Troubleshooting WordPress plugin problems

Troubleshooting WordPress plugin problems
How to start troubleshooting WordPress plugins
Possible symptoms: blank screen, error messages, pages half loading then freezing, page functions not responding as the should, plugins that fail updating or installing.

Answer:
Please follow these troubleshooting steps….
Was there an error message?
If there was, the message is likely going to lead you to the proper diagnosis. If there was an error message and you need it interpreted by an expert, contact WordPress support or the plugin author. Include details such as the error message, your WordPress version, the plugins you have installed, and what steps lead to reproducing the problem.

The theme you are using could be causing it…
Do this as a test:
In Admin, click on Appearance, Themes.
Temporarily activate your theme to a WP default one…
“WordPress Default” theme(default for WP 2.0+), or
“Twenty Ten” (default for WP 3.0+), or
“Twenty Eleven” (default for WP 3.2+) or
“Twenty Twelve” (default for WP 3.5+)

It does not cause any harm to your WP to temporarily change the theme, test if the errors went away, and then and change the theme back.
Does it work properly with a default WP theme?
If it does, then the theme you are using is the cause. Use a different theme or report the errors to the theme developer.

Maybe another plugin is conflicting.
Look on the Admin – Plugins – menu.
Temporarily Disable (not uninstall) all your other plugins.
Did the problem you were having go away? If yes, Activate each of the plugins, one by one, to determine which one conflicts. Test if the problem goes away after activating each plugin one at a time. This way you can determine which plugin was causing the problem. Once you determine a plugin is conflicting, check the plugin version to be sure it is compatible with your version of WP. Some times plugins are no longer updated, then new WP versions come out and the plugin will generate errors or no longer function as intended. Report any problems you find to the plugin author.

Old versions of PHP
Check if you have PHP5. Many have reported that their server was PHP4 and it caused problems. Upgrade to PHP5. PHP5 is more secure and more reliable. PHP4 was discontinued in 2008.
To see what version your PHP is, put this code inside a test.php page on your server.
<?php phpinfo(); ?>
Make sure to remove the page after testing, because it can be a low level security threat to allow this information to remain public. If it is PHP4, ask your web host for upgrade advice.

Low Server Memory
Some WordPress installs run out of available PHP memory because the memory limit is set too low.
This can cause random errors or white screens that show no error at all.
Install this WordPress plugin to see the PHP Memory Limit and Memory Usage in the WordPress admin dashboard:
WP-Memory-Usage
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-memory-usage/

If the memory limit is 32M or less, or is a high percentage of being used, try increasing it:
See this FAQ:
http://www.fastsecurecontactform.com/php-memory-limit

Error display might be turned off
There could be a PHP error on the page, but your server might have PHP error display turned off so it does not show what the error says. You can try debugging WordPress to possibly see the error.

FTP to your wordpress folder on the web server, then edit the wp-config.php file and add this line somewhere in the middle of the page:
define('WP_DEBUG', true);

Make sure it is not already there.
If there is already a define('WP_DEBUG', false); you can just change the false to true

Be sure to remove it later when done testing as some poorly written plugins and themes will display warnings or errors all the time.

Are there errors printing on your site now? if yes, the errors usually say what file and line number generated the error. That file and line number is your clue as to what plugin or theme caused the error. Deactivate the plugin or switch to the default theme and see if the problem goes away. Try to identify the plugin or theme that is generating the errors. You may even have more than one plugin generating errors, so you may have to Deactivate all your plugins to see if the problem goes away. Once you determine a plugin is conflicting, check the plugin version to be sure it is compatible with your version of WP. Sometimes plugins are no longer updated, then new WP versions come out and the plugin will generate errors or no longer function as intended. Report any problems you find to the plugin author.

Try reinstalling the plugin

Maybe the installation is corrupted, try reinstalling it.
Tip: How to uninstall or reinstall the WordPress version

Discuss this issue in the WordPress plugins forum

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