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Creating the perfect website design involves hours of meticulous work. But sometimes, despite all your efforts, you may encounter an error message when you activate a new theme plugin. Such issues are common in website management—even the best-designed sites can face bugs or errors.

These glitches can come from various sources: a theme update conflicting with a plugin, a coding issue, or a problem with the database. This is where troubleshooting becomes crucial for website management. It’s an essential skill for anyone managing a website, and luckily, some plugins can make this process much smoother.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best free plugins to help you troubleshoot your WordPress website. We’ll discuss the key features of each plugin and how they can become an essential part of your website maintenance routine. 

Why should you use a WordPress troubleshooting plugin?

Every WordPress developer knows how challenging it can be to identify and fix bugs.  Typically, you would need to edit the wp-config.php file to enable debugging, which can be tedious, especially if you are handling multiple sites. Luckily, debugging plugins makes this task a lot easier, so you can spend less time troubleshooting and more time building.

These plugins eliminate the need to tinker with core files. They handle setting adjustments automatically and even save your original settings for easy restoration when you’re done.

Simply put, debugging plugins can save you a lot of time. These plugins help you find the exact root of an issue quickly. With a user-friendly interface, they let you easily identify and troubleshoot issues, even if you don’t have deep technical expertise. Plus, they give you detailed information on memory usage, script behavior, and database queries, so you know exactly what’s happening behind the scenes.

And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want such a smoother debugging experience? Plugins streamline the process, so you can focus on making your website user-friendly and reliable.

Top 6 WordPress troubleshooting plugins for free

Transients Manager

Your WordPress website relies on temporary data, called transients, to run smoothly. These transients act like a cache, storing information that speeds up your site for visitors. However, if transients build up over time, they can slow your website down. That’s where the Transients Manager plugin helps. 

This free plugin provides a user-friendly interface for managing transients on your WordPress site. You can easily see all the temporary data stored in your database. The plugin also allows you to search for specific transients by name, which can be helpful if you’re troubleshooting an issue.

Transients Manager allows you to take control of your transients. With a few clicks, you can delete expired transients that are no longer useful. You can also delete specific transients you know you don’t need anymore. There’s even an option to wipe the slate clean and delete all transients, regardless of their expiry date.

To access the Transients Manager plugin, go to the Tools section of your WordPress dashboard and then click on Transients, and you’ll have a complete overview of all your temporary data.

While the Transients Manager plugin is great for cleaning up temporary data, you can also use it for testing purposes. You can use it to experiment with different transient values and see how they affect your website’s performance. This can help you optimize your site for speed and efficiency.

Debug Log Manager

Websites occasionally malfunction, and identifying the cause can be frustrating. Error logs serve as a record of your website’s activity, pinpointing potential issues. The Debug Log Manager plugin streamlines this process for WordPress users.

Normally, enabling WordPress’s debug mode requires editing the wp-config.php file. This plugin offers a one-click solution, eliminating the need for manual code changes.

After installing and activating the plugin, it automatically creates a debug.log file in a unique location on your server. To add an extra layer of security, you can choose a custom file name for this log file. This helps prevent unauthorized users from accessing potentially sensitive information stored within the log.

The plugin also makes it easy to migrate your existing error data. By copying the contents of your old debug file and pasting it into the new custom file, you can ensure a smooth transition without losing any important information.

Whenever your website encounters an issue, you can use the Debug Log Manager plugin to parse the debug file. This essentially means analyzing the file to identify errors and the time they occurred. The plugin presents this information in a more user-friendly format compared to the raw log file, which might be cluttered with repetitive entries. This makes troubleshooting much faster and easier.

WP Debug Log

If you constantly struggle with troubleshooting problems on your WordPress website, the WP Debug Log plugin can be your best friend. 

Similar to other debugging tools, it allows you to view error logs directly from your WordPress dashboard. This eliminates the need to manually edit the wp-config.php file, which can be daunting for users with less technical expertise. With WP Debug Log, you can simply click a button to turn debug settings on or off. 

This WordPress troubleshooting plugin lets you configure email notifications. This way, you’ll be instantly alerted whenever an issue arises on your website. Once you’re done troubleshooting, you can simply deactivate the plugin, and everything will revert to its original state.

Another advantage of WP Debug Log is that it’s open-source. This means many developers contribute to its features and updates. Open-source plugins also get regular security updates. With more than 2,000 active users, WP Debug Log has become a trusted tool in the WordPress community.

Plugin Detective

Problematic plugins often cause many WordPress errors. Fortunately, Plugin Detective can pinpoint the exact issue without manually checking and disabling each plugin one by one.

This plugin is a favorite among many developers because it can detect hidden plugin problems. It eliminates the need for time-consuming manual checks and FTP access, quickly identifying the problem and reducing site downtime.

Moreover, this effective tool can resolve certain issues automatically, without you even needing to lift a finger.

Besides identifying plugin problems, Plugin Detective can also perform other tasks if you provide the necessary details, which makes it a valuable asset for any WordPress user.

WordPress Hosting Benchmark Tool

WordPress Hosting Benchmark is a free, open-source plugin that helps you evaluate your server’s capabilities by running unified tests. It measures how long each test takes and presents you with a performance score. This score indicates how well your server can handle your specific project.

One of the benefits of WordPress Hosting Benchmark is it doesn’t require any additional software to work its magic. It utilizes PHP to assess various aspects of your server’s performance, including the processing power (CPU), memory bandwidth, disk speed, object caching capabilities and even your network’s download speed. Since version 1.2, it includes reverse connectivity tests, which analyze the impact that different tasks have on your website’s loading time.

