learning to

Troubleshoot WordPress

by Carrie Dils

carriedils.com • @cdils

WordCamp Orange County #WCOC • 6/7/14

Teaching you to fish

what we're talking about

Troubleshooting Basics

it doesn't work

start with the right steps

Uh, is it plugged in?

Does the problem still exist?

bonus tip for multi-user sites

Track and monitor every change on your WordPress site.


stream plugin

Fixing Common Problems

Who knows what's in your cache. Flush it.

Troubleshooting basics:

Fixing Common Problems

  • permalinks don't work
  • broken pagination
  • restoring site from a backup
  • diagnosing errors


(don't forget to #googlethat)

Avoid common pitfalls

Troubleshooting basics:

avoiding common pitfalls

  • using the editor in the WP dashboard
  • not having FTP client and login at the ready
  • editing core WordPress files
  • editing framework or parent theme files

bring out the big guns

Troubleshooting has been my greatest teacher as a developer.


troubleshooting for developers

CODE helpers

Use a  code editor:

Sublime Text (mac, pc)

Notepad++ (pc)

Coda (mac)

Dreamweaver (mac, pc)

Or an IDE:

PHPstorm (mac, pc)
NetBeans (mac, pc)

be nice to yourself

syntax validators






// add this to wp-config.php
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

Use plugins like...

To help you...

  • see what queries ran on a page
  • which page template is used
  • run php or sql against current query
  • show all actions fired on a page
  • break down HTTP requests (and show time)

query monitor

troubleshooting style

Use built-in browser tools like Firebug or Chrome Developer Tools.

troubleshooting speed & Performance


P3 (plugin performance profiler)

Browser Tools

Pingdom Speed Test
Google Pagespeed Insights

In-Depth Analysis

(plus a great review from Mika Epstein)


carrie dils



photo credits

crying baby - http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/776532

toilet - http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/131456

big guns - http://i986.photobucket.com/albums/ae342/Nonsensitive/bigguns.jpg

validation - http://film-english.com

plug - http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/906155

Learning to Troubleshoot WordPress

By carrie dils

Learning to Troubleshoot WordPress

Presentation for WordCamp Orange County - June 7, 2014

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