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Troubleshooting FAQ
11 January, 2013
6:04 am
Ben Miller
Appleton, WI, USA
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Troubleshooting Frequently Asked Questions, last updated 11/21/2013

I've listed some of the common questions and answers that frequently appear on the forum.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for the FAQ.  If you need any help, please do not post in this topic.  Instead, start a new topic, and remember to post a link to your site if you would like help troubleshooting.

 

The original FAQ is here on the main sermonbrowser.com site.

 

 

Contents

Getting Started

  • Sermon Browser looks worth a try.  But I don't know where to go to download/install it.
  • I just installed Sermon Browser, and I don't know how to see my sermons on the website.
  • I want to use a media player that works on Apple devices.
  • The upload feature in Sermon Browser isn't working.
  • I'm getting a warning that my maximum file size is too small, and it won't let me upload my sermon audio file because it is too big.
  • What's this FTP stuff I've heard so much about?

Bug Fixes

  • I think I found a bug in Sermon Browser!  What should I do?
  • I'm using the old Audio Player plugin, and I'm getting a "File not found" error when I try to play my sermons.
  • The layout of Sermon Browser on my website doesn't look as nice as other sites I've seen.  Adjusting the Style template doesn't seem to do anything.
  • My sermons all look pushed together; there is no whitespace or border line between sermons.
  • Everything looked good, until I recently switched WordPress themes.
  • The "Listen" link on my ESV passages is ridiculously large.
  • Are there any plugins that are known to conflict with Sermon Browser?
  • I'm not happy with the updates in the new version of Sermon Browser.  How do I install an older version?

Customizing Sermon Browser

  • I'd like to use a Bible version other than ESV.
  • I want to edit some lines in my podcast feed to make the podcast pretty and keep the validators happy.
  • Why does iTunes show only my 16 most recent sermons?
  • I wish there was a template tag that I could use in the Sermon Browser templates that would give me (something).
  • Has anyone written any cool mods that I might want to implement on my website?
  • How do I limit the width of the WordPress 3.6 media player?

Using the Forum/Getting Help

  • Who supports this plugin?
  • I'm having trouble posting what I want to post to the forum.
  • Searching the forum is difficult.
  • Do you have any other suggestions for troubleshooting Sermon Browser?
  • How can I maximize my chances of getting quick help on the forum?

 

 

Answers

Getting Started

  • Sermon Browser looks worth a try.  But I don't know where to go to download/install it.

See this topic

 

  • I just installed Sermon Browser, and I don't know how to see my sermons on the website.  

Check out this topic.

 

  • I want to use a media player that works on Apple devices.

If you are running WordPress 3.6 or later, the built-in media player is the one we recommend.  To use it, deactivate any media player plugins you might have running.  Then go to the Sermon Browser Options screen (Sermons, Options) and change the "MP3 shortcode" box to this:

(left-square-bracket)audio mp3="%SERMONURL%"(right-square-bracket)

Note: The square bracket characters [ ] were omitted above to prevent conflicts here on the forum.  Use the actual square bracket characters on your keyboard.

If you are running a version of WordPress older than 3.6, the media player that we recommend here on the forum is a WordPress plugin called MediaElement.js by John Dyer.  The "MP3 shortcode" setting for this plugin is this:

(left-square-bracket)mejsaudio mp3="%SERMONURL%" preload="none"(right-square-bracket)

 

  • The upload feature in Sermon Browser isn't working.
  • I'm getting a warning that my maximum file size is too small, and it won't let me upload my sermon audio file because it is too big.

Your server settings are limiting the size of the file that you can upload.  Read this topic for more information and workarounds.   

 

  • What's this FTP stuff I've heard so much about?

FTP is a method for transferring files between your computer and your web server.  To use this, you'll need to install an FTP client, like FileZilla, on your computer.  See this topic for some details on using FileZilla to transfer files.

 

Bug Fixes

  • I think I found a bug in Sermon Browser!  What should I do?

First, make sure you are running the latest version of Sermon Browser.  Sermon Browser has recently been updated with lots of bug fixes.  If you aren't running the latest version, it is likely that your bug is fixed in that version.  You can click here for details on the fixes that were put into the recent versions and suggestions on updating Sermon Browser.

If you are still having trouble after updating to the latest version, please post a new topic.  Don't forget to include a link to your site, so we can take a look.  If you've already worked out a fix for the bug, thanks!  Please post the details in a new topic, and we'll try to get it into the next version.

 

  • I'm using the old Audio Player plugin, and I'm getting a "File not found" error when I try to play my sermons.

This problem is caused by having an "MP3 Shortcode" setting that is incompatible with the Audio Player plugin.  The Audio Player plugin used to be the recommended media player to use with Sermon Browser; however, it is not anymore.  We now have new recommendations, based on which version of WordPress you are running.  In recent versions of Sermon Browser, we have changed the default "MP3 Shortcode" setting to work with the new recommended player.  If your options got reset to the defaults after you updated Sermon Browser, you'll need to fix this.

The best option is to switch to one of the recommended options.  See "I want to use a media player that works on Apple devices" above.  You'll need to deactivate Audio Player and follow the directions in that question.

If you would rather continue using Audio Player, you'll need to go to Sermons, Options, and change your "MP3 Shortcode" setting to this:

(left-square-bracket)audio:%SERMONURL%(right-square-bracket)

 

  • The layout of Sermon Browser on my website doesn't look as nice as other sites I've seen.  Adjusting the Style template doesn't seem to do anything.
  • My sermons all look pushed together; there is no whitespace or border line between sermons.
  • Everything looked good, until I recently switched WordPress themes.

Each of these situations is due to a conflict between your theme and the Sermon Browser default templates.  Read this topic.   In that topic, read all the way to the end.  There are two recommended fixes to adjust the Sermon Browser templates to work with almost any theme.  Follow the instructions for both fixes. 