Before you install the plugin, there’s one thing to keep in mind. To ensure smooth operation, your hosting provider needs to meet the plugin’s requirements. These include having at least 500MB of free disk space and a database server that can handle multiple queries.

Query Monitor

Query Monitor is like Chrome Developer tools, but made specifically for WordPress. You can think of it as a toolbox for fixing your WordPress website. It can pinpoint issues with everything from how your site talks to its database (queries) to special features like Ajax calls, PHP errors, and more. It even helps you identify poorly coded themes and plugins that are slowing down your site.

Query Monitor keeps things simple. It gives you a quick overview in the admin toolbar and then lets you dig deeper into specific areas with detailed panels. All this information appears conveniently on the same page you’re working on, so you can see the problem and the solution side-by-side.

While it can’t track past performance trends, Query Monitor is a fantastic free tool to have in your WordPress developer toolbox. It’s a one-stop shop for debugging performance and development issues.

Best WordPress troubleshooting plugins – Comparison table

PluginKey features
Transients Manager• Easy-to-use interface for managing transients
• View and search transients directly within your WordPress dashboard.
• Easily delete expired, unexpired, or selected transients in one go. You can even delete all transients if needed.
• Edit the value, name, or expiration date of any transient for managing accurately.
Debug Log Manager• Turn WP_Debug on or off with a single click, no more manual code editing.
• Existing logs are automatically transferred to a new file to maintain continuity.
• Filter and identify error sources effortlessly, saving you troubleshooting time.
• Debug logs stay current, reflecting changes as they happen.
• Get a quick overview of the latest errors with a dedicated dashboard widget.
WP Debug Log• See debug logs directly from your dashboard for quick troubleshooting.
• Configure admin email notifications for log updates
• Control the display of debug messages within HTML pages
• Customize log file paths
• Access all debugging functionalities conveniently from the admin top navigation bar.
Plugin Detective• Guides you through troubleshooting with Detective Otto Bot
• Automates finding and fixing plugin conflicts
• Sends admin email alerts when issues are detected. 
• Enables and disables debug settings quickly.
• Works even when the admin page is inaccessible, such as during a White Screen of Death (WSOD)
WordPress Hosting Benchmark Tool• Open-source software
• Conducts unified tests for server performance assessment
• Tests CPU, memory bandwidth, disk speed, cache and network download speed
• Outputs a performance score to determine if a server upgrade is necessary
Query Monitor• Identify errors in database queries, PHP code and more.
• Gain deep insights into Ajax, REST API calls, and user permissions.
• Pinpoint performance bottlenecks by plugin or theme.
• Access debugging information directly from your admin toolbar.
• Stay informed with key environment details like PHP and WordPress versions.


How do troubleshooting plugins help identify and resolve WordPress issues?

Troubleshooting plugins can help identify and resolve WordPress issues in several ways. They eliminate the need for manually editing core files like wp-config.php, making troubleshooting quicker and less error-prone. These plugins may also automate debug settings updates, streamlining the process. They provide a clear interface for users to identify issues, even with limited technical knowledge. Some troubleshooting plugins offer in-depth insights into aspects like memory usage, script behavior, and database queries, pinpointing the root cause of problems.

Are troubleshooting plugins suitable for beginners, or do they require technical expertise to use?

WordPress troubleshooting plugins can be a good starting point for beginners to identify errors, plugin conflicts, and more. However, understanding error messages and logs might require some technical knowledge for complex issues.

Can troubleshooting plugins cause any adverse effects on my WordPress site?

Yes, troubleshooting plugins can potentially cause some issues for your WordPress site. The main concern is that if you leave them active on your site, they can slow things down by consuming additional resources. Additionally, these plugins aren’t perfect and may not catch every issue, particularly complex ones that require a closer look or even coding knowledge to fix.

How do I choose the right troubleshooting plugin for my WordPress site?

While the WordPress Plugin Directory offers many tools for troubleshooting and debugging, choosing the right one can be tricky. To help you choose the best fit, here are some key features to consider for your WordPress troubleshooting plugin:

Look for plugins that integrate well with WP-CLI for streamlined tasks.
Ensure the plugin provides detailed logs of PHP errors, database queries, and HTTP requests.
Choose a plugin that notifies you instantly of any issues for immediate action.
Opt for a plugin with an intuitive interface to quickly find and resolve issues without hassle.
Seek plugins with advanced filtering and search options for efficient issue pinpointing.
Check for features that enable disabling and revert changes to prevent site functionality impact.

WordPress troubleshooting plugins – Conclusion

Running a WordPress website often involves encountering bugs. Fortunately, there are WordPress troubleshooting plugins to help you identify and fix errors quickly and efficiently.

This guide explored some of the best free troubleshooting plugins available, including:

  • Transients Manager
  • Debug Log Manager
  • WP Debug Log
  • Plugin Detective
  • WordPress Hosting Benchmark Tool
  • Query Monitor

We’ve also discussed the benefits of using troubleshooting plugins and answered some FAQs. 

Remember, troubleshooting plugins aren’t magic fixes. For complex issues, you might need some technical knowledge. However, these tools can significantly simplify the process and enable you to maintain a strong and reliable website.

So, the next time your website encounters an issue, don’t hesitate to utilize WordPress troubleshooting plugins. They can save you time and frustration and keep your website running at peak performance.

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