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How can I debug my Wordpress/Joomla website?

Issues can occur on Wordpress or Joomla sites that causes your website to become white or when it fails to load all its contents correctly. This can happen without any form of error message or explanation.

Wordpress

Wordpress has a configuration file called "wp-config.php". You can locate this file by logging onto our FTP-server and navigate to the mail folder where the Wordpress files are placed (usually the folder is called "www"). You can edit this file with a text editor. When you scroll towards the bottom of the file code you will find a setting called "define ('WP_DEBUG', false);" . This can be changed to "define ('WP_DEBUG', true);" via the text editor. This will make your Wordpress site return error messages directly in your browser. This error message usually includes the name of the plugin and/or theme that is causing the issue. An example of an error message returned by Wordpress:

"Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/2/e/example/www/wp-content/plugins/navnet_paa_plugin/functions.php:11) in /home/2/e/example/www//wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 850"

In this case it is a plugin that is causing issues for the Wordpress site. It is possible to delete the plugin via FTP, update to a later version or reinstall it. It is also usually possible to update the plugin manually via FTP. You should edit "define ('WP_DEBUG', true);" back to "define ('WP_DEBUG', false);" when you are done debugging.

Joomla

Joomla has a configuration file called "configuration.php". You can locate this file by logging onto our FTP-server and navigate to the mail folder where the Wordpress files are placed (usually the folder is called "www"). You can edit this file with a text editor. When you scroll towards the bottom of the file code you will find a setting called "$error_reporting". This can be set to "maximum". An example of an error message returned by Joomla:

"Parse error: syntax error, unexpected 'view' (T_STRING) in /home/1/e/example/www/components/com_content/content.php on line 18"

Here the issue is caused by a syntax error in the component "com_content" that returns a white page.

When the error has been located/fixed you should set "$error_reporting" back to "default".

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