WordPress is one of the most widely used Content Management Systems (CMS) today. It is well-known for its simplicity, adaptability, and expansion. Even the best CMS can occasionally experience errors or bugs that must be addressed. In this article, we’ll go over some fundamental WordPress debugging methods.
Step 1: Enable Debugging in WordPress
Enabling debugging is the first stage in debugging WordPress. WordPress does not show errors on the front end by default, making it difficult to diagnose problems. Enabling debugging, on the other hand, will display errors and alerts in real time. To activate debugging, open the wp-config.php file in your WordPress installation’s root directory and add the following code:
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
@ini_set( 'display_errors', 0 );
The first line enables debugging, the second logs errors and warnings to a file, and the third line stops errors from being displayed on the front end. The final line prevents PHP errors from being visible on the front end.
Step 2: Check for Plugin Conflicts
Plugins are a great way to extend the functionality of WordPress. However, sometimes plugins can conflict with each other or the WordPress core. If you encounter an error, try disabling all of your plugins and re-enabling them one by one until you find the culprit.
To disable your plugins, connect to your WordPress site via FTP or the file manager in your hosting control panel. Navigate to the wp-content/plugins directory and rename the plugins folder to something like “plugins_backup”. This will disable all of your plugins. Then, log in to your WordPress site and see if the error persists. If the error goes away, re-enable your plugins one by one until you find the one causing the issue.
Step 3: Check for Theme Conflicts
Similar to plugins, themes can also cause conflicts and errors. If you’ve ruled out plugins as the cause of the issue, try switching to a default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Twenty-One. To switch themes, go to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard and activate the default theme. Then, see if the error still exists. If the error goes away, the issue is likely with your theme.
Step 4: Check for PHP errors
PHP errors can create problems in WordPress, so it’s critical to look for them. Examine the debug.log file in the wp-content area to do so. Any PHP errors that arise will be recorded in this file. You can also look for PHP errors in your hosting management panel’s error_log file.
Step 5: Check for Pending Updates
It is always a good idea to keep your software up to date. Please navigate to Updates from your WordPress dashboard and ensure that there is nothing pending over there.
Step 6: Check Server Errors on the Console
Simply open the browser console to rapidly find any error messages on your web page. This is accomplished by hitting Ctrl+Shift+J on a Windows/Linux computer or Cmd+Opt+J on a Mac. The console errors provide useful information about the source of the errors, which can be shared with the appropriate author to obtain a better understanding of the problem. Consider taking a screenshot of the console error message and sharing it with the appropriate person to help with issue resolution.
Step 7: Reinstall WordPress Core Files
If none of the options above have resolved the problem, it may be necessary to reinstall the WordPress core files. To do this, go to WordPress.org and obtain the latest version of WordPress, then extract the files to your computer. Then, browse to the root directory of your WordPress site using FTP or the file manager in your hosting control panel. Except for the wp-content folder and the wp-config.php file, remove all WordPress files and directories. Finally, update your WordPress files and send them to your server.
To conclude, WordPress debugging may appear to be a daunting job, but it does not have to be. Most problems can be diagnosed and fixed by using these fundamental techniques. Always make a backup of your files and database before making any adjustments. Best wishes!