WordPress is a powerful and reliable platform, but it’s not immune to technical problems. From time to time, you may find yourself facing issues that stem from updates, poor compatibility between themes and plugins, and miscellaneous errors. Knowing how to fix these issues is critical to keeping your site safe and running at full speed.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools you can use to keep your WordPress site in top shape without having to dig into the platform’s core files. Installing a plugin is often easier – and faster – than opting for the manual route.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to five outstanding plugins that can help you keep your WordPress woes at bay by handling fixes and updates. Let’s get started!

1. UpdraftPlus

The UpdraftPlus plugin.

If there’s a universal solution for fixing your WordPress site, it’s maintaining recent backups with an easy restore option. Regardless of the problem you’re dealing with, chances are that restoring your site from a snapshot will fix it. That’s where UpdraftPlus comes in.

UpdraftPlus enables you to create copies of your entire site – including its database – and store them locally, on your server, or in the cloud. You can even automate the entire process, so you’ll always have a recent backup in case anything goes wrong. Free and premium versions of this plugin are available, with paid plans starting at $70 for two year-long licenses.

Key Features:

  • Create copies of your sites and databases
  • Store your backups locally, on your site’s server, or in the cloud
  • Restore your site from a backup in a matter of clicks
  • Schedule your backups, so you’ll always have recent copies available
  • Integrate the plugin with multiple cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive

2. Elementor Page Builder

The Elementor plugin.

The Elementor Page Builder plugin was primarily created to help users build elegant website designs using a simple drag-and-drop interface. However, it also moonlights as a WordPress troubleshooting tool, thanks to its maintenance mode feature.

Using this feature, you can disable access to your site temporarily while you sort out whatever is going wrong. Elementor’s maintenance mode can be used to help you troubleshoot errors, prevent would-be attackers from gaining access to your site, and even provide a stopgap while you restore your website using a backup.

What’s more, Elementor offers multiple templates to use for your temporary maintenance pages. Some even include countdown modes, so your visitors know when your site will be up again.

Key Features:

  • Use a drag-and-drop builder to create stylish WordPress sites
  • Set the maintenance mode in case you need to temporarily disable access to your site
  • Troubleshoot errors and other issues, and protect your site from attackers
  • Create a temporary landing page with one of several maintenance templates

3. User Switching

The User Switching plugin.

Occasionally, you’ll see errors that pop up only for users with specific permissions levels. Tracking these issues down and figuring out what’s causing them can be tricky – even with admin access.

User Switching enables you to easily access any user account in order to tackle this problem head-on. That way, you can view the errors for yourself and diagnose them directly. Furthermore, User Switching is the perfect tool to test any new functionality you implement to see if it is working properly.

Key Features:

  • Switch to any user account on your site and return to your original account when needed
  • Limit account switching to administrators only
  • Preserve your users’ privacy by not revealing their passwords
  • Receive full support for WordPress Multisite, BuddyPress, and bbPress

4. PHP Compatibility Checker

The PHP Compatibility Checker plugin.

The PHP Compatibility Checker is a relatively straightforward but useful plugin courtesy of the folks at WP Engine. It enables you to test your themes and plugins for compatibility with multiple PHP versions, ranging from 5.3 to 7.0 (at the moment).

If any of your site’s components include code that isn’t compatible with the PHP version you decide to test, the plugin will let you know where the offending files and/or lines of code are. That way, you can either take a look at them and try to find a solution, or opt for alternative plugins and themes that are more compatible.

PHP Compatibility Checker’s goal is to help increase PHP7 adoption by WordPress sites. That is important since a lot of sites are still running on deprecated versions of PHP, which can lead to various bugs and security issues.

Key Features:

  • Test your themes and plugins for compatibility with multiple PHP versions
  • See the exact files and code lines that return errors
  • Differentiate between active and inactive themes and plugins

5. Debug Bar

The Debug Bar plugin.

Debug Bar is a very popular tool among WordPress developers, and it’s easy to see why. Enabling it will give you access to a ‘debugging’ menu on your administrator bar that shows information related to queries, caches, and PHP warnings.

While Debug Bar hasn’t been updated for a while, it still has a loyal following. This plugin can be a valuable tool for fixing your WordPress website, since it provides easy access to a host of relevant details when you’re trying to diagnose an issue.

Key Features:

  • Add a debugging menu to your WordPress admin bar
  • Track information related to database queries, caching issues, and PHP warnings

Conclusion

It never hurts to be prepared, even with a platform as robust as WordPress. Having the right tools to deal with errors and manage updates can help you fix existing problems, as well as prevent issues before they have a chance to affect your site.

Let’s recap the five key plugins we’ve introduced you to:

  1. UpdraftPlus: One of the best WordPress backup plugins available.
  2. Elementor Page Builder: Offers a maintenance mode feature to disable access to your site temporarily.
  3. User Switching: Enables you to switch between users to track errors more accurately.
  4. PHP Compatibility Checker: Checks your site’s elements for compatibility errors with multiple PHP versions.
  5. Debug Bar: Adds a helpful debug menu to your admin bar, for easier troubleshooting.

Do you know of any plugins that would make a worthy addition to this list? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pixabay.

John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.

The post 5 Key Plugins for Fixing and Updating Your WordPress Site appeared first on Torque.

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