We’ve all been there: You’re excited about a new plugin, you download it, install it, and then BOOOM! Your site is a blank white page. Maybe you got the courtesy of an error message. Bottom line: A plugin broke your website and now it’s time to start troubleshooting.
Why Does This Happen?
WordPress is an amazing platform with which to build websites, specifically because it is Open Source. What that means though, is that young developers and designers get to experiment with an amazing code base – which is great, but it can sometimes wreck havoc on your site even if you don’t notice it at first.
The first thing everyone needs to learn when first getting into the giant world of plugins and themes is that it is literally impossible for a plugin or theme developer to code in a way that anticipates every other plugin or widget that might get crammed into your site. This means that there will be bumps and bruises occasionally.
That’s why it’s good to always have backups of your site, or work in a staging area or development site first, or both.
With that said, our developers here are rock solid. They’ve got serious credentials and have been doing this for a long time. They code in their sleep, and negotiate world peace during lunch. But, you might still encounter a problem when installing one of our own stellar plugins.
First things, first: Don’t Panic. If you’re working in a development environment this can actually be a great opportunity to learn more about WordPress and how it works (and how it breaks, too)!
Before you panic or contact support, we’d strongly encourage you to do some investigating of your own. This helps everyone. You learn more, you provide us with more details and we can get more relevant info. We LOVE details and can respond more quickly and effectively with detailed and productive answers. Win, win!
So, before submitting a support request, try working through one of these solutions:
Where to Start Troubleshooting
We put a lot of effort into our documentation and FAQ sections. On top of this, these documents are informed by the various troubleshooting and support queries we’ve received over the years. So it’s quite likely we’ve already answered your questions, making our documentation the most direct and beneficial place for you to look for solutions.
- There’s generally two ways of installing any plugin. Uploading it through the backend, or uploading the files via FTP. If installation was unsuccessful, then try the second method. If installing via FTP, make sure you unzip the zip file first and upload the whole plugin from the root folder (typically called “foobox” or “foogallery”, etc.).
- If it installed and activated but there were immediate problems, try the following:
- Disable ALL plugins including FooBox. See how your site works. It should still look fine, but be missing some key features. Then, one by one, starting with FooBox, activate the plugins. Once you experience the problem again, you’ve located the plugin that FooBox has a conflict with. That’s SUPER valuable information that will help us help you MUCH more quickly.
- If disabling and reactivating the plugins doesn’t really give you much new information, then try switching your theme over to the WordPress default. If everything works perfectly with the WordPress theme, but NOT with your theme, then there is a problem with the theme itself. Again, SUPER valuable information that will help us resolve your issue that much faster.
OK, so your plugin is installed and working, but not entirely. One particular feature that we advertise is not working as advertised. That’s frustrating! Well, know upfront that the plugin does actually have that feature, it’s just that something about your environment is conflicting with it. We’ll have to do some sleuthing to get it working right, but one way or another, it’ll work. That’s our promise.
If you do have this issue, try these steps:
- Again, disable all plugins and start re-activating starting with your FooPlugins one.
- Ideally, when there are NO other plugins except FooBox (for example), all features should be working. If not, then the first place to look is in the plugin settings. There are A LOT of settings that are very powerful, so take your time to get familiar with them and see how they work and influence what FooBox does.
- Once it’s totally clear that the settings are not the issue, and no other plugin is activated, then we know it is a conflict with your theme.
Coming to us with that information already in hand is gold.
We love our customers, and all the folks who submit tickets. We love to be helpful and to interact with developers and WordPress beginners alike. This is what we do and we are always looking for ways to serve you better, learn more about WordPress and make amazing products for you.
We also know your site is important and we want to do everything we can to remedy your situation. When we can fix it, we’ll gladly do it as soon as possible.
But sometimes, it really isn’t an issue with our plugin. In those cases we let you know and try to point you to places where you might be able to get help. No matter what, we want your experience with all our plugins and service to be positive. So let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve. We’re listening!