These changes have been made to the default templates in the new versions of Sermon Browser; however, if you initially installed version 0.45.4 (or older) and then updated to a newer version, you are still using the old template (updating does not change your active templates).  If you haven't done any customizing to your templates, you can click the "Reset to Defaults" button on the Sermons, Templates screen and you should have these fixes.  If you have done some customizing, then follow the directions in this forum topic to fix your problem.

 

  • The "Listen" link on my ESV passages is ridiculously large.

There is some "responsive" code in your theme that is causing this to happen.  See this post for an explanation and a workaround.

 

  • Are there any plugins that are known to conflict with Sermon Browser?

Yes.  "Bad Behavior" is one such plugin that has been known to behave badly with Sermon Browser. 

Also, "WP Super Cache" has no way of knowing that the sermon page needs to be updated when you add or edit a sermon.  So you need to explicitly tell WP Super Cache not to cache your sermons page.  See this forum post for details

If you know of any others, please let me know the details.

 

  • I'm not happy with the updates in the new version of Sermon Browser.  How do I install an older version?

See this forum topic for instructions.

 

Customizing Sermon Browser

  • I'd like to use a Bible version other than ESV.

There are several different options for Bible translations in many languages.  See this topic for a discussion of what is available.

 

  • I want to edit some lines in my podcast feed to make the podcast pretty and keep the validators happy.

The code that generates the podcast feed is in /wp-content/plugins/sermon-browser/sb-includes/podcast.php.  Remember that any changes you make to the plugin files will be lost when the plugin is updated in the future, and you will need to make the changes again.  So keep track of the changes you make, and save a backup of your plugin files.

Ben Meredith put together a video tutorial for making changes to your podcast.php file.

 

  • Why does iTunes show only my 16 most recent sermons?

See an explanation in this topic.

 

  • I wish there was a template tag that I could use in the Sermon Browser templates that would give me (something).

Adding your own template tags is not too difficult, if you are willing to do a little PHP.  The template tags definitions are in /wp-content/plugins/sermon-browser/sb-includes/dictionary.php.  See this topic for a quick discussion on how it works.

 

  • Has anyone written any cool mods that I might want to implement on my website?

Jared showed us how to display an image for each series.  I documented showing listen statistics on the frontend and displaying the length of each MP3.  Remember to keep track of any changes that you make, because you will lose them when you update Sermon Browser to a new version.  If you have a favorite that I missed, please let me know.

 

  • How do I limit the width of the WordPress 3.6 media player?

Read this post for an explanation and a workaround.

 

 

Using the Forum/Getting Help

  • Who supports this plugin?

Sermon Browser is a free, open-source, community-supported plugin used by thousands of churches worldwide.  Sermon Browser is offered for free, and does not come with any type of warranty.  Due to the nature of WordPress, there are many variables to making Sermon Browser work on your site, and every theme and plugin means that Sermon Browser runs in a different environment on each church's site.  Therefore, troubleshooting can sometimes be a challenge.

If you are having trouble, we invite you to post your question to the forum.  We are fortunate to have a few community members who love Jesus, love people, and love helping churches spread the Gospel online.  More often than not, they will be able to help you with your problem.

Please keep in mind, however, that you have not paid anything for this plugin.  Even if you have donated money using the Donate link, you still have not paid anything for this plugin.  (A donation is not a payment for the plugin or for support, but simply an entirely optional way for you to say "thank you" for any benefit you feel you have received from the plugin.  Developers do not receive anything from the donations; all donations currently go to missions work in Japan.)

If you are a Sermon Browser user and have a passion for spreading the Gospel worldwide, consider answering questions on the forum.  If you see a question that you think you can answer, there is no need to wait for a moderator to chime in.  Go ahead and help!

 

  • I'm having trouble posting what I want to post to the forum.

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind while posting to the forum.  First, the forum sometimes has trouble with square brackets.  If you want to show us a shortcode, it is best to do it without the square bracket characters.  Use curly braces instead { } or type out something like this: (square-bracket)sermons(square-bracket)

If you have a bunch of code that you want to post, don't just paste it into the forum.  It won't look right, and some characters will get stripped out.  Instead, use http://pastebin.com/ . Just paste your code in there, and post the resulting URL to the forum.

 

  • Searching the forum is difficult.

Tell me about it.  :)   Here is what I do when I want to search the forum.  I go to Google and type this:

site:sermonbrowser.com enter search terms here

 

  • Do you have any other suggestions for troubleshooting Sermon Browser?

Prayer.

 

  • How can I maximize my chances of getting quick help on the forum?

When you start a new forum topic for help, don't forget to include a link to your site.  Even if you think you have a simple question that doesn't require anyone looking at your site, you can get a much better answer from whoever is helping you if they can see where you are at with Sermon Browser on your site.  I rarely answer a question without looking at the website of the person seeking help.

After you post your topic, if you subscribe to that topic, you'll get an e-mail automatically whenever anyone replies to it.  This will help speed up the troubleshooting process.  To subscribe, open up your topic and click the button at the bottom that says "Subscribe."  You can also set up your forum account to automatically subscribe to any topic you are involved in.  To do this, edit your profile (the Profile button at the top of the forum), click on the Subscriptions tab, check the dot next to "Auto subscribe to topics I post in," and hit the "Update Subscription Options" button.

 

If you need additional help, please do not reply to this topic.  Instead, start a new topic in the support forum, and be sure to include a link to your site if you want help troubleshooting.

If you have any suggestions or comments on the FAQ, feel free to reply.

Ben Miller, Pathways Church, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
Read the new FAQ, last updated 11/21/2013
Announcing version 0.45.12

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