Testing for Conflicts

VFB Pro is built using preferred WordPress coding standards and we work hard to make sure it is compatible to a wide range of users. However, we cannot test every plugin, theme, or server environment out there and "conflicts" sometimes arise. Conflicts can be a number of things, but it basically means that a plugin or theme is incompatible with another plugin or theme.

A poorly written theme or plugin or misconfigured server can break the functionality of VFB Pro. This tutorial will help to determine if a conflict is happening and determine which theme or plugin(s) are causing it.

Getting Started

  1. Switch to a default WordPress theme. WordPress builds default themes that come with their software and are called the "Twenty" themes. They ship one each year, but you should at least have the most recent installed. For example, if you may have the Twenty Fifteen or Twenty Fourteen themes installed. Log into your dashboard and go to the Appearance > Themes screen. You will see a list of all themes installed on your site. Find the "Twenty Fifteen" theme (or another Twenty theme) and click "Activate".
  2. Disable all plugins except for VFB Pro plugins. Log into your dashboard and go to the Plugins screen. You will see a list of all plugins installed on your site. Check the box next to every plugin except for VFB Pro plugins. Use the Bulk Actions dropdown to select "Deactivate" and then click "Apply".
  3. Clear caching plugins. If you have caching plugins installed, you may need to follow a separate process to clear the site cache, even after the plugin has been disabled.

Finding the Conflict

While this step can be tedious, it's usually necessary in order to determine the root cause of the conflict. Once the conflict is determined, it's easier to find a solution.
  1. Switch back to original theme. Go back to the Appearance > Themes screen. Find your original theme and click "Activate". Try to recreate the problem again. If you are able to recreate the problem, then you have a theme conflict. If not, continue to step two.
  2. Reactivate plugins one-by-one. Go back to the Plugins screen. Find a plugin you deactivated and click "Activate" Try to recreate the problem again. If everything works, repeat this step with a different plugin. If you are able to recreate the problem, then you have a plugin conflict.

Diagnosing Conflicts

Once you have found the source of the conflict, sometimes it's as easy as just switching themes or finding another plugin that is compatible. In many cases, it's not that easy.
You may have also discovered that neither your theme or plugins revealed any conflicts. In that case, it could be one of the following problems:
  • Updating server to meet requirements. Check that your server meets our Server Requirements.
  • Common WordPress Errors. The WordPress Codex has a page that lists the most common WordPress errors experienced by WordPress users. Many PHP, database, and server errors are covered here, so it's a good place to find a solution.
  • Corrupted files. Sometimes a file can become corrupted when uploaded to your server. Upload a fresh copy of WordPress, your theme, or plugins to your server.
  • JavaScript Error. JavaScript errors are pretty common and usually interactive or animated elements to stop functioning. Open up your browser's console and see if there are any errors. If so, include those in your support ticket.

Dealing with a White Screen of Death

PHP and database errors can commonly cause what is known as the WordPress White Screen of Death. If you are trying to find a conflict and end up with a white screen, you will most likely not be able to access the WordPress admin area.
Thankfully, there is an easy way to fix this problem.
  1. Connect to your site with an FTP program such as Filezilla on Windows or Transmit on OS X.
  2. Backup all of the plugin files and folders located at www.yourwebsite.com/wp-content/plugins/ to a safe location on your computer.
  3. Delete all the plugins within the /wp-content/plugins folder. Don't worry, this will not affect data in the database.
  4. Ensure you can access your WordPress dashboard again.
  5. Re-upload all plugins back to the /wp-content/plugins folder.

Following this process will automatically deactivate all plugins on your site. You can then follow the steps under Finding a Conflict to determine the problematic plugin.