How to Find and Access WordPress Error Logs (Step by Step)

Here’s a step-by-step guide on finding and accessing WordPress error logs:

1. Enable Debug Mode:

WordPress doesn’t record errors by default. You need to enable debug mode. There are two ways to do this:

  • Using a Plugin: Install a plugin like “WP Debugging” or “Query Monitor”. These plugins offer user-friendly interfaces to manage debug mode and view logs.
  • Using Code: Edit the wp-config.php file located in your WordPress root directory. Add the following line before the /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line:
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

2. Access the Error Log File:

Once debug mode is enabled, WordPress will start recording errors in a file called debug.log. You can access this file through two methods:

  • File Manager: Most hosting providers offer a file manager tool in their control panel. Use it to navigate to the /wp-content/ folder and locate the debug.log file. You can then download the file to your computer and open it with a text editor.
  • FTP Client: Connect to your website using an FTP client like FileZilla using your FTP credentials. Navigate to the /wp-content/ folder and download the debug.log file.

3. Understanding the Log File:

The debug.log file will contain technical information about errors, warnings, and notices. It might be challenging to understand for beginners. Here are some tips:

  • Look for lines starting with “ERROR”: These indicate critical errors that need immediate attention.
  • Search for specific keywords related to the issue you’re facing.
  • Use online resources or consult a developer if you need help interpreting the logs.

4. Disable Debug Mode (Optional):

After you’ve identified and fixed the errors, it’s recommended to disable debug mode for security reasons. Remove the lines you added to the wp-config.php file or deactivate the debugging plugin.

Remember, enabling debug mode can expose sensitive information, so only use it when troubleshooting specific issues and disable it afterwards.

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