Even You

Can Debug

WordCamp Birmingham 2014


Hi, I'm Brian DiChiara, Freelance Web Developer

What Is Debugging?

The process of
identifying and removing errors
from computer software

What is the Problem?

  • It's not working.
  • I get an error.
  • It doesn't look right.
  • It's doing something funky.

Help me help you

  • What specifically is not working?
  • Can you please tell me the error message you are getting?
  • What are you expecting to happen?
  • What about it makes you think it's doing something funky?

Gather Data

  • Steps to Reproduce!
  • Browser/OS
  • What is the URL?
  • Authentication Credentials (and test them!)
  • Screenshot

Locate the problem

  • Switch to another theme (Twenty Fourteen)
  • Disable Plugins



Setup Your Own:

  • WP Engine
  • Site Ground

My Ideal Setup

1.  Private Repo in BitBucket
  • At minimum Dev, Staging, and Master Branch
  • Ignore wp-config.php and wp-content/uploads

2.  Setup Locally, using AMPPS, XAMPP, MAMP Pro, or a custom *AMP setup.
  • Host file and VirtualHosts in Apache
  • Local Database and DB String Replace
    • SQLYog (Windows) or Sequel Pro (Mac)
    • Match wp-config.php

3.  FTPloy

Tools of the trade


In-line Debugger

Debugging Resources


3rd Party Applications

Nitty Gritty

OuTPUT Variables

  • console.log()
  • alert()

Last Resort


Pink Sombrero

Disclaimer: Cowboy coding (or live site debugging)
is looked down upon and is the worst way
to debug a website.


Check against your IP address!

Rubber Ducks!

The End

Any Questions?

Other Resources

Mario Peshev (@no_fear_inc)

Mo Jangda (Toronto)

THank you!



Even You Can Debug

By Brian DiChiara

Even You Can Debug

My presentation from WordCamp to assist anyone in debugging WordPress websites.

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