Disappearing Images!

[UPDATE  July 2011]:
I talked to my hosting company, who told me that they would look into it. They discovered they had a setting enabled called ‘web page compression’. After they disabled this, it has been completely resolved.

Ok, so after months of frustration, I am still no closer to solving this issue.

Here’s the back story:

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I am currently working on a project called “2ndcity”. Part of my role was to create the website. This worked well, until the site grew to a point where we made the call to shift to a (wordpress) multisite install. The reason for this was because we had three very separate target audiences for our product, and we wanted to customise each site towards each particular audience.

So, I made the transition to:

[ROOT SITE] – http://2ndcity.co.nz

[USERS SITE] – http://2ndcity.co.nz/users

[PARENTS SITE] – http://2ndcity.co.nz/parents

[CHURCHES SITE] – http://2ndcity.co.nz/churches

The transition went well, after following some helpful tutorials both on the wordpress codex and on some other blogs. My trouble started when I began to add ‘featured images’ to my posts on any of the sub-folder sites. The image would load, but then as soon as the page finished loading, the image would ‘break’.

I soon realised that this was a Google Chrome only issue, as it was not occurring in any other browser. I also realised that I was not alone, and many other people were having some version of this issue.

So, after months of detective work, I am closer, but the actual issue is not solved. Here is what I have deduced so far:

  • This is not a TimThumb.php issue, since this is also happening to any image that I upload.
  • If I reduce the image size (say to 150×150) then on some sites, it works (and the images persist). On others, some images persist, some disappear, and on others none persist.
  • The image is definitely “there”, since opening the broken image icon in a new tab reveals the image, as well as the fact that it appears in other browsers.
  • The file type makes no difference
  • The image file size makes no difference
  • Clearing the cache makes no difference
  • Removing “content-length’ from the headers makes no difference.
  • I don’t believe that this is a htaccess error, as all permalinks are working, the images are there, and, once again, it works in all other browsers.
  • I have disabled CSS and JS, and it makes no difference
  • The google chrome inspector says “failed to load resource”
Obviously this will be a post that hopefully has a [RESOLVED] tag on it one day, but if anyone out there knows of something I may not have tried, feel free to let me know!
[UPDATE 15 Jun 2011]:
I am beginning to think that it still may be an issue with TimThumb. I think that perhaps it is related to the zoom/crop function, because today I uploaded an image that was W235 x H259 (px). My Timthumb crop settings were set to W306 x H191. This meant that the top and bottom of the image was cropped (based on the Timthumb function). The image disappeared. I then changed the crop settings / dimensions to W306 x H291, and the image persisted.
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