How to Test for Theme or Plugin Conflicts

Have you encountered an unexpected issue with WPForms? Our plugin uses best practices to ensure compatibility on as many WordPress sites as possible. However, sometimes other developers don’t also follow these standards or other unexpected issues can occur, and this can result in a theme or plugin conflict.

In this tutorial, we’ll walk through how to locate and troubleshoot theme or plugin conflicts.

Note: This tutorial will cover the most common steps WPForms users will need for troubleshooting. If you’d like a more general guide, please check out WPBeginner’s guide to troubleshooting WordPress errors.

How to Check for Plugin Conflicts

Most plugins need to load extra resources, such as CSS stylesheets or JavaScript files, in order to work properly. In some cases, though, the code from these files will alter elements outside of their intended scope and break or alter functionality.

By following the steps below, you should be able to determine if the issue is the result of code from another plugin.

1. Take a Site Backup
Before we get started, be sure to take a backup your site. This is always a good precaution before making theme or plugin changes.

2. Deactivate All Other Plugins
Once you’ve completed the site backup, go to the Plugins page. There, you’ll need to select all Plugins except WPForms (and WPForms addons). Then you can open the Bulk Actions dropdown at the top of this page and choose Deactivate.

Deactivate WordPress plugins

When you click the Apply button, WordPress will deactivate all selected plugins at once.

3. Monitor Issue and Reactivate Plugins
Now that you’ve deactivated all plugins but WPForms, you’ll need to check if the issue still exists. If you still see the issue, you’ll know there wasn’t a plugin conflict and can move to testing your theme.

If the issue is fixed, however, the next step is to determine which specific plugin was triggering it. To do this, you’ll need to reactivate each plugin one by one.

Each time you activate another plugin, you’ll need to check on the issue again. Because of this, it’s easiest to keep two tabs or windows open in your browser: one with the Plugins page open, the other with the issue location open.

When the issue starts occurring again, you’ll know you’ve just reactivated the source of the plugin conflict.

How to Check for Theme Conflicts

If the issue still persists after the above steps for plugin troubleshooting, the next step is to see if the issue stems from your site’s theme.

To test for a theme-related issue, you’ll need to switch to a default WordPress theme (these are all named by year, for example Twentyseventeen, Twentysixteen, etc). These themes are fairly simple and follow strict standards, which makes them good for testing. If you’re already using one of these themes, just be sure to switch to one you’ve never used before.

When you’re ready to switch your theme, you’ll need to go to Appearance » Themes. From there, you can search for Twentyseventeen (or one of the other recent default themes) and activate it.

Activate a default WordPress theme

Once a default theme is activated, you’ll need to try to replicate the issue again. If the issue is resolved with this new theme in place, you’ll know the cause lies within your regular site theme.

What to Do After Locating a Conflict

Note: The best way to avoid theme or plugin conflicts is to only install high quality options on your site. For more information on how to do this, check out WPBeginner’s guides to picking the best possible theme and plugins.

If you’ve found that the issue is caused by a plugin or theme, there are two steps you should take:

1. Contact the plugin or theme’s support team
It’s important to let the team for this product know what you found. In many cases, their support or author will be familiar with the issue already, and may even have a solution to share with you.

2. Let our team know what you’ve found
While we aren’t able fix issues with third party code such as themes or other plugins, we really appreciate you taking the time to let us know about the issue and, if possible, any resolution. That way, our support can share what you’ve found, and any potential solutions, with others who might encounter the same issue.

That’s it! We hope this tutorial has helped you to locate any theme or plugin conflicts occurring on your WordPress site.

Still have questions? Be sure to get in touch with our support team to let us know how we can help.