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What to do if a plugin breaks site?

Discussion in 'Plugins and Hacks' started by Panda, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Panda

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    I love checking out different plugins for my site. However, there's a risk in doing so - if there are incompatible plugins, most of the time, my site breaks. When I say break, I no longer can access my site. At times, I can't access the dashboard and at worst, the site only shows a white screen.

    What I do in cases like these is to go to my file manager via my webhost cpanel and rename the plugin. Is there another way to fix a plugin problem when the site breaks?
     
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  2. themonk3y

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    The other ways that I know are very similar to yours. They include deleting the plugin you currently activated using your file manager. If you have activated a number to plugins all together and don't know which plugin is causing the trouble you can deactivate all the plugins through the database by editing(deleting the entire text) the wp_plugins column. You can search if on Google for more detail.
     
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  3. SimplySidy

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    I always keep a backup of the original site just before adding up a new plugin. I had a nightmare fixing an incompatible plugin issue - it was a Translation Plugin - in fact - the issue was not with the plugin but the new update of the wordpress that the client did without consulting me or his tech support. The new upgrade was okay but the plugin needed to be upgraded prior to the WP upgrade.

    The client never expected that an upgrade in Wp would render the plugin useless and that will crash the site. We could neither login using the dashboard nor the change in the folder name for plugin helped. We forced the changes via the database - it did allow get in via dashboard but nothing was readable anymore.

    The other thing that I recommend is - Test the plugin on the local test servers before installing them on the servers.
     
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  4. fivebyfive

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    I've had this happen several times in my ventures as a web designer. The first thing I do before I even go messing around with the site is to realize that nothing is every truly lost and everything is fixable. If it was just a plugin that did it, it's unlikely any data will be deleted, it's all a matter of figuring out what did it and fixing it.

    1. Always keep a backup of your website. I've been known to keep a copy in a zip on the actual server somewhere in addition to on my hard drive.
    2. If you know what plugin did it, do research on it because chances are that if it happened to you it has happened to someone else before. Sometimes I've simply had to login to the FTP, open a php file and made a change to fix something.
    3. Turn off Wordpress updates! There are actually ways to block your clients from doing updates because they don't seem to understand that websites can be broken just by doing an update.
    4. Realize that when it's a plugin issue and your site functioned prior to uploading the plugin you'll have to work backwards to figure out which files the plugin changed and then deal accordingly.
     
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  5. Panda

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not so fond of doing backups. Is there a plugin that could do that? Or should I do the backups on my cpanel? Is the there a way on how to backup all my websites in one go?

    I have seen a lot of plugins for backups but if I use that, should I install a backup plugin for each of my sites and back them up one by one? If so, can you recommend a great backup plugin for websites?
     
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  6. WPhelp

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    - The easiest way is via Cpanel - I have all my WordPress sites backed up 5 times per week and Cpanel deletes the backup's if I have more than 3, that way I always have a new backup I can restore via cPanel. I have done this many times and it has worked every time.

    - I have also used a plugin called "Duplicator" it's free and it works great every time! (very large sites would do better with the first option though)

    - The best way to backup a website is to make a copy of it's database using cPanel and PHPmyAdmin.
    You login to phpmyadmin, select the database you want to copy and select "export" then just copy your website files via ftp or cPanel.
    Then you can duplicate the site anywhere at any time, by creating a new database (yes it can be a different name) and "Import" the SQL (backup file) to the new database and then upload all the WordPress files to their new location- then you need to update you config file with your new database information.

    The best solution for you would be to set it up via cPanel, so your hands-off until you need it :)

    Hope That Helps!
     
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  7. tournique

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  8. Sugarhill

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    But, wouldn't you want the backup to be somewhere other than on your cPanel? If the issue is with your server, having the backup on the server won't do much to help you as you wouldn't be able to access it. Do you also have a copy somewhere else using this method?
     
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  9. WPhelp

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    Well, while it's true that nothing is fool-proof, there are however, some advanced options where you could pay to have your backups sent to an off-server service such as DropBox, but as most backups are stored on either the host server or in a cloud environment, I wouldn't be too concerned or worried that I couldn't get access to my backup files/Zip's as the web host would have to go out of business completely for that to happen and I use a very reputable company, so again I wouldn't be too worried about not be able to gain access and use my backups.

    I do however, make a backup when I have made any significant changes or updates to any of my sites, like when this site was upgraded from Vbulletin to Xenforo, but the latest incremental backup would be the one I would use as this site updates quite frequently.

    It really depends on each situation as far as how intensive your site backups are, for the 14 years I've had websites, the methods above I am happy to say, have worked great for me and my clients.
     
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