Weekly Tips #1: How to Prevent WordPress Plugin Incompatibility


WordPress plugin incompatibility is one of the most common issues faced by the majority of webmasters. The major reason behind this is the availability of hundreds of developers offering a variety of plugins and themes, and hundreds of developers mean hundreds of different coding styles and errors and compatibility issues.

As a matter of fact, with WordPress powering more than 25% of the web today, developers need to develop their plugins with maximum compatibility. According to the latest statistics, it is found that WordPress can be seamlessly installed on 6 different PHP versions without knowing whether or not the user is running the latest version of the software. Another surprising thing provided by the statistics is that there are still various WordPress users who run 3.0 WordPress version.

In today’s post, we will guide you through the important steps to prevent WordPress plugin incompatibility issue on your website.

Detecting Plugin Incompatibility on your website:

  • Plugins are developed to make your life easier and convenient. But there are times when two or more plugins or some of your plugins and themes experience some technical issues causing widget malfunctions, messing up with your layout and text styles, slowing your page load, internal server errors, and crashing your site’s backend.
  • It is often difficult to jump right to the conclusion that your website is facing plugin incompatibility as it can not only happen while new installation but also during updates.
  • So, keep a check on the following signs to know whether you are dealing with plugin incompatibility or not.
  • Functionality overlapping: Well, it is one of the common signs of plugin incompatibility. If your website’s functionality is not working as it is supposed to, you can tell there is something wrong with your plugins.
  • Slow loading pages: Are your pages started loading extremely slow? If so, it can be one sign that indicates plugin incompatibility on your site. However, sometimes it’s extremely easy tells the difference in loading times since the difference is huge. And sometimes it’s very difficult. To know the difference use Google’s own page speed tools to ensure your pages perform optimally and no incompatibility is influencing them.
  • Affected layout: A quite common sign of plugin incompatibility is the distorted website design. You may find that the position, color, size or text font are not displaying properly. It can also be about the way some of the elements are misplaced on the website.
  • Internal server error: It is basically a more serious error that often locks you out either from your backend or from the frontend. If you get an error that internal server error has occurred, it’s time to check your plugins.
  • Backend or website crashing: Though it doesn’t happen quite often, in the beginning, you get used to it as it starts happening more and more. Provided your server isn’t responsible for causing this problem, you are most likely to deal with plugin incompatibility.

Preventing Plugin Incompatibility

Well, once you have confirmed the problem arising is due to plugin incompatibility, you better solve it as soon as possible to prevent affecting your rankings.

Follow the below-mentioned steps to get rid of plugin incompatibility at the earliest.

  • Upload a maintenance page to your website or use Duplicator to build a clone of your website and keep it live if you can’t afford a downtime. Now, it is always recommended to backup your website before making any major change to it.
  • Now go to your backend, click on plugins → installed plugins. Choose ‘deactivate’ in the ‘bulk action’ drop down and hit apply. It will automatically deactivate all your plugins in a matter of minutes.
  • To get the accurate results, clear your browsing history and see whether the problem persists. If no, it clearly dictates that one or more of the installed plugins are causing the problem. If yes, you better look for other solutions. The problem may also arise at theme-level, making outdated themes incompatible with plugins or other themes.
  • Once it’s confirmed that one of the plugins is causing the problem, you can find out which plugin is at the fault by activating them one after the another. Make sure you check your website after activating each plugin to know on activating which plugin the problem arises again. Don’t forget to clear the browsing history to check the latest version of the webpages
  • Upon finding the plugin, remove it or replace it with another plugin or find why the plugin is a conflicting problem by contacting the support forum. Check if the problem is gone. Also, make sure to check your website on different browsers to know it’s working fine.
  • Get your website back again by uploading your site with the removed, fixed or replaced plugin.
  • Plugin incompatibility can wreck havoc on your website if not fixed on time. Thus, it is often suggested to keep an eye on your website’s performance when an update comes along.
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