Deciphering Debug Mode in WordPress
WordPress – what a wonderful platform for website development and management! Its user-friendly interface and expansive community provide a plethora of themes, plugins, and features to complement your website’s functionality. But, as luck would have it, sometimes things go awry, and errors seem to fester in every nook and crevice of your site, leading to a malfunction. In such circumstances, activating debug mode can help identify and rectify these issues. In this article, we’ll show you how to turn on WordPress debug mode so that you can troubleshoot and resolve errors plaguing your website.
What is Debug Mode?
Debug mode is a potent tool available in WordPress that helps developers identify bugs, errors, and other issues that cause harm to their websites. When you turn on the WordPress debug mode, it records all errors, notices, and warnings generated during website execution. These issues subsequently go into a log and get displayed on the screen to aid developers in identifying and solving them.
Activating Debug Mode in WordPress
To activate debug mode in WordPress, follow these steps:
- Log in to your WordPress site using an administrator account.
- In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Appearance > Editor.’
- Within the editor, in the Theme files, you will find the functions.php file. Click on the file to open it.
- At the top of the functions.php file, copy and paste the following code snippet:
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
Once this code has been added, WordPress debug mode on your website should activate.
Additionally, you may include the below options to improve the debug mode’s functionality:
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true ); define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false ); @ini_set( 'display_errors', 0 );
The first line of code logs all website errors to a ‘wp-content/debug.log’ file located on your server. This file has all detailed information relating to errors, notices, and warnings that occur on your site.
The second line of code prevents these errors from displaying publicly, enabling you to access the neatly logged information.
The third line of code stops any PHP errors from getting displayed.
Once you have added these code snippets, save the changes, and refresh your site. All warnings, notifications, and errors will be stored in the debug file, which you can access for debugging purposes.
Getting the Most from Debugging in WordPress
Now that you’ve enabled WordPress debugging, let’s examine some ways to use it effectively:
1. Use the Log file to Identify Errors
As mentioned earlier, when the WP_DEBUG_LOG option in WordPress is enabled, a ‘debug.log’ file is created containing all website errors. Use this file to identify issues with your website. Use the ‘Find’ option to search for the specific errors, warnings, and notices that occurred on your site. Once you’ve identified the problem, use your knowledge to fix it.
2. Debugging Slow Loading Websites
Slow website loading can harm your SEO efforts and affect your website’s performance adversely. WordPress debugging can help identify and fix such issues, as it provides detailed data on the website execution time, used database queries, resource allocation, and other performance-related details. Debugging for website performance requires you to set up WordPress’ WP_DEBUG and WP_DEBUG_LOG options per the earlier instructions. You can then use plugins such as Query Monitor and Debug Bar to access the log files and check the website’s execution time and resource usage.
3. Troubleshooting Plugins and Themes
Plugins and themes work in tandem to determine the functionality and design of your WordPress website. However, sometimes, they can cause errors leading to issues on your site. WordPress debugging can help identify plugin and theme-related problems and their source.
To debug a specific plugin or theme, deactivate all plugins and revert to the default WordPress theme. Then, turn on debug mode, activate the plugin or theme, and reload the website. If you encounter an error, check the debug log file to see if it’s related to the plugin or theme. Depending on the results, you can follow the relevant steps to fix the error.
4. Debugging Security Issues
Security breaches are a severe threat to your website, and it’s essential to identify and solve them as soon as possible. WordPress debugging offers an excellent tool for troubleshooting security issues on your site.
If you suspect that your site’s security has been breached, enable WordPress debug mode and reload the site. Any suspicious activities or errors will appear in the debug file, making it easy to identify potential breaches and take action against them.
Debugging is a crucial process for any website, and WordPress makes it so much easier with its debug mode functionality. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can activate debug mode in WordPress and ensure you can address any errors that impact your site’s performance. Keep in mind that debugging is an ongoing process, so always check your website’s debug files regularly to identify and fix errors as they arise.