What to do when a plugin breaks your site?

If you’re fond of testing new plugins like me, you must have faced this situation before.

Installing and activating a new plugin and then heading to your site to find just a blank page!

Unfortunately, a lot of plugins are not tested enough to be safe to try on live sites, and some of them do cause a problem to your site, that’s why it can be unsafe to use them.

How to fix this situation?

Scenario 1:

If you have just installed or updated a new plugin, and it broke something on your site, simply go to Plugins under your WP Dashboard, and deactivate this particular plugin.

In most cases this should solve things right away.

Scenario 2:

If the faulty plugin makes your site inaccessible and you cannot even log into your Dashboard.

In this situation, you will need to reach your site using ftp, and locating the plugin folder under wp-content/plugins and renaming this plugin folder to anything else or simply adding an underscore(_) before it’s name.

This deactivates the plugin and you should be able to log into your Dashboard once again now.

Scenario 3:

In some cases, when you haven’t updated your site form some time and you have a lot of plugins that have updates, and your WordPress version itself is outdated, trying to update the WP version first, can break your site due to incompatibility with old plugins.

To fix this, you need to use ftp also and rename the plugins folder itself, again by adding an underscore(_) before the name and this will allow you to log into your site and then you need to update your plugins one by one after upgrading them to the latest version.

Some General Tips:

  1. Always make sure to read the Update Notes provided with each plugin before updating as some of them could contain notes or tips to prevent this from happening.
  2. Make sure your version of WordPress is the right version as provided by the plugin author
  3. Read reviews and make sure the rating of the plugin is decent enough for you to try it.
  4. Always try new plugins on test sites first rather than live sites directly.
  5. Make sure to backup your database and files regularly.

Hope you find that helpful, and I look forward to hearing your own tips for such situations.

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3 comments on “What to do when a plugin breaks your site?

desaraev

Thanks a bunch.. I forgot this handy trick and was racking my brain how I used to do this! You rock.

Maria

Thanks for this tip. My site went off after installing Whatsapp chat plugin. I followed your tutorial and I got it fixed.

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