Troubleshooting Plugin and Theme Conflicts

One of the benefits of using WordPress to power your website is that there are thousands of plugins and themes available to help you accomplish all sorts of things. One of the downsides is that anyone can develop a plugin or theme and the developer's experience, adherence to WordPress development best practices, level of support and commitment to maintenance will vary widely. Worst of all, you won't necessarily find these things out until you start using the plugin or theme.

While MemberMouse will work with most plugins and themes, there are some instances where a plugin or theme you are using can conflict with the functionality of MemberMouse. When this happens, you will need to determine what exactly is conflicting. Often, these situations can be resolved by making sure all of your site components are up to date, or by making a settings adjustment in the plugin or cache settings. From there, reaching out to the components support is the next best step, and if no resolution is found, it is best to discontinue using that component or find a replacement.

Below is the standard process to help you identify where problems may be coming from.

1. Identify and Replicate the Issue

In order to accurately test for what's causing the problem, you will need to be able to reliably replicate the issue. For example, say that when you log into your membership site, your members report not being redirected to the member homepage appropriately. In this case, the steps to replicating the issue are simply to log into your membership site as a test member and note if the home page is correct or not.

Replicating a problem is an important step in troubleshooting, and it is used over and over again all throughout the process. Often, you will find a step may have been forgotten or missed, and simply re-doing it will solve the issue. Or if a customer pointed out a problem, that it may be an issue locally on their end. Most importantly, the steps will need to be passed to our support department so we too, can replicate it in our troubleshooting process. Either way, it is important first to replicate an issue and note the steps taken along with the results.

2. Enable Safe Mode

Limiting interference from other plugins is always going to be the first step in troubleshooting after disabling your caching mechanisms. The Safe Mode feature that is built into MemberMouse will set all plugins to deactivated so you can re-enable them one at a time and pinpoint which may be causing conflicts. Disabling Safe Mode returns your plugins and theme to their previous state.

  1. From the Support Center area of the MemberMouse dashboard, you can click the Safe Mode button there, or you can also get to the Safe Mode configuration screen from the MemberMouse menu by going to General Settings > Safe Mode.

  2. Once you're on the Safe Mode configuration screen, click the Enable Safe Mode button.

    This will pop up a confirmation dialog asking you to confirm that you want to enable safe mode. This confirmation dialog is calling your attention to the things that will happen when safe mode is enabled, which are the following:

    • all plugins other than MemberMouse will be deactivated
    • if a default WordPress theme is available, the current theme will be deactivated and the default WordPress theme will be activated
    • MemberMouse will remember which plugins were active and which theme was active so that they can be reactivated when safe mode is disabled.

      Note: Some plugins and themes will listen for WordPress deactivation hooks so that they can perform certain actions when they occur. MemberMouse safe mode uses a method of bypassing the plugins that don't trigger the WordPress deactivation hooks. This is the preferred method so that plugins and themes aren't inadvertently instructed to modify any configuration settings.

  3. Click OK in the confirmation dialog.

  4. Now that Safe Mode has been enabled you'll notice that as you navigate around the WordPress admin area, the following message will be displayed at the top of the screen:

    You can click Safe Mode Settings at any time to return to the Safe Mode configuration screen. You'll also notice that in the yellow box, the list of plugins and the theme that MemberMouse has saved is displayed:

    You can now retry the process you are having issues with. If the issue is resolved with Safe Mode enabled, that tells you that either a plugin or theme component is the cause of the issue. Proceed with the next steps to locate which component is interacting negatively with MemberMouse and disable it. 

3. Test for Plugin Conflicts

  1. The first thing we're going to do is deactivate all plugins except for MemberMouse. To do this, either use the Safe Mode option described in the previous steps, or go to the Plugins page in WordPress to disable all the plugins except MemberMouse.

  2. In the top left corner of the plugins list, you'll see a checkbox. Check this off and it will automatically select all of the plugins in the list.

  3. Find the MemberMouse Platform plugin in the list and deselect it.

  4. Above the plugins list, find the Bulk Actions drop down and select the Deactivate option.

  5. Now, with all your plugins checked, except for MemberMouse, click the Apply button next to the Bulk Actions drop down to deactivate all of the selected plugins.

  6. Now that all plugins are deactivated except for MemberMouse, go through the steps to recreate the issue you were experiencing. If you're still experiencing the issue, proceed to the Testing for Theme Conflicts section. If you're not experiencing the issue, this means that one of the plugins you're using is causing the problem so proceed to the next step.

  7. Now that we know that one of the plugins is causing the issue we just need to reactivate them one by one and test after each one to see if the issue has come back. Eventually, after activating one of the deactivated plugins, the problem will return. When the issue comes back, we know it was that plugin we just reactivated that was causing the conflict, or was part of causing it.

    Once you have found the plugin or plugins that are part of the conflict, you can then begin to work with it to see if there is a misconfiguration, a caching issue, or if it needs replacement or removal. Look over the documentation of the plugin, and if possible, their support forums to see if you can find potential adjustments which may fix the problem. Often, reaching out to their support may be the best step to resolve the issue.

4. Test for Theme Conflicts

If troubleshooting the plugins in the previous step did not lead you to find the conflicting problem, troubleshooting the theme would be the next step. Much like the steps involved previously, you will need to activate one of the default WordPress themes and see if the conflict resolves without your live theme active.

  1. To test for theme conflicts we're going to activate the default WordPress theme. To do this, from the WordPress menus go to Appearance > Themes.

  2. In the Available Themes section, find and activate a default WordPress theme. All WordPress themes begin with Twenty and are then followed by a number (i.e. Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Fifteen, etc).

    If you don't see this theme in your Available Themes section, you can add it by clicking on the Install Themes tab at the top of the page, typing Twenty into the search box and then clicking Install when you see one of the WordPress themes come up in the search results. After it's installed, activate it.

  3. Now that the default WordPress theme is activated, go through step 1 again to see if the original issue continues. If you're still experiencing the issue, proceed to the the next section for further instructions. If you're not experiencing the issue, this means that the theme you're using is causing the problem and you should contact the theme provider to see if you can get it resolved.

5. Still Having Problems?

If you were unable to locate the source of the issue in the previous steps, please submit a support ticket and provide us with the following:

  • A description of the issue you're experiencing.
  • Steps to take to recreate the issue.
  • The website URL where MemberMouse is installed.
  • WordPress administrator credentials. You can do this easily by creating an employee account for our support team.
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