Stop me if you've ever heard this one.

You: My computer went crazy.

Support: OK. Have you tried restarting it?

You: Yes. And it's still crazy. Maybe even more crazy.

Support: Well, let's try again. Just in case.

Sound familiar? It should. It is essentially the first 15 seconds of every call to technical support that has occurred in the world. There is also a WordPress version. It's very similar.

You: My WordPress site went crazy.

Support: OK. Have you tried to disable all plugins and reactivate them one by one?

You: Yes. And it's still crazy. Maybe even more crazy.

Support: Well, let's try again. Just in case.

The resemblance is strange, right? Because WordPress plugin conflicts are by far the most common problem that WP users face. Everyone uses plugins. And if you have not looked at the white screen of death or connected to see your theme look like a Picasso painting, then you should buy yourself a lottery ticket – you're the luckiest person I have ever met.

If you do not have that chance, though, you can do a little before, after, and during the crisis to make sure that WordPress plugin conflicts do not make things too difficult for too long.

Preventive care is the best care

As eating well and exercising are preventative measures to keep you healthy, you can also practice preventative care on your WordPress site so that when a rare plugin conflict occurs, it will not be not catastrophic. If done correctly, your preventative measures will reduce the impact of any conflict that occurs. Exercising every day can help boost your immune system, but you can still catch the flu or break your leg. And your WordPress installation can be conflict free for centuries, only to catch a really nasty bug (literally and figuratively) from time to time.

1. Never install a plugin on a live site

Rule number 1 of web development: never test on an online site. Even if you have already used the plugin. Even if you have used it on your personal sites without problems. Never, ever activate a plugin on a live site that you have not tested on a staging site or a local clone. You can do it in many ways, and we have a handy guide that you can follow to get started. By working on a test site identical to the online one, you can see the breaks in a secure environment.

2. Take your time to really test things

When your locale is set up and you run your plug-in tests, it is easy (and common) to click on Enable -> Visit then click around for a moment to see if anything is out of place. Since things seem right, you make the changes live, and things continue to work normally.

Until the end of the month when you reconcile your reports Stripe or PayPal and you see that your earnings have dropped by 75%. Post it, and that's because you installed Captain Jimmy's Super Happy Fun Whizbang plugin 3 weeks ago. It turns out that there is a conflict with the recurring billing cycle of your payment gateway, and that none of your subscribers has been billed and that its subaccounts have been canceled. Each of them will have to manually subscribe again.

Uh Oh.

Just stinging around your development site did not work. Sometimes plugin conflicts are hidden and only appear when very specific criteria are met. It is therefore entirely in your interest to test all the main features before putting them online. Maybe the plugin conflict only manifests with recurring payments, not punctual purchases. If you do not browse all the major usage scenarios for your site, the WordPress plugin conflict will likely fall through the cracks.

And FYI, someone close to me had this particular situation, so it's not just a hypothetical case. It's really happening, and they've missed thousands of dollars. So … take your time, guys. Enough, please.

3. Keep the plugin usage to a minimum

We all use plugins. They are one of the reasons why WordPress is so great. But one of the best ways to avoid plugin conflicts is to use a plugin only when you really need it. There are many cases where a simple code snippet can do the same thing as the plugin . Think of it this way: you can not have a WordPress plugin conflict if you do not have WordPress plugins!

4. Keeping things up-to-date, but not up to date

WordPress plugin conflicts tend to come from at least one plugin that associates heads with another plugin, your theme, or your WordPress version (and sometimes the PHP version of your server). You can avoid a host of problems by making sure nothing on your site is terribly obsolete. But beware of automatic updates (and stupid updates – "Oh, cool! A new update for Captain Jimmy's Whizbang!" … click … click … accident).

Make sure you know what you are updating. The WordPress plugins repository has made great progress recently on compatibility information, and it is imperative that you take a look at what you are installing.

If a plugin has not been tested with one of the three previous major updates, this information is provided at the top of the plugin page. This does not mean that there is a conflict, but you must absolutely test in a safe place before using it on a production site.

Wordpress Plugin Conflicts: Your Ultimate Guide To Preventing Them, Identifying Them, And Resolving Them

And further down on the screen, you can see information about the plugin that can also help prevent problems. The most important are highlighted below, including the time of the last update, the compatibility of the WP version and the PHP requirements. You know that if you use WordPress 4.9.5, this one has a potential – so unlikely – in conflict with anything else on your site.

Wordpress Plugin Conflicts: Your Ultimate Guide To Preventing Them, Identifying Them, And Resolving Them

And the repo does one more thing that you can really use to protect yourself. Whenever there is an update of the plugin, the developers publish a changelog to show everything that has been addressed in the new version. It is also easily accessible from your dashboard: Plugins -> Plugins installed -> See version 6.3 details . A modal pop up with the changelog right there.

Wordpress Plugin Conflicts: Your Ultimate Guide To Preventing Them, Identifying Them, And Resolving Them

A group of people I know are intimidated by chagelogs and exit notes. There is no reason to be. They are not scary. Here's a quick rundown of what all this means so that you can keep your WordPress site as safe and sound as possible.

