I would have to say that a few years ago there was no way you could have said I would be commenting on this subject, let alone trying to show tips about it. I was fairly new to wordpress and was not that comfortable using it. I had tried a lot of web publishing software and like others, was not sure of the wordpress platform and what learning curve it would take to master it. I jumped in and with a lot of reading, trial and error, I was able to make a go of it and convert all of my websites to wordpress.
I now will not even think of doing a new website without wordpress and all the power it holds. You can use a plethora of plugins, but they must work and play well with the other plugins that are installed. That is one of the only major problems, is when you decide to update your base wordpress install, will all the plugins remain working?
Worst case scenario with plugins gone wrong
There have been horror stories of whole blogs going down just because of one plugin that threw a fatal error on an updated wordpress base install. The plugin author was not ready obviously, and the web publisher paid the price. They have had to try and fix it themselves, but that is hard to do if you are new. I will go over how this is done so you can fix any problems with your plugins folder and get your blog up and running again.
First you will need your ftp program. You should already have this if you are doing web publishing. Filezilla is good as is core ftp. I will walk you through the basic steps to disable your plugins folder for now, we will fix it later. What we will be doing is renaming your plugin folder, and then deleting the offending plugin if you know which one is causing the problem.
If you are not able to see your website or login to wp-admin dashboard, there is a solution, rename the plugins folder to plugins_old. As shown here you will need to navigate via ftp client to your wp-plugins folder, it resides inside of wp-content.
The next step would be to right click the folder and select rename. Rename the folder plugins_old and click outside the box, this will set the name. The next shot will show what we have done.
Your blog should now show to the world and you should be able to get inside the wp-admin dashboard.You may now right click inside of the area and select create new directory. Name it plugins. This will allow you to upload some basic plugins and start over for the time being, we will repair the old folder and get this back up and running in a minute here.
You can go to your ftp and re-upload a new set of plugins to the new folder, just name the new one as plugins. This will allow wordpress to see it and use what is inside. This is a step most of us don’t want to have to use, but it will get your crashed blog back up and running. You may now investigate the bad plugin, find it, delete it and then you may go through the process again renaming the newer plugins folders as older or whatever. At least you will be able to function. All that is next after repairs is to also rename the original folder back to plugins. This will keep all your ads or offers and seo settings intact.
What if I Know The Plugin That Caused The Problem?
There are times when you know from an error message in the wp-admin dashboard which plugin caused a fatal error or just generally does not work with the newer versions of wordpress. It is a sad day when the whole blog comes crashing down and your income and visitors with it. There is a way to just remove the one offending plugin, you delete it from the plugins section in your dashboard.
There are also times when trying to delete the plugin causes major issues. or refuses to be deleted. I will try and show you how to get rid of the problem.
You will need your ftp client again. We will be going back into the same directory, the plugins folder and open the plugins folder itself.
The next thing we do is to right click on the offending plugin and select delete and confirm the deletion…
This should do it. You should be able to go back to your blog and confirm that all is working now. It;s a tough road sometimes to keep this all updated and working together. If you run into issues like this then having this method ready will work and help you keep your traffic flowing. If you lose traffic momentum, it may take awhile to have it come flowing back. You always need a plan for when disaster strikes.
Excellent material as always, Jim. Filezilla has been my buddy since before this crazy cool thing called WordPress. I wish they’d add right-click “open with” functionality like Windows provides, but can’t complain. It’s fast and free.