Regardless of your skill as a WordPress developer, there will always be a problem you will continually encounter in WordPress: errors. As a result, understanding WordPress Debug (WP DEBUG) or WordPress debugging mode is critical.
Unfortunately, errors in any web page are persistent; even talented, experienced engineers make a few mistakes because it is practically impossible to write more significant pieces of bug-free code. In fact, there is no significant body of code that is entirely free of bugs. After all, we’re human, and we make mistakes sometimes.
For this reason, the WordPress debugging system was designed to simplify the process and standardize code across the core, themes & plugins.
If you’ve done any programming before, you’ve probably encountered errors during the compilation or execution of web pages and have spent time looking for the source of the problem. The dynamics are the same with WordPress Debug (WP DEBUG).
WordPress errors, unlike any standard programming, are not simply printed on the page. These are saved in the WordPress debugging logs because they may contain confidential information like your database access credentials.
That’s why WordPress stores these debug logs in a secure location on your server that is not visible/accessible to the public.
EXPLANATION ON WORDPRESS DEBUGGING
As you all must know, WordPress is developed in PHP, which means that both the official WordPress debugging guide & the official PHP debugging guide will help you.
If you want to debug WordPress errors, it is crucial to have a global PHP variable defined. Don’t worry about that; we’ll discuss it later. However, you must understand the difference between the PHP debugging procedure and the WordPress debugging process.
In PHP vanilla, for example, only two types of errors are displayed by default. A “fatal error” is one that prevents the page from loading at all. The other “serious fault” displays an empty page to the user. Complete blank!
To put it another way, PHP recognizes that displaying a whole error message may pose a security risk to your website, which is why it does not. In any case, you can easily adjust these issues in the PHP settings.
On the other hand, WordPress enables WordPress debugging (WordPress Debug) and doesn’t customize it. All degrees of error, warning, and even informational elements for developers will be displayed in WordPress debugging mode.
Furthermore, WordPress Debug will notify you of any WordPress-specific PHP functions that have been deprecated and will no longer be supported in the future, even though they are functional now.
HOW TO ENABLE WORDPRESS DEBUGGING MODE (WP_DEBUG)?
Only a few lines of PHP are required to enable WordPress debugging mode (WP DEBUG).
1. To do this, log into your server via SSH or FTP and edit the wp-config.php file using SSH or your FTP client.
2. Near the bottom of the file you’ll see the following:
Modify that line to these three lines:
- define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );
- define( ‘WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY’, false );
- define( ‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true );
3. Click on the Save for the changes to take effect. Debugging mode is now active!
When done, you can disable it too. All you need to do is just change the line in the wp-config.php file as follows:
ACCESS DEBUGGING WITH WORDPRESS PLUGINS
One of the primary advantages of WordPress over other platforms is that it has a rich library of plugins with which we can do almost everything.
Therefore, if you are tired of code or find it difficult, you can always access the WordPress debugging mode with plugins from the official WordPress repository.
For this reason, we will share with you a couple of plugins that will help you in this task:
WP Debugging is another popular WordPress debugging plugin available on the market. If you want to observe what is going wrong with your wp-config.php file, we recommend you try out WP Debugging. It’s a free and easy-to-use plugin that starts showing you error logs once you install and activate the plugin and tracks most of what you‘ll need to know. Thanks to it, with a few clicks from your cPanel, you will be able to activate and deactivate all these PHP global variables on your WordPress website.
- Integrated debugging filters
- Show debugging errors
- Auto-restore settings
- Multiple debugging rules
- Set debugging constants
Query Monitor for WordPress
JQuery Monitor is another popular debugging and development plugin for WordPress that is free and simple. It lets you debug the database queries, PHP errors, enqueued scripts and stylesheets, hooks and actions, HTTP API calls, etc.
It includes some advanced features such as:
- debugging of Ajax calls,
- REST API calls, and
- user capability checks.
Furthermore, it includes the ability to narrow down much of its output by plugin or theme. This means that you can quickly determine poorly performing plugins, themes, or functions.
The Debug Bar
Debug Bar is another fantastic plugin that adds a debug bar to your WordPress dashboard. Furthermore, this plugin has a more advanced developer tool by which you will find error logs, view the cache, queries, among other data that are very helpful for debugging errors. Also, it monitors MySQL queries so that they can be easily found.
- Add PHP/MySQL console
- Show debugging information
- Other add-ons available
- Tracks PHP warnings
New Relic is a well-known name in the market of Application Performance Analysis. It is a commercial tool created by hundreds of developers worldwide to have a reliable platform for gathering information about their software applications. It is provided as a plugin that can also handle third-party functionality. This broadens the range of technologies that may be monitored using this tool and the permutations and mixes of technologies that can be watched.
Firefox Developer Tools:
Firefox Developer Tools is a customized version of Firefox for developers. It provides them with the most up-to-date development tools. This is not a WordPress-specific tool; it can be used to troubleshoot any platform-based website. They have a well-designed layout that is noticeable. You may open the inspector tab by right-clicking on any element. The web console gives a total output that includes more information than simply the object’s name when printing objects. As a result, developers may examine the object’s attributes in more depth and have access to more information about the DOM elements.
Any theme creator will benefit from Theme Check. Among the developers, it is really popular. Users may use this debugging tool to test their WordPress themes using the most up-to-date coding codes and principles.
The ability to test their WordPress themes before submitting them to the repository minimizes the likelihood of rejection. It also guarantees that your theme adheres to the most up-to-date coding standards.
It’s critical to have tools in place to maintain your website in tip-top shape. Even if your website is in good condition, adopting these efficient must-have tools can improve the usability and speed of your website. Head to Seahawk for more information on WordPress Debugging tools.