How To Check The Plugin For Compatibility Issues


How to check plugins for compatibility issues - The variety of plugins available is an important part of making WordPress great. But because there are so many plugins from third party developers, you may sometimes encounter compatibility issues. To find those issues, you'll need to know how to perform WordPress plugin testing.

By choosing plugins, themes and other tools carefully, you can prevent most problems before they happen. Moreover, diagnose and handle compatibility errors if they occur without difficulty.

In this post, we will discuss the compatibility of the plugin with your site. We will then talk about how to handle errors as soon as you notice them and how to perform a WordPress plugin check for incompatible plugins from the beginning. Let's get started!

Why does the plugin compatibility error occur?


There are many great plugins and most WordPress users will install at least a few of them. In general, there is no problem with this. However, from time to time, you may encounter compatibility issues with the plugin. In other words, you can install two plugins on your site and discover they don't work well together.

There are several reasons this may be happening. For example:

  • Both plugins may be trying to change how the same feature works, but in different ways.

  • The plugin may have been developed with different versions of WordPress.

  • One or both of the plugins may be poorly designed or coded.

It is worth noting that this issue is not specific to the plugin - you may also see compatibility issues arising between the plugin and your active theme or WordPress version.

What does a compatibility error look like? This question can be difficult to answer, because the specific problem you see will be based on the relevant plugin. However, these errors make a specific feature on your site work incorrectly or stop working.

This feature may be inherent in the plugin that is causing the problem. It may belong to another plugin, theme, or WordPress itself. In rare cases, incompatible plugins can even break your site - so this is a serious matter.

How to diagnose potential plugin compatibility errors

If you think you may have plugin compatibility issues on your site, don't panic. In most cases, it's easy to diagnose and handle these errors. You can only perform WordPress plugin testing, to see if one of your plugins is actually causing the issue you're experiencing.

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The best way to do this is to disable your plugins, one by one. We highly recommend doing this on an intermediary site for safety reasons. So you'll want to start by making a copy of your live site first (if you haven't already). Next, log in and navigate to the Plugins tab in your control panel:


Here, you will see a list of all the plugins installed on your site. In each one, you'll see an option labeled Deactivate. The following process will help you perform a WordPress plugin check for compatibility errors:

  1. Disable one of your plugins - preferably the one you have installed or updated most recently.

  2. Check your website on the front, check for any inactive features and see if it has been fixed.

  3. If the problem is gone, you've found your culprit! If not, reactivate the plugin and deactivate the next item on the list.

  4. Repeat the previous steps until you find the plugin that is causing the problem or until you go through all the plugins on your site. If none of your plugins are to blame, it's likely you're dealing with another type of WordPress error.

Once you've figured out which plugin is causing you trouble, you have a few options. You can try uninstalling and reinstalling it, and consider if that solves the problem. If not, you'll need to contact the developer for help fixing bugs or find an alternative plugin that does the same thing (more on this in the next section).

Finally, there may be plugin compatibility errors to prevent you from logging into your site. In this case, you can still perform WordPress plugin testing. You will only need to use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to directly access your website file. You can find more details on how to do this in our article on this topic.

Automatically check your WordPress plugin

Although the manual process above is very simple, it may still take a bit of time to manually deactivate all your plugins, especially if you are using multiple plugins. To automate the process, you can try the free Plugin Detective plugin:


This plugin won WordCamp Orange County's 2018 Plugin-a-Palooza Contest, essentially doing exactly what we described above only automatically.

After installation, you can use the new Troubleshooting option on the WordPress toolbar.

How to prevent plugin compatibility errors from the beginning


While it's certainly possible to guess compatibility issues, in fact, it's better to try and find out if a plugin breaks your site before you actually install it.

Although you can never be 100% guaranteed, there are ways to significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing any compatibility issues.

Before installing any new plugin, you will want to:

  • Make sure the plugin is compatible with your WordPress version. This information is listed on each entry in the WordPress Plugin Directory and on most other sites that sell the plugin.

  • Check to see if the plugin has been updated recently. In general, avoid plugins that haven't been updated in the last six months.

  • See user reviews and ratings of the plugin. These will give you a general idea of ​​its quality. In addition, people will often mention any compatibility issues they encounter in their reviews.

  • See if the plugin's functionality overlaps with anything that is already installed on your site. Having two plugins that affect the same feature does not guarantee a problem, but it increases the risk.

If you've browsed through this list and the plugin you're looking for satisfies each point, you're probably safe to install it. However, just to be sure, it is still smart to enable it on the staging site first. That way, you can run a WordPress plugin test and catch any problems before installing the plugin on your live site.

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By using the plugin, you can modify WordPress to add any features you want. While this is great news, it is important to be aware of the risks involved. The more plugins you install on your site, the more likely you are to encounter compatibility errors at some point.

Fortunately, most compatibility issues are easily solved through simple WordPress plugin testing. You can diagnose them by systematically deactivating each plugin on your site until you find an error. Of course, we all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For this reason, you will also want to test each new plugin carefully before adding it to your site.