How To Test For Plugins And Theme Conflicts
When it comes to building your ecommerce site with WordPress, its open-source nature allows for a high level of customization, complete with themes and plugins of your choice.
One common problem that is often encountered is a conflict between themes or plugins, which can lead to issues with performance or functionality, or even a broken site.
Here are the steps to testing your WordPress site for theme and plugin conflicts, in order to detect the source of the problem, and fix it.
First, Make A Backup
Before making any changes on your site, it is always recommended to make a backup. This way you have the latest version available for you to refer to, should anything go wrong. Typically, your hosting provider will provide back ups, but how often will depend on your package. For example, some hosting packages will provide real-time back up, while others will provide weekly or even monthly.
Here are some great solutions for backing up your site before making any changes:
- WP Staging
Now that your website data is safely backed up, you can go ahead and deactivate your theme or plugins.
Deactivating A Theme - If you switch to a default WordPress theme and your technical issue resolves itself, this means that your theme was the source of the problem. In this case, you have two options:
- Contact The Author Of The Theme - For paid themes, there is usually an option to contact the author for support. To begin with, these themes typically do not have technical conflicts, and problems are much more common with free, poorly coded themes.
- Change Your Theme - As described above, it is best to opt for a paid, reputable theme. If your theme is not a reputable one, this could be a good opportunity to switch it.
Deactivating A Plugin - Temporarily disable your plugins, except WooCommerce and WooCommerce extensions. If your problem resolves itself, it is safe to conclude that the conflict originated from one of your plugins.
A common question is, how do you test a functionality to see if it is indeed working or not? How can we be sure that the problem went away?
Here are the various methods, depending on the nature of the original problem:
- If the conflict occurred on your website and has created a static problem, simply check if it is now gone. For example, wrong placement on the homepage.
- If the conflict arose only after a certain process, recreate the steps and see if the problem repeats itself. For example, if there was an error when adding products to your cart, add products to recreate the scene to see if it happens again.
Testing For Conflicts With A Plugin
If you wish to stay on top of your potential conflicts at all times, you can use Health Check & Troubleshooting.
This official WordPress plugin allows you to detect and debug common WordPress errors.
The best feature about this plugin is that it enables you to deactivate all themes and plugins and automatically test your site, while your visitors’ experience remains unaffected.
It does so by allowing you to create a fresh WordPress session which has the single goal of testing for errors and conflicts.
Here are the steps:
- From the WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins” > “Add New”
- Search for “Health Check & Troubleshooting”
- Click “Install Now” > “Activate”
- In order to automatically disable all plugins and revert to a default theme, follow the following steps:
“Tools” > “Site Health” > “Troubleshooting” > “Troubleshooting Mode”
- Check if the issue has been resolved, and then activate your plugins one by one until you find the problem.
If there is conflict with your theme or one of your plugins, you could simply change it for another that does not cause issues on your site.
If the issue does not go away after testing for conflicts, this means that there is no conflict at all and you need additional support to understand the source of the problem.
Your best bet is to contact a WooCommerce Happiness Engineer via the helpdesk, or to open a topic in the WordPress support forums.
Make sure you are ready with the conflict test results, as well as screenshots of the error.
WordPress is free, open-source, and an excellent choice for any website owner - with ecommerce being no exception.
However, the openness of WordPress along with the rich variety of themes and plugins can sometimes cause conflicts, as not every theme or plugin can be vetted, tested, and checked for compatibility with all the others.
Luckily, should this common error occur, it can be easily fixed.