Wordpress Plugins and Integrations Support
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Errors You May Encounter
Plugins are developed by individuals and companies in the WordPress community who have made their plugins available to all WordPress users. Like with any technology, you could run into an error while using a plugin. The most common errors you might experience include:
- An error message such as “There has been a critical error on this website.”
- The “White Screen of Death”, which is a blank white error page.
- Other errors or unexpected behavior.
The steps in this guide will help you to identify what plugin (or theme) is causing the issue on your website. Once you can identify which plugin or theme caused the issue, you can contact the developer to let them know so they can solve it for you.
Take Preventative Measures
If you are running into plugin errors often, or you wish to avoid an error that would cause your website to crash, there are things you can do to avoid errors from happening.
- Create a staging site. This is a cloned version of your website you can use to test changes privately before applying them to your live site.
- Consider if you really need a plugin. For example, our Jetpack plugin already handles your website security, backups, and general performance-boosting features. Check our list of more built-in features you may not need a plugin for.
- Choose well-developed plugins that are used on many websites and have many positive reviews from other users. Check our advice on how to choose safe and trustworthy plugins.
- Keep your plugins up to date to avoid bugs. New plugin updates typically include bug fixes and general performance improvements. Therefore, we recommend only using plugins that have been updated in the past six months.
Deactivate Plugins Manually
If your website is experiencing an unknown error or issue, we recommend that you temporarily deactivate all of your plugins to identify which plugin (or theme) is causing the problem.
Follow these steps to troubleshoot issues on your site related to plugins and third-party themes:
- Switch to a default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Twenty, to see if the issue persists.
- Go to Plugins → Installed Plugins and temporarily deactivate all plugins from your website (except for Akismet and Jetpack, which are automatically managed for you and unlikely to be the cause of the issue.)
- Check if the error still appears. If the issue is no longer present, the plugin(s) you deactivated was causing the conflict.
- Now, determine which plugin is causing the conflict by reactivating your plugins one by one, and checking after each plugin is reactivated. Once the error returns, you’ll know that the plugin you just reactivated is the one that’s causing the issue.
Once you learn which plugin was the cause, you can leave the plugin deactivated and contact the plugin’s developer to fix the issue.
Deactivate Plugins Without Affecting the Live Site
While deactivating all plugins following the steps in the previous section, your website could look out of order or missing key elements provided by those plugins.
If you wish to avoid changes to your site that can be seen by the public, the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin can help you find plugin and theme conflicts without affecting the live site publicly.
Follow these steps to troubleshoot plugin and theme issues privately:
- Install and activate the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin.
- In your site’s dashboard, navigate to Tools → Site Health.
- Click on the Troubleshooting tab.
- Click the “Enable troubleshooting mode” button and wait for the page to refresh.
- At the top of the page, click on the toggle arrow beside “Available Themes” and make sure a default WordPress theme is activated (such as Twenty Twenty, Twenty Twenty-One, or the Storefront Theme for WooCommerce stores.) A default theme helps you determine if your usual theme is causing the issue on your site.
- Check your site to see if the issue persists.
- Expand the “Available plugins” section. You’ll see all plugins have been deactivated (but only for you as the site owner – the public won’t notice any difference.)
- Click the Enable button next to one of the plugins (it can be any of the plugins from the list, but you can start from the top of the list or with the plugins you most suspect.)
- Test if the issue still exists.
- Reactivate the next plugin, and then check again if the issue returns. Eventually, this will tell you which plugin is causing the error because the issue will return when you reactivate a particular plugin.
- Once you are done testing, you can click the “Disable Troubleshooting Mode” button to return things to normal for you.
- Navigate to Plugins → Installed Plugins and deactivate the plugin(s) you determined to be the source of the issue. You can leave the plugin deactivated and contact the plugin’s developer to fix the problem.