Skip to main content
Keep your business open during COVID-19Learn More
Call us
Phone numbers and hours
Help Center

Explore our online help resources

BlogHelp

WordPress Help

Use debug mode to fix a WordPress error

WordPress includes a debug mode that you can turn on to give more detailed error messages, instead of the generic 500 internal server error. It can also help you understand what's causing a blank white page.

Warning: Always make a backup of your site before troubleshooting or making any changes.

Start by enabling debug mode for your WordPress site. After enabling debug mode, compare the error on your site to the examples in the table below. Use the link(s) next to the error example that matches the error on your site to see details on how to fix the problem.

Error example Error type
www/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php on line 40 Plugin error
www/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen/functions.php on line 58 Theme error
www/wp-includes/functions.php on line 58
www/wp-admin/index.php on line 15
Core error

Plugin error

A plugin conflicting with WordPress or another plugin is a common cause of these errors. If so, you’ll often see a plugin listed in the error message.

If you see the name of one of your plugins in the error message then disable that plugin. After disabling the plugin(s), reload your site to see if the error is gone. If so, update the problematic plugin to its latest version.

Note: If you can’t access the WordPress admin dashboard then you can disable your plugins through the database.

If updating the plugin doesn't work, then try the following:

  • Search for your plugin on wordpress.org, then select it to open the details page for that plugin. Next, select the Support tab to open the plugin-specific forums.
  • Review the documentation provided by the plugin's developer.
  • Review the general WordPress support forums.

Theme error

Just like with plugins, a theme can also conflict with WordPress or plugins. If that’s happening the error message will often list the theme name in the error message.

If you see your theme listed in the error message, then you’ll want to a change to one of the default WordPress themes, like TwentyTwenty or TwentyTwentyOne.

If your site loads without the error, you can update your normal theme to its latest version and then enable that theme again.

Note: If you can’t access the WordPress admin dashboard then you can change your theme through the database.

If updating the theme doesn't work, then try the following:

  • Search for your theme on wordpress.org, then select it to open the details page for that theme. Next, select the Theme Homepage link to open the site for that theme's developer. Search their site for support specific to the that theme.
  • Review the general WordPress support forums.

WordPress core file error

If the error message includes the wp-admin or wp-includes folder, then it might mean WordPress itself is the problem.

Start by updating WordPress to its latest version. If you can’t access the WordPress admin dashboard, update WordPress through FTP.

If your site is already using latest version, upload a new copy of the core files. You'll need download the same version of WordPress your site uses and then disable debug mode the wp-includes and wp-admin folders to your hosting account. Choose to over-write the existing files.

Note: These steps do not apply to Managed WordPress accounts, since the version and core files are controlled by the product.

If updating those steps don't work, then review the WordPress support forums.

Warning: When you’re done troubleshooting be sure to Enable debugging to display errors in WordPress. Leaving debug mode enabled can create security issues for your site.

Related steps

  • Fix a WordPress internal server error
  • Enable debugging to display errors in WordPress