WordPress sites can break in several ways. Recent updates to the platform now allow for auto updating of the WordPress core files. Cases like these can be a major issue for most people, in particular, those who are not developers and lack an in-depth understanding of WordPress’ code.
Before making any update, you MUST back up all website files and the database. If you do not, you will not be able to revert quickly to a viable state.
Let’s assume the worst. You did an update without backing up your files. Your WordPress Core or plugins are affected, and your site looks completely broken. Don’t panic. You could still fix the issue.
Disable All Plugins
Your first step is to disable all the plug-ins you are using. If you find one of the plug-ins is causing an issue after a WordPress Core update or an update to the plug-in itself, you have identified the problem. You can reach out to the Plug-in’s developer and submit the issue. He or She hopefully will support the plug-in and provide a fix or add the fix in their next update.
Turn on WordPress 2016 Theme
Activate the 2015 WordPress theme or the most recent default theme. It will depend on how old your site is. If the default theme seems to be working fine, then your problem lies with your custom theme. It is either having issues, it is not compatible with a plug-in recently installed/updated, or it is not supported by the update to WordPress core.
Turn on Debugging in the WP-Config.php file in your root folder.
Locate the line define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false); and change it to define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);
Note: Some errors may be “notices” which WordPress is telling you that you need to update code to adhere to new standards. Errors that are unique to plug-ins or missing files are what you want to reveal.
If you find and error unique to a plug-in or theme, you can troubleshoot this with a developer. If your site is not functioning, you can install a maintenance plug-in with a holder page until the problem is resolved.
Also, check out the WordPress forums for related issues.
If you’re looking for tips on building a WooCommerce website. Check out our post: WooCommerce Best Practices for Web Development.
Do you need help managing your WordPress website? Check out our WordPress Website Management service.