Support » Fixing WordPress » Plugin error crashes entire site

  • Hi there,

    This is a first for me. I’m not looking for plugin support, but I would love a little WordPress knowledge edification. I’ve been doing this for years, but maybe there’s something about WP’s architecture that I’ve missed.

    Any idea why one error in a plugin file would cause an entire WordPress site to go down? This happened on a plugin that was only being called by one page, but the error brought everything down — including the ability to use WP-Admin.

    I had a parse error appear in the plugin file — not a core WordPress file. Something along the lines of unexpected T_FUNCTION. The error was on line 420.

    When I found the error (an errant ” mark), I uploaded a fixed version to the server with identical permissions. Then all of a sudden, there was a T_FUNCTION error on line 1 — no luck finding this error. After installing a clean version of the file, the error persisted.

    Only after removing two of the plugin’s core files did everything return to normal. I’m in a holding pattern now, figuring out how to remove the plugin and its tables while saving some styling work I did in the plugin’s WP-Admin User Interface (not the PHP files themselves). I need to remove the plugin without causing any other issues for the site.

    Thanks much!

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  • Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    It’s a common thing, sadly. If a plugin is not coded or tested properly, it can cause a conflict with another plugin, theme, WordPress’s core functions, or even PHP itself (or all of the above).

    If you have identified the problem plugin, you can safely remove it by deleting its directory via FTP or your hosting provider’s file manager from /wp-content/plugins/

    Then, get in touch via the plugin’s support system to report the problem.

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