How to Enable WordPress Error Logs to Detect Issues

To enable error logging on your WordPress site, you’ll need sFTP access, available with plugin-enabled plans. This allows you to edit your website files remotely. In this case, you’ll be working with the wp-config.php file, which holds the basic configuration settings for your website.

A word of warning: you should only use sFTP and edit your wp-config.php file if you feel comfortable doing so. Mistakes can cause catastrophic errors on your website. If you don’t have experience changing these types of files, you may want to hire a developer or reach out to support for help.

1. Connect to your website via sFTP
You’ll need to start by enabling sFTP on your site. Go to My Site(s) ? Settings ? Hosting Configuration and click the Enable SFTP button.

Then, you’ll see your sFTP login details: URL, Port Number, Username, and Password. You’ll need to input these into FTP software, like FileZilla, to access your site. Follow these detailed instructions to connect to your website.

2. Find and download your wp-config.php file
Navigate to your wp-config.php file. This sits in the root directory of your file structure, alongside folders such as wp-content. Download this file, so you have a backup copy on hand.

3. Edit the wp-config.php file
Edit your wp-config.php file using a text editor such as Notepad.

Look for define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false ); and replace this text with the following:

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );

You’ve now successfully enabled error logging. You should only have this feature turned on while troubleshooting. Otherwise, it can leave your site more vulnerable to hacking attempts. To disable logging, simply delete the code you just added and restore the following:

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false );

How to view the error log manually
Once the log is enabled, you’ll need to load your website to trigger any error codes. Those codes are stored in a file called debug.log, which you can access via sFTP by following the same steps as above.

You can find the debug.log file inside of the wp-content folder. If there are errors, the file will appear. However, if there aren’t any errors, then you won’t see it at all — congratulations!

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