Being the ever-diligent website owner, you regularly check your WordPress website for software updates. Using the backend dashboard, you choose to run all core, plugin, and theme updates. After the update process completes, you visit the front end of your website and you see the dreaded ‘white screen of death’! Your website is broken. Don’t worry, in this article we will discover ways to solve the WordPress plugin conflict.

Three types of conflict

Typically, plugin conflicts come in three varieties. A conflict between two (or more) plugins, between a plugin and your current theme, and between a plugin and WordPress core. Because of these three different scenarios, you need to take a systematic approach to ruling out each possibility.

To rule out the different potential issues, deactivate all plugins and switch your theme to one of the default WordPress themes (Twenty Nineteen is the latest theme). Try loading the front end again. In most cases, the website loads. You have discovered the most common issue with updates, the WordPress plugin conflict.

One at a time

Next, activate one plugin at a time and try visiting your website frontend after each activation. If your website works fine, move on to activating the next plugin. If your website stops working, then you have discovered the plugin causing the conflict. With the conflicting culprit found, you can deactivate the plugin and wait for the plugin owner to provide an update or you can find another plugin that provides the same functionality. With over 54,000 plugins available, it’s not hard to find a replacement.

Check the theme

If you go through all the plugins and you find that your website still works with the default theme, then you have a conflict with your WordPress theme. Change your theme from the default WordPress theme to your current website theme (not your child theme). If your website doesn’t work, then you have a theme conflict with your main theme. You will need to wait for the theme author to update the theme or choose a different theme. If the website works, then activate your child theme. Again, if the website stops working, then you have an issue with your child theme. Examine the code for your child theme and fix any issues found. Try commenting out sections of code until you find the culprit. Fix all errors found.

Following this systematic approach to plugin troubleshooting helps pinpoint the source of your WordPress plugin conflict. If your website still does not work after following the above steps, it is time to enlist the help of a WordPress professional. There are still some steps available (that involve digging into the code) that may help bring your website back to full working condition. When faced with the ‘white screen of death’ after updating your website, don’t worry. Follow our step-by-step approach to solving WordPress plugin conflicts.

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