How to Troubleshoot WordPress Issues

I can’t tell you how many whacky issues I have seen working with WordPress over the years.  If I did this would be a novel not a Blog post.  The great thing is that when these issues do arise, it’s usually a super simple thing to fix them.  Most common issue of WordPress issues are plugin conflicts.  There are 1000s of plugin developers out there and some of the plugins available have old code that doesn’t get updated as WordPress does.  Allot of times also, plugins just don;t get another with other plugins.

There are other issues above and beyond plugins that can cause funky stuff to happen on your Website or Blog and when they happen you are baffled on how to fix them or what caused them in the first place.

So let’s dive right in and see what they are and how we can fix it.

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1. Incomplete Upgrade

Partial or incomplete or failed upgrade is the most common reason behind the blank screen in WordPress. It occurs when an upgrade goes wrong or several files didn’t get upgraded. The solution is to upload all the files again using FTP and run the upgrade script again. The built-in updater in WordPress is good, but we cannot rely on that after WordPress introduced the incremental update.  You can also downgrade your WordPress version if you are completely stuck.

Visit THIS ARTICLE for Install Steps.

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2. The wp-config file

Yes, sometime the WordPress Configuration file (wp-config.php) can be the culprit too.  This file is found in the root directory of your WordPress install. Download the file and open in a text editor. Check if there are any blank lines or an extra space either at the beginning of the file or at the end of the file. Delete them and save the file. Then re-upload it overwriting the existing one.

If that didn’t solved the issue, add these two lines just below the opening php tag (

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', true );

That will show the exact error returning when loading the blog. By default, WordPress hides the error messages, but sometime we have to know the error in order to fight it.

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Fix the errors that are returning and your blog should be fine again.

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3. Incompatible Plugins

Incompatible plugins can also make your blog blank. If you have the access to Admin Dashboard, go to plugins and disable all of them. Reload your blog to make sure if it is loading properly. Then enable the plugins one by one find which one is causing the blank screen. If you cannot access the Admin Dashboard, then FTP to your blog and rename the plugins folder and create an empty plugins folder. That will force the plugins to go deactivated as the files won’t be found in right place. Then you can move the plugins to the plugins folder one by one and activating them.

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4. Incompatible Theme

If nothing above worked, you need to check your theme. Sometime, the uses of deprecated functions break the loading of the theme and the page goes blank. Check if your theme is compatible with the latest WordPress version and using the latest functions.

FTP to your blog and make a backup of your themes. Then, delete all the themes except the default WordPress theme (currently it is TwentyEleven). That will force WordPress to enable and use the default theme. Go to your dashboard and check if the default theme is truly activated. Then reload your blog and it should be working now.

Also, the debug report that you enabled in step 2 should have reported the error if is something related to the theme or plugin.

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Now, these are the main tasks you can do to fix any display issues or funky things happening on your WordPress Website or Blog. If you ever come across something like this, do not panic. Just follow the steps I mentioned and you will be back in no time.

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About author

Jarrett Gucci
Jarrett Gucci 289 posts

Jarrett Gucci is the owner of Dynasty Web Solutions. A full service Internet presence provider specializing in WordPress development for business owners. Jarrett Gucci along with his team of professionals have designed over 400 WordPress websites. Jarrett Gucci believes strongly in creating websites that are unique, functional and generate referrals.

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