5. Make sure your plugins will continue to be supported

Do not take a risk on a plugin if you have never heard of it before. Maybe if there is a recommendation from a friend or other trusted source, then you could be safe. Make sure there are enough reviews and recent updates too. You will encounter a lot of abandoned plugins on the repo, and this has led to thousands (if not millions) of WordPress plugin conflicts.

If you do not know that the developer will update the plugin for a reasonable period of time, it's probably a good idea to do it.

Moreover, it is a good idea to go for a plugin audit from time to time to make sure nothing you have installed is outdated. If that's the case, it's time to do some research to find a replacement before the conflicts start to happen. And they will do it.

Identification of plug-in conflicts

Okay, so you have a conflict despite taking all the preventative measures you could. It happens, and it is terrible. But it is not the end of the world. You just have to stay calm to put all the views back.

1. Use plugins for your plugins

I know that sounds counterintuitive, but you can really use plugins to detect problems that may have occurred.

Health Check is the official pseudo-doctor.
Plugin Organizer allows you to disable and enable plugins on a page / URL basis, instead of the entire site. You can also exchange the load command.
Theme Test Drive is an ironic inclusion, as it has not been updated for some time. But it is strongly recommended by WooCommerce, so there is that. I have already said, and I repeat: if it's good enough for WooCommerce, it's good enough for me.

2. Exchange Theme

Even though I hate to suggest that anyone can ever leave Divi or Extra for a while, you have to do what you have to do. Going back to one of the default WordPress themes (probably Twenty Seventeen ), you will immediately see if there is a conflict with a plugin and the theme you are using.

Moreover, if you find that there is a problem with your theme, you can try to go back to a previous version of the theme .

3. Check the forums and support documentation for each extension module

When something breaks on the Internet, the word travels fast. So you have two choices here, really. You can use Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo to search for "[plugin name] conflict plugin", or you can browse the list and access official forums and, docs, GitHub pages and WP repo for each of them. you. has been installed.

You should be able to find help for your problem (or find someone who already has it).

Wordpress Plugin Conflicts: Your Ultimate Guide To Preventing Them, Identifying Them, And Resolving Them

4. Have you tried to disable all plugins and reactivate them one by one?

I end on this section with the first advice given to you for a reason. This is the most foolproof way to solve this problem. When you leave all plugins with a problem to without plugins and without problems it's pretty simple to see when the culprit makes his dirty little head.

Although this is the safest way to sort things out, you need to close all the features of your site. Keep in mind that while you discover what the problem is, you will not find the underlying cause of the problem, nor find a solution to it (other than not using these two plugins together) . You will probably need to look at one of the above options for this before going ahead.

Conflict resolution of plug-ins

Once you know which of these little code goblins broke your site, it's time to sort out the damage and get things back to 100%. Heck, if your site goes totally kaput, even bringing it back to 50% of its capacity is an admirable goal in the short term. Here's how you can start on the road to recovery.

1. Restore from a pre-collision backup

The easiest way to resolve WordPress plugin conflicts is to clean the slate and start over. That does not mean a new installation of Twenty Seventeen; it can be a restore from a previous backup, which you know is working well enough to keep your site up and running until the solution is fixed. you need to be implemented.

The main thing you need to make sure, though, is to create regular backups. UpdraftPlus and Backup Buddy are incredible for that. You can see our complete execution of the backup / restore process using UpdraftPlus or the old way of phpMyAdmin.

2. Clear the cache

Sometimes, even when you solve the problems, implement all the fixes that work on your development site, and think things are back to normal … they are not. Problems may persist due to a caching problem, either on the server side or browser . Fortunately, clearing the caches is relatively quick and painless, and you should probably do it no matter if there are any apparent problems.

3. Debug PHP and JavaScript errors to fix manually

This one might not be for everyone. Let's say you really need what the plugin does for your site. This means that the backup restore is not a long-term solution, and you will not find either an appropriate replacement or an update of the developers.

This leaves you an option: dive and correct the annoying code yourself . WordPress is built just for this kind of situation. In Codex, you can read a fantastic article entitled Debugging in WordPress that will get you started, and as you get even further, there is the JavaScript debugging article on like that too.


Phew. It was intense, right? But that's a good thing. After all this, you are ready to tackle just about any problem that arises on your WordPress site. From plugin conflicts to theme problems (or a combination of both), you should be able to identify them and solve them with as little hassle as possible.

But most importantly, you are pretty good at resolving plugin conflicts to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place. That's what we want too: for these WordPress plugin conflicts never happen in the first place. So, no matter what stage you are in – before, after, or halfway through the crisis – you are definitely ready to make things go smoothly. And if this is not the case … have you tried to disable all plugins and reactivate them one by one?

What are your habits to prevent or resolve plug-in conflicts? Share best practices in comments!

Article thumbnail by Andrew Rybalko /

The post Conflicts of WordPress Plugins: Your Ultimate Guide to Preventing, Identifying and Solving Them first appeared on Elegant Themes Blog .


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