Plugin Detective

Description

Plugin Detective helps you troubleshoot issues on your site quickly and easily to find the cause of a problem. Once the culprit is found, the problem plugin can be quickly deactivated. You can even fix your site when it has the white screen of death (fatal error)

We’ve all been there – something’s broken on your site. You’ve looked around the web for advice about what to do and have stumbled across the typical wisdom – deactivate all your plugins and then re-activate them one-by-one, checking your site for the problem after each reactivation.

Ugh.

Sure, it works. But who has time for that?

Detective Otto Bot walks you through solving your case one step at a time, all from one single screen.

Just open up a case and tell Detective Otto where you’re seeing the problem. If there are any plugins that are required for your site to run correctly, tell Otto about those too.

Then Otto will interrogate the suspects and keep track of clues, checking in with you from time to time. All you need to do is answer “Yes, it’s fixed” or “No, it’s still broken” each time. Otto does the rest and finds the culprit in just minutes.

Best of all – Plugin Detective can work even if you’re just seeing the White Screen of Death on your site or if all you can see are PHP errors. See the FAQ’s for how to access plugin detective and log into WordPress even if you can’t get to your login screen.

Once Otto has identified the culprit, you can quickly deactivate the troublesome plugin and go about your day.

Screenshots

  • Troubleshoot link on the admin bar
  • Welcome screen
  • Seeing the problem on Otto's screen
  • Marking the key witnesses (required plugins)
  • Testing Otto's screen to see if the problem is still there
  • Culprit found! Option to disable the problem plugin

Installation

Manual Installation

  1. Upload the entire /plugin-detective directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate Plugin Detective through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.

FAQ

Installation Instructions

Manual Installation

  1. Upload the entire /plugin-detective directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate Plugin Detective through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
How do I use Plugin Detective?

Install Plugin Detective. Then from the WordPress admin, you’ll find Plugin Detective under the Tools menu.

Alternatively, you’ll find a Troubleshoot link added to your admin bar. Click this link on any page, admin or front end, to troubleshoot an issue you’re seeing on that page.

I just see errors or a white screen. Can I still use Plugin Detective to troubleshoot what’s gone wrong?

As long as you can still access your hosting account, you can install Plugin Detective via FTP. We’ve included instructions for Manual Installation on the Installation tab.

Once Plugin Detective is installed, head to yoursite.com/wp-content/plugins/plugin-detective/troubleshoot. You’ll be asked to log in with your WordPress username and password just to make sure you have the right permissions and then Detective Otto Bot will step you through troubleshooting just like always.

How does Detective Otto figure out which plugin is breaking my site?

Detective Otto learns from you. While interrogating the different suspects, Otto will check in with you to see if the issue is still happening on your site or not. You just need to answer “Fixed” or “Broken” after Otto makes a change.

Each of your answers provides Otto another clue that he is able to use to narrow down the list of plugins to find just the one that’s causing the problem.

What if it’s not easy to see what’s broken?

There’s no time limit on the clues for Otto. Some issues are more complex than others. You can use the embedded screen Otto provides you to step through several steps to see if the issue appears, or you can even open your site in a new window and step through whatever steps it takes to replicate the problem you’re having. Once you have the answer – minutes or even hours later – you can tell Otto either “Yes, it’s fixed” or “No, it’s still broken”.

Is this faster than me troubleshooting my plugins manually?

Yes, it’s much faster. Robots can be really fast at figuring out puzzles like these, and Detective Otto Bot is no exception. Rather than disabling your plugins one-by-one, Otto can disable groups of plugins, and use your answers to quickly narrow the scope of his investigation using binary search (a fancy robot term for saving you time).

I told Detective Otto that the problem was fixed, so why is he still interrogating suspects?

Likely Otto was interrogating a group of suspects at the time. The clue that the problem was fixed only narrows it down to the suspect being in that group. Give Otto a couple more rounds of interrogation, and he’ll find the exact plugin that’s causing your problem.

Contributors & Developers

“Plugin Detective” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Translate “Plugin Detective” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

1.0.3

  • Fix issues with older PHP environments

1.0.0

  • First release