I’ve been with my wife at the hospital today and have been working on the BluePrint-Q Tones while she rests.  Inbetween sessions, exactly one of the websites that I develop on localhost stopped loading properly.  I saw a ton of errors like this in the browser console:

GET https://localhost/tbs/wp-content/plugins/bpq.banners/bpq.banners.css?ver=1.4 net::ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED

Eventually realized that all of the errors referenced URLs that started with ‘https’.  Probably spent about four hours researching the issue trying the following:

  • Consider WAMP  extensions for rewrite, openssl, etc
  • Look into WordPress’ plugins_url and isSSL functions.
  • Tried repairing the database.
  • Searched for ‘ssl’ in the database options.
  • Went back to an old snapshot of the database (this worked, but did not have the data that I wanted).

At this point, I was unable to access the Administrative backend.  I wanted to try deactivating plugins – it’s a general rule for troubleshooting WordPress.  So, I went directly into the database and search for the row that contained the activated plugins using this SQL:

SELECT * FROM wpxtbs.wp_options
where option_name = 'active_plugins';

I removed the value from the returned row and, sure enough, the site worked again.  Narrowing it down further, I eventually figured out that it was WooCommerce that was causing the issue.  Deactivating WooCommerce was not enough – I had to delete and reinstall WooCommerce all over again.

With all of this information, it seems that the WooCommerce tables somehow trick requests to use an ‘https’ prefix instead.  The takeaway is to completely delete WooCommerce (including data) and reinstall it.