How to Enable Debugging in WordPress

Overview

Do you need to enable debugging in WordPress? This doesn’t apply to only WPForms but when trying to debug anything on your site from any plugin or your WordPress theme.

When adding custom code such as PHP or JavaScript, there are times when you may need to find any possible errors in your code.

When enabled, WordPress debug will log any errors detected on your site. This can be key to finding the source of an issue or just learning more details about any possible errors on your site.

Setup

To enable debugging on your site, please follow the steps below.

1) Locate the wp-config.php file

By default, WordPress debug will be disabled. To enable it, you’ll need to access your site files through either FTP or cPanel.

Alternatively, you can also just install a simple plugin to easily gain access to your WordPress files.

2) Edit the wp-config.php file

Once your site files are open, you’ll need to open wp-config.php for editing. This will be located in the root folder of your site.

Open wp-config file to enable debugging in WordPress

The wp-config file contains site-specific configuration settings, such as database information and, potentially, settings added by your hosting provider. For debugging, you’ll need to find this line of code (will generally be near bottom of file):

('WP_DEBUG',false);

3) Add your debug code

Once you’ve located this, you’ll need to replace it with the following three lines of code:

define('WP_DEBUG',true);
define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY',false);
define('WP_DEBUG_LOG',true);

This will enable debugging and, importantly, prevent any logged data from displaying on your site. Instead, a debug log will be saved to your site files.

4) Replicate the issue

After saving these changes to wp-config.php, you’ll need to return to your site and replicate the issue you saw earlier. This will ensure that it gets recorded in the new error log.

5) Viewing the debug log

Then, you can return to your site files and open /wp-content/debug.log.

The contents of an error log can vary a lot depending on the cause and number of issues, but now you should be able to see extra details, such as a file path to the source of a code error, to help you better track down the issue.