Resources for Troubleshooting Common WordPress Problems
This article is a follow-up to my presentation, “Uh-Oh”: Troubleshooting Common Problems in WordPress at WordCamp Kent 2020. If you missed it, all WordCamp presentations are now available on YouTube!
Below, you’ll find links to the troubleshooting resources I mentioned. To avoid reinventing the wheel, my first recommendation is to visit the wordpress.org Common WordPress Errors section. Better yet, go browse through it before you have a problem, so you know what kinds of problems are common in WordPress, what resources are available there and have a general idea where to look when something does hit the fan (because it will).
Speaking of things to do before you have a problem…
“Prevention is the Best Medicine“
ManageWP offers free, automated monthly backups. The best part, the backups aren’t stored on your server (they’re on Amazon s3), and the Restore function is the easiest and least-glitchy restoration I’ve come across. If you want to pay them $1.80/month, they’ll do daily automatic backups for you. Plus, they have free security checks, performance checks, client reports, and so much more. I just can’t express my love enough – and I’m not an affiliate or anything!
The #1 rabble-rouser, mischief -maker, and incendiary of strange, nonsensical, and most infuriating of WordPress problems; caching.
If you’re a Chrome user, there’s an extension that puts a handy shortcut to a Cache Clearing tool right by the address bar.
If you’re a CloudFlare user, there’s a CloudFlare plugin that will put a Clear Cache button right in your WP Admin. It’s worth noting that CloudFlare doesn’t respond to Support requests on WordPress.org and the plugin has a fair share of negative (albeit not thorough) reviews.
As I recommended in my talk, you should become at least a little familiar with Dev Tools.
Here’s a reference guide from mozilla.developers.org on using Dev Tools, aka DOM Explorer, aka Style Inspector for almost any web browser.
This video shows how to troubleshoot CSS problems using the Inspect shortcut, shows off key features of Chrome Dev Tools (my personal preference) and some super cool things you can do with it:
If you ever wonder “Is this website down for everyone, or just me?” Find out at downforeveryoneorjustme.com
If you’re wondering if you setup your redirects correctly, or if it’s going from http:// to http://www. to https://www.? Check for redirect loops at varvy.com/tools/redirects
Do you have a website or service that you love to use for troubleshooting? If so, please share in a comment below!
If you’ve Google’d yourself silly and still can’t find the answer, or perhaps don’t even know what to search for or where to turn, turn to the WordPress community. In addition to the WordPress forums, there are Facebook groups and Slack channels for a plethora of themes and plugins.
Your Local WordPress Group
For Northeast Ohio, our WordPress Meetup is here on meetup.com. Stop by for upcoming Meetup dates (currently virtual), or use the Discussion tab to ask a question.
The Global Community
Please comment below if you have questions or if you have other resources to share, and thank you so much for stopping by!
About the Author
I'm Abby (Armstrong-Lehman) Buzon, Lead Designer & Owner of The Helpful Marketer, based in Medina County, Ohio. I got my start in marketing and website administration in 2010, became a mom in 2015, and left my day job in 2017 to begin The Helpful Marketer. I'm happier than I've ever been and I truly love what I do, so I'm here to share my story and give some marketing tips along the way!