How to Troubleshoot Common Issues in WordPress

This provides a basic process for fixing the most common WordPress issues.  Much of the time, plugin or theme code is not the only problem, if at all. We’ve started with the most common solutions first. At Simple Intranet, we provide 24+ constantly changing/updating plugins with hundreds of features and tens of thousands of lines of code.  Our plugin code operates on various versions of WordPress, using different configurations of 3rd party plugins and themes on different servers that have different PHP versions, settings, memory limits and configurations and run in various version of browsers.  As you can understand, we can’t and don’t control most of your intranet environment.

We can only fix issues that we (and other developers) can consistently replicate in the typical environments that are available. Good reliable hosting is key in making sure WordPress runs properly on the latest PHP and MySQL versions. We use and highly recommend using Dreamhost as your webhost. They are the leader in WordPress hosting, optimize their servers specifically for WordPress and have an easy 1-click installation process.

Searching first, and then posting to our forum or the WordPress.org Support forums is the best way you can start by troubleshooting.  Generally, if you don’t see your issue already in their forums, or mentioned in our forums, then it could be a local issue related to your settings, server, database or a conflict etc.. For white screen (of death) or 500 server error issues, please read this article. Here are the most common WordPress issues we see, and the quick fixes for each;

  • Plugin or Theme Conflict – If you can’t login to the Dashboard, get a white screen or unusual error codes, start by deactivating all of your plugins and resetting to a standard WordPress free theme, such as 2015.  Reactivate each plugin one by one until you isolate the issue/problem plugin. If after you switch to the 2015 default theme your issue resolves, then you know it’s time to try a new theme, or contact your theme developer.  If it’s an issue relating to a plugin, then you should switch to debug mode (edit your wp-config.php file, see more here) and send any errors to your developer or us in our forum. Note, “Warnings” are not errors, they are harmless.  Only “Errors” are errors.
  • Memory Limit Exceeded – There are various ways to expand your memory limit.  Due to the size of the core Simple Intranet plugin (12 MB zipped), it may exceed your WordPress upload file size limit or your PHP installation memory limit. If you have too many plugins activated (over a dozen), then this is common.  You may need to edit your wp-config.php by adding define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘128M’); to the end of it, or possibly edit your php.ini or even .htaccess files. See this article for more.  Also see our last FAQ relating to changing your memory limit.
  • PHP Server Version – We test and run on PHP 5.6.  That is the latest most stable version and we recommend you run on this version too. If you are running on PHP 5.3 to 5.5, then it’s time to update, so talk to your host or server admin. Most major hosts will support that.  PHP 5.7 is not yet widely available or recommended yet on most hosting environments as of February 2016.
  • Partially Downloaded Plugin – A server glitch while downloading our large 12 MB core Simple Intranet plugin is common, and can cause a whitescreen or other issues.  We have thousands of clients downloading plugins all the time, and so things can go wrong.  Redownload from the Members area and retry.  Sometimes you may need to deactivate and delete the Simple Intranet plugin, and then redownload from the Members area. Don’t worry, you WILL NOT lose any data or settings.
  • MySQL Database Corruption – Just like a download timeout, your WordPress database can corrupt at any time if there is a server glitch, downtime or load.  Often you will need to reset your user permissions in the users table. Google this or find a plugin to do this at WordPress.org.
  • Permissions Issue – Sometimes you’ll see a message saying you don’t have permission to access a page, or “Cheatin’ huh?”. This is when your user does not have the capability required to access that page.  With our Simple Intranet plugin live, go to Users / Groups and edit the user role/group you are logged in as, and check off all available capabilities and Save. Another option is as follows;
    • Back up your database (there are many ways from Exporting your MySQL databse to plugins on WordPress.org or Google this)
    • Upload and activate the User Role Editor pluginhttp://wordpress.org/support/plugin/user-role-editor .
    • This plugin has the ability to RESET all roles (even the administrator role) So go to settings and select User Role Editor, and then add administrator to the editable roles
    • Go to User–>User Role Editor. And you’ll see the big reset button and other options.