WordPress Troubleshooting 101

I’m a semi-regular contributor on WordPress Support Forums. & as you develop and assist more, you realize that theres a basic troubleshooting routine to solve almost all vague/inexplicable problems – you typically do the same things. These problems include;

  • /wp-admin/ not loading
  • Unable to drag and drop in dashboard
  • White screen instead of site
  • Unable to use Visual tab

Basically anything not normal or anything not working properly (that is not directly related to installing or using a new plugin. To get your WordPress site back online, here’s a breakdown of how to troubleshoot to find the issue:

  1. Visit your error log to reveal PHP errors
  2. Turn wp_DEBUG on to reveal MySQL + PHP errors on your WordPress site
  3. Disable all plugins one-by-one to find the culprit
  4. Disable your theme, revert to Twenty-x
  5. Upload WordPress to fix any permissions or file errors (except /wp-content/ and wp-config.php)
  6. Comment out any .htaccess firewalls or non-WordPress rewrites

If any of these techniques work, refer to basic Google’ing on how to resolve the issue. Open source software controlling 25% of the web, the odds are in your favour that someone experienced it too and wrote about it.

For overly basic example; if you discover plugin FooBar was not allowing drag and drop to work in the backend, search “WordPress FooBar drag and drop not working” – and you should find your answer.

Doing the troubleshooting in the order should eliminate any “I know it‘s my theme, but I don’t know what’s not working” issues, your problem will likely spit out in PHP errors.


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