Troubleshooting 101: Resolving WordPress Plugin and Theme Conflicts

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WordPress is an incredibly powerful platform, thanks in large part to its extensive range of plugins and themes. However, sometimes these elements can conflict with each other, leading to website issues. The good news? With a bit of troubleshooting know-how, most of these plugin and theme conflicts can be resolved.

Section 1: Understanding Plugin and Theme Conflicts

Conflicts occur when a plugin or a theme behaves unexpectedly, often due to compatibility issues with another plugin or the WordPress core itself. Common signs include broken layouts, non-functioning features, and even website crashes.

Section 2: Preparing for Troubleshooting

Before diving into troubleshooting, it’s crucial to back up your site. This ensures that you can restore your site to its previous state if something goes wrong. Tools like UpdraftPlus or Jetpack can simplify this process.

Hosting companies such as SiteGround also take daily back-ups of your website. Check with your hosting company to see if this is the case for your website.

Section 3: Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Start by deactivating all your plugins.

Dashboard ->Plugins -> Installed Plugins

Deactivate WordPress Plugins

Then switch to a default WordPress theme, like Twenty Twenty-One.

Dashboard -> Appearance -> Theme

Activate Twenty Twenty-One Theme

If the issue resolves, reactivate each plugin one by one, checking your site after each activation. If the problem reappears after activating a particular plugin, you’ve likely found the conflict source.

Section 4: Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

For more complex issues, enable WP_DEBUG in your wp-config.php file to reveal any specific error messages. If you’re using a child theme and encounter issues, check if these persist with the parent theme activated. When in doubt, reach out to the theme or plugin developers for support.

Section 5: Best Practices to Avoid Future Conflicts

To minimise future conflicts, keep your plugins and themes updated. Opt for reputable, regularly updated plugins and themes.

To enable auto-updates for your plugins:

Dashboard ->Plugins -> Installed Plugins-> Click ‘ Enable auto-updates’ under the Automatic Updates column of each installed plugin.

WordPress Plugin Automatic Updates

Consider setting up a staging site to test new plugins and themes before applying them to your live site.

Section 6: Conclusion

Resolving plugin and theme conflicts is an essential skill for any WordPress site owner. By approaching the issue methodically and patiently, you can often quickly pinpoint and resolve the problem.

Encountered a tricky plugin or theme conflict that you can’t resolve? Robert at Keeping IT Simple is here to help. I can assist you in troubleshooting and resolving any WordPress issues you may encounter. Contact me today for professional support!

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