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Debugging Guidelines for Your WordPress Site

Understanding how to effectively debug issues on your WordPress website can be a daunting task. At Trigger Growth, we often assist clients with resolving various problems on their WordPress sites. To streamline the process and help you get faster assistance, it’s crucial to share specific information related to the issue you're experiencing.

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Key Takeaways

AspectDetails
Frontend DebuggingShare device OS, browser, screenshots, URL, actions taken, expected vs actual results, steps to reproduce the error.
Backend DebuggingInformation on PHP version, cURL version, WordPress version, firewall, DNS, proxy configurations, and plugin updates.
Importance of DetailsPrecise information expedites the debugging process and leads to quicker resolutions.
Non-Technical ApproachGuidelines are explained in a simple, easy-to-understand manner for non-technical users.

Understanding Frontend Issues: What to Share and Why

When you encounter a problem on the frontend of your website – that is, anything that's visible on the webpage itself – it's important to provide specific details to help diagnose the issue quickly. This includes:

  • Device Operating System: Whether you're using Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS, different operating systems can display web content differently.
  • Browser Information: Share which browser (like Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) you're using, as some issues are browser-specific.
  • Screenshots of the Issue: A picture is worth a thousand words. Providing a visual of the problem can quickly convey what's going wrong.
  • URL of the Problem Page: The exact webpage where the issue occurred helps in pinpointing the problem.
  • Your Actions: Describe what you were doing when the problem appeared.
  • Expected vs Actual Outcome: Explain what you expected to happen and what actually happened.
  • Steps to Reproduce the Error: This is crucial for diagnosing intermittent issues.

By providing these details, you help the support team understand the context and the specific environment in which the issue is occurring, leading to a more efficient troubleshooting process.

Backend Debugging: Key Information to Provide

Although we typically have access to the backend of your WordPress site, certain information is vital for us to understand the environment in which your site is operating:

  • PHP Version: As WordPress is built on PHP, knowing the version can help identify compatibility issues.
  • cURL Version: This is used by WordPress for remote communication and can impact functionality.
  • WordPress Version: Certain issues might be specific to the version of WordPress you are using.
  • Firewall, DNS, and Proxy Configurations: These can cause connectivity and access issues.
  • WordPress Plugin Updates: Outdated or incompatible plugins are a common source of problems.

Sharing this information upfront can greatly assist in quickly identifying and resolving backend issues.

WordPress has a built-in feature to share the most essential information for debugging backend issues.

screenshot of site health feature in wordpress
  • Log in to your WordPress admin - typically found on "yourdomain.com/wp-admin"
  • Go to "Tools"
  • Click "Site Health"
  • Click "Copy site info to clipboard" - To get all the information in a sharable format
  • Send this information along with other helpful documentation to the person helping you debug

The Importance of Detail and Clarity

We understand that encountering issues on your website can be frustrating and stressful, especially when your site is down or not functioning correctly. Providing detailed information not only helps us to help you more effectively but also educates you about your website's functioning. This process is designed to be straightforward and easy for you to follow, even if you're not tech-savvy.

For more insights on managing your WordPress site, check out our articles on Choosing the Right CMS for Scaleups and Managed WordPress Hosting.

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