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Easy WordPress Troubleshooting Techniques to Try

May 16, 2022

Are you facing issues with your WordPress website? Most of these issues are solved by following easy WordPress troubleshooting steps.

What Is WordPress Troubleshooting?

WordPress troubleshooting is a process for determining why something does not work as expected. The process does not require code experience and can be accomplished if you have basic WordPress knowledge.

Reasons Why You May Need to Troubleshoot WordPress

There are different reasons why you may need WordPress troubleshooting. These are the most common:

Website style issue: The website does not follow the style and looks different than it should be (i.e. the font color is red while blue is the right color).

Speed issues: The website is loading very slowly.

Theme and plugin functionalities don’t work: Sometimes plugins or themes may not work as they should. Maybe your WordPress theme doesn’t look like the demo theme. These conflicts are easily identified with the troubleshooting.

Increase security: Avoiding hacker attacks to the website is crucial. WordPress troubleshooting can assist you in hardening WordPress and keeping your site safe.

WordPress Troubleshooting Techniques

You can troubleshoot your WordPress website using different techniques and plugins. Let’s check the most used below.

Save a Complete Backup of Your Website

Troubleshooting a problem might break something on your website. A backup is essential to easily restore your website to the latest WordPress version before troubleshooting.

You can backup a WordPress website manually, or you can use a plugin. If you are using a WordPress backup plugin, make sure you safely save the backup following the plugin’s documentation.

If you have a managed WordPress hosting plan with Nexcess, you can easily find the daily backups by going to My Nexcess > Plans > Your Plan > Your Site > Backups on the left sidebar.

It's a good idea to backup your site when using WordPress troubleshooting techniques


Feel free to create a new backup by clicking on the Create Backup button or restore the files on the Daily Backups list by clicking on the three dots on the right and then Restore Files, Restore Databases, or Restore Files + Database.

Set up backups before trying WordPress troubleshooting to protect your site

If you are not using a backup plugin or don’t have managed hosting with Nexcess, we strongly recommend you start using a backup plugin on your site. Or, check with your current hosting provider to see if they offer a backup service. The manual backup process is only recommended for developers and may break your website if something is imported or exported wrong.

WordPress Website Site Health Checker Tool

In WordPress 5.1, the WordPress team added the Website Site Health Checker tool that helps to monitor how your website is doing. You can find it under WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Site Health where you will find the status and info tabs.

WordPress Website Site Health Checker Tool

In WordPress version 5.4, the Website Site Health Checker was added as a widget to the dashboard. This makes it more visible and easier to find errors or improvements from the dashboard view without going to the tools page.

Site health status in the WordPress Website Site Health Checker Tool

Status Page

This page is the first place you should check in the WordPress troubleshooting process to verify and ensure there are no errors reported.On the status page, WordPress runs a performance and security test to make sure everything is going well with your website. It’s also possible to see a colored circle representing your site status. All items are collapsible, giving you more information about each improvement and how to fix it.

Site health status from the WordPress Website Site Health Checker Tool

Keep in mind it’s pretty important to keep all those recommendations up to date in order to improve website performance in WordPress.

Info Page

The website’s information is stored on the info page, which is pretty useful to share with developers and support if you are getting help.

Info page in the WordPress Website Site Health Checker Tool

Copy the site information to the clipboard easily by clicking on the available button on this page.

WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting Extension

An extension to the Website Health Checker tool is the WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin developed by the WordPress community. The plugin is very useful for checking for themes or plugin conflicts on your website, as it adds the troubleshooting and tools tabs to the site health page. As a separate plugin, you need to download and install it on your WordPress installation.

The Troubleshooting Page

Troubleshooting page in the WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting Extension

When troubleshooting issues on your site, you are likely to be told to disable all plugins and switch to the default theme. Understandably, you do not wish to do so as it may affect your site visitors, leaving them with lost functionality. By enabling the troubleshooting mode, all plugins will appear inactive and your site will switch to the default theme only for you. All other users will see your site as usual.

A troubleshooting mode menu is added to your admin bar, which will allow you to enable plugins individually, switch back to your current theme, and disable troubleshooting mode. Please note that due to how must used plugins work, any such plugin will not be disabled for the troubleshooting session.

The Tools Page

The tools page of the WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting Extension

Extra tools offered on this page like the plugin compatibility allow you to see the current installed plugin’s version, as well as minimum and maximum PHP supported versions. It’s essential to know that it must need to be added by the plugin’s author, so don’t worry if you see empty spaces in some plugins.

Plugin compatibility in the WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting Extension

Manual Theme and Plugin Conflict Check

This process has the same result and intention as the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin. The difference here is that it’s manual, does not require a plugin installation, and will not prevent live visitors from seeing the effects of a theme switch and plugin deactivation. For this reason, it is mostly recommended for staging and development environments where the website is still in progress.

Switch to the Default WordPress Theme

The best way to check for conflicts related to your theme is to switch to the default WordPress theme, always the most recent one like the Twenty Twenty-Two. If the present issue is solved after this, the problem comes from your theme.

It’s simple to do. Just access the Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Twenty Twenty-Two and click on the activate button. Note you can search by theme if it is not listed on your themes.

Twenty twenty two WordPress theme

Disable and Enable Plugin by Plugin

Disabling all plugins is the best way to verify if they cause conflict. The process may be tiring, but it is worth it. Just check the following example:

The LearnDash LMS WordPress plugin is not working properly and to get the conflict suspicion solved, you will go to the Dashboard > Plugins > Select All Plugins (except LearnDash) > Deactivate, and then if the issue is solved, go back to the plugin’s page and activate one by one until the issue remains. After that, you just need to reach the plugin support reporting the found conflict.

Try Fully Managed WordPress Hosting from Nexcess

Get fully managed WordPress hosting from Nexcess. It’s optimized for WordPress, so you’ll have a faster, more secure, and scalable website. Smart monitoring tools are built-in to help you keep it that way. Check out our plans to get started today.

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