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Joomla! Login Issues

I had a bit of a panic moment this morning.  I tried to login to this site using the front-end login and was completely unable to do so. At that point, I was terrified; I was afraid that no one could login to the website to leave comments and such. I quickly logged in to the backend administrator area of the site and, thankfully, was able to easily get in. I then tried to login as a different user on the front end of the website, and was not allowed access, but I did notice that the user I tried to login with was marked as logged in on the User Manger in the administrator section. So, I began troubleshooting.

Here is a summary of the issue:

  • Joomla! 1.0.15, CB 1.1, FireBoard 1.0.4, openSEF 2.0.0-RC5_SP2
  • Able to login to administrator section
  • Login on front-end fails with no error, screen just refreshes
  • User is marked as being logged in on the User Manager Screen, but is not logged in on the front-end

I began troubleshooting with what I thought were the obvious possibilities. I cleared the friendly URLs out of openSEF. When that didn't work, I disabled SEF completely, including Joomla! core SEF and renamed my .htaccess file. Still no luck. I disabled the Community Builder login and used the standard Joomla! login. Nothing. I was getting very worried ... then I had a thought ...

For some reason, I opened Internet Explorer this morning instead of Chrome or Firefox. So, I opened Firefox, went to www.keithscode.com, and successfully logged in. The problem lies with IE (surprise, surprise). After re-enabling SEF and turning the Community Builder login back on, I decided that the problem with IE was in the cookies.

Seeing as I work on the Internet all day, every day, I have amassed a large number of cookies. I had no desire to ‘toss my cookies' and start fresh. So I went perusing through my cookies directory looking for keithscode.com cookies. I deleted the first one I came to, opened a new instance of IE, went to www.keithsocde.com and still wasn't able to login.  So I did some more looking and I found another keithscode.com cookie. After deleting that one, I was able to login to the website using IE.

Here's a recap of the problem:

  • Sometimes I go to the website by typing keithscode.com, sometimes I type www.keithscode.com.
  • My Joomla! ‘live site' configuration is set to http://www.keithscode.com
  • There were 2 cookies for the same user, cookie:user@keithscode.com/ and cookie:user@www.keithscode.com/
  • IE apparently gets really confused when you have cookies like that for a Joomla! site

SOLUTION:

  • Delete the offending cookies
  • Always use the ‘live site' URL to access the site

In the end, I felt a little stupid for not at least trying to login with a different browser before I assumed it was a website issue. Hopefully this helps someone out there and keeps them from panicking too much.