion. Looking back we found out previous blog entry. [So keeping a blog can prove useful.] We thus decided to clear all URL entries from the sh404SEF component for the com_newsfeeds component. Low and behold on refreshing our web page the correctly formatted page was shown, complete with headers, breadcrumbs, descriptive text etc.
We realise that sh404SEF keeps track of URL links, but why this should impact the page display is currently a bit of a mystery. It doesn’t itself cache pages, but must somehow also keep track of which modules and what the ‘previous’ settings were for a page ,for which it is keeping a record of the link. I am sure that I have never read anything of this sort in the component documentation.
What we learnt gain from this is that sh404SEF seems to have some strange characteristics which impact what is displayed upon a screen, far and above just converting non SEF URLs to a SEF format. So it you are ever seeing a similar type of problem and every thing else seems to failing to resolve it, it might, if your site is using sh404SEF be worth clearing your entries and seeing if it resolves the problem. Certainly stranger things have happened.