blog broken? look first to your plugins

One of the best things about working in WordPress is all of the fantastic free plugins that are available. When I first started developing WordPress websites, I felt like a kid in a candy store, who’d been told that she could have as much as she wanted, and it was all free! I installed every single plugin that looked the least bit interesting or useful.

The problem, as with candy, is that not everything you put in your site works together, and often a blog belly ache can result. If your blog breaks, it is often a plugin that is the culprit.

Today I had a client call me and all of their blog posts and pages had disappeared. The first thing I do when that happens is check the database and run a repair on the database tables. That usually fixes the problem. Not in this case. I could see the posts in the database, but nothing was showing up on the website.

I then upgraded their WordPress to the latest version and ran a database upgrade. Still no content.

I changed their theme from the custom one they had, to the WordPress classic theme, to make sure that it wasn’t a theme bug. Still no content.

Finally, it occurred to me to rename their plugin folder on the server, to quickly de-activate all of their plugins. Voila! All of the content came back again.

I judiciously added back the minimum of plugins, testing after the addition of each one to make sure the site worked.

The take away on this article is to only add plugins to your wordpress site that are integral to its functionality. Quality over quantity.

Whenever you run a WordPress upgrade or a plugin upgrade, test your site. If something breaks, it most likely is a plugin conflict. Try de-activating plugins and testing after each to see if the problem goes away. If you can’t get into¬† your admin after the upgrade, change the name of the plugin folder on the server to see if things start working again.



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