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Troubleshooting Wordpress Plugins

...not loading message in dashboard

     
8:38 pm on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Pls, what are basic beginner steps for troubleshooting Wordpress plugins and other mods?

I've got a small site running and it was nice, it had the Google Analyticator plugin data showing on the dashboard and other cool stuff.

Now, with the installation of 2 plugins over the weekend (follow me for Twitter and subscribe_2) and the creation of 1 new page, none of the nice plugins are loading in the dashboard any more. Instead they show the nice message "Plugin loading..." and have done so for the last 24 hours.

We also did some monkeying with the default Kubrick Theme code to put the sidebar on all the inner pages.

Any suggestions as to where the problem started?

I tried deactivating and reactivating - no go.

Next step, deinstall one by one and test / reinstall, rinse, repeat?

Other than brute force trial and error, are there any other useful best practices for troublshooting WordPress?
9:39 pm on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Brute force trial and error probably works as a starter for figuring out which plugin is causing the issue.

Of course, having error_reporting set to E_ALL in php.ini and set to log errors is also essential.

The new Debug Bar plugin gives you lots of data and the pear-debug plugin is super handy.

[wordpress.org...]
[wordpress.org...]
9:51 pm on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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can you mebee break it down to level 101 for this noob?
9:07 pm on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sure.

1. disable all plugins
2. enable plugins one at a time testing for the problem.
3. Once you enable a plugin and the problem shows up again, disable all plugins.
4. Now enable just that plugin.
- a) problem gone? it's an interaction between plugins. This is going to be really hard.
- b) still crashing. You've found the problem.
5. edit your php.ini file and change your error_reporting settings to report E_ALL. Make sure you have display_errors on or are logging errors and know where your logs are.
- [php.net...]
- [php.net...]
- [php.net...]

Look for error messages and what line they occur on.

At that point, see my post on basic PHP troubleshooting: [webmasterworld.com...]
9:11 pm on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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With the wp pear-debugger plugin I mentioned, you never need to use print_r() or var_dump() again (as mentioned in the debugging thread I link to). This is great because it allows you to output the variables you want to watch in a way that is "safe" meaning it won't cause "headers already sent" errors.
10:35 pm on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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all plugins disabled but the problem still exists.

i suspect I pooched it by messing with the code

this will be fun! (not!)

thanks for the tips.
6:22 pm on Mar 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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well, in that case - start with a fresh install, default theme and add your code changes back in slowly (or preferably not at all).