How to Enable Debug Mode and Troubleshoot Your WordPress Website – 2024

How to Enable Debug Mode and Troubleshoot Your WordPress Website - 2024


WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, powers millions of websites and blogs across the internet. While it offers a user-friendly interface, extensive plugin support, and a vast array of themes, like any other software, WordPress can run into issues from time to time. To effectively troubleshoot these issues, it’s crucial to enable debug mode, which provides valuable insights into what’s going wrong under the hood. In this article, we will explore the process of enabling debug mode and troubleshooting your WordPress website effectively.

Why Enable Debug Mode in WordPress?

Debug mode in WordPress is a built-in feature that provides real-time information about errors and issues that might be affecting your website. By enabling it, you gain access to detailed error messages, warnings, and notices that can help you identify and resolve issues quickly. Here are some compelling reasons to enable debug mode:

How to Enable Debug Mode and Troubleshoot Your WordPress Website - 2024
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  1. Error Identification: Debug mode provides specific error messages, making it easier to pinpoint the source of a problem, whether it’s a theme, plugin, or a custom code snippet.
  2. Efficient Troubleshooting: With error messages at your disposal, you can address issues promptly, reducing downtime and ensuring a better user experience.
  3. Enhanced Security: Debug mode helps you identify and fix security vulnerabilities by highlighting potential issues with your website’s code.
  4. Plugin and Theme Compatibility: It can help identify conflicts between plugins or themes that may cause your website to malfunction.
  5. Continuous Improvement: By resolving errors and warnings, you can fine-tune your website, improving its performance and user experience.

Enabling Debug Mode in WordPress

Enabling debug mode in WordPress is a straightforward process that involves editing your site’s configuration file and making some adjustments in the WordPress dashboard. Follow these steps to enable debug mode:

Step 1: Access Your WordPress Site’s Files

You’ll need access to your WordPress site’s files to enable debug mode. You can do this using an FTP client or through your hosting provider’s file manager.

Step 2: Edit the wp-config.php File

Locate the wp-config.php file in the root directory of your WordPress installation and open it using a text editor.

Step 3: Add Debugging Code

Insert the following lines of code just before the line that says “That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.” This line is usually found towards the end of the wp-config.php file.

// Enable WP_DEBUG mode
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
// Enable Debug logging to the /wp-content/debug.log file
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
// Disable display of errors and warnings
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
@ini_set( 'display_errors', 0 );
// Use dev versions of core JS and CSS files (only needed if you are modifying these core files)
define( 'SCRIPT_DEBUG', true );
  • WP_DEBUG: Set this to true to enable debug mode.
  • WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY: Set this to true to display errors and warnings on your website. Setting it to false will hide them from public view but still log them.
  • WP_DEBUG_LOG: Set this to true to log errors and warnings in a debug.log file located in the wp-content directory.

Step 4: Save and Upload the File

Save the changes you made to wp-config.php and upload it back to your server if you’re using an FTP client. If you’re using a file manager provided by your hosting provider, simply save the file.

Step 5: Check for Errors

Now that you’ve enabled debug mode, visit your WordPress website. If there are any errors, warnings, or notices, you will see them displayed on the screen or logged in the debug.log file.

Troubleshooting Your WordPress Website

With debug mode enabled, you can now start troubleshooting your WordPress website. Here are some common issues you may encounter and steps to resolve them:

WordPress Plugin Conflicts:

  • Deactivate all plugins and reactivate them one by one while checking for errors after each activation.
  • Identify the plugin causing the issue and either update it, seek support from the plugin developer, or find an alternative.

WordPress Theme Conflicts:

  • Switch to a default WordPress theme (e.g., Twenty Twenty-One) and check if the issue persists.
  • If the issue goes away, contact the theme developer for assistance or consider using a different theme.

Syntax Errors or Deprecated Functions in WordPress :

  • Review the error message to identify the file and line number where the issue is occurring.
  • Edit the problematic file and fix the syntax error or replace deprecated functions with up-to-date alternatives.

Memory Exhaustion on your WordPress Server

  • If you encounter memory-related errors, increase the PHP memory limit in your wp-config.php file by adding the following line:
php define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );
  • If the issue persists, consider contacting your hosting provider to increase your server’s PHP memory limit.

Database Issues of your WordPress website

  • If you suspect database problems, install and activate the “WP-DBManager” plugin to repair and optimize your database tables.
  • Make sure your database credentials in wp-config.php are correct.

.htaccess File Errors in WordPress

Check your site’s .htaccess file for any syntax errors or misconfigurations. You can temporarily rename it to see if the issue is resolved, and then recreate it. By default WordPress’s .htaccess file looks liks this :

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

You can also try to change the permalinks to default post type.

Server Issues

  • If you believe the problem is related to your web server, contact your hosting provider’s support team for assistance.

Third-Party Services and APIs

  • If your website relies on external services or APIs, ensure they are functioning correctly and that your API keys are up to date.


Debugging a WordPress website is a critical skill for any website owner or developer. By enabling debug mode and following the steps outlined in this article, you can efficiently identify and resolve issues that may be affecting your site’s performance and functionality. Remember to keep your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins up to date to minimize the risk of encountering errors in the first place. Additionally, regular backups of your website’s files and database can be a lifesaver in case you need to restore your site to a previous working state. Debugging may seem challenging at times, but with practice and patience, you can keep your WordPress website running smoothly and provide a better experience for your visitors.

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