The Ultimate Guide to Troubleshooting WordPress Issues

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Introduction

It’s happened to us all; we have an issue with a WordPress site and can’t figure out the root problem. So then we put on our troubleshooting hat to see if we can resolve the issue and end up burning hours and hours.

This guide is a checklist to help you track down issues with your WordPress site and ultimately try and find the root cause.

1. Disable or Bypass Cloudflare, Quic.Cloud and other CDN’s

This is a 50/50 fork in the road, doing this first will save you a ton of wasted time simply disabling plugins and changing settings.

  • Turn off proxying at Cloudflare, but beware that DNS changes ultimately take time to propagate.
  • Change your hosts file on Windows notepad (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts) or macOS using Gasmask. You can also modify your DNS server on your local network or install a custom DNS resolver on your local machine and use it for DNS resolution. Using a second machine makes this super easy.

Troubleshooting a VPS or Bare Metal Server

[quote=”jordy, post:5, topic:2815″] It might be an idea to outsource the installation of New Relic and do some analysis on beforehand.
[/quote]

Newrelic is a good start, but there are also other options.

  1. Atop – dumps the output of the top command every 5 minutes. This will show you if something automated or specific is occurring, such as a backup or an influx of traffic.
  2. Are you getting monit alerts? Maybe check the monit logs?
  3. Have you checked the server error logs, and the system logs?
  4. You could probably also tune your MySQL instance, PHP workers and Opcode Cache.
  5. Then start looking at newrelic for bad queries.
  6. Netdata also is a great too to monitor system resources.
  7. Get the site behind Cloudflare and start locking down the site from automated attacks https://managingwp.io/2022/08/10/secure-protect-and-lock-down-your-wordpress-site-with-cloudflare-firewall-and-waf-rules/
  8. Newrelic would be the last item, perhaps there is a plugin causing load when things get busy.
  9. Look at Openlitespeed, which will cache more than Nginx in instances where users are logged in.
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