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Lev Seltzer
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How to debug non-working Wordpress website

My client's WordPress website on MS AZURE stopped working.

sanhedria.co . il

Basic "debug=true" debugging doesn't give my any information.

I reinstalled WordPress on top of the existing files with no change. I renamed plugins and themes to _BAK and got the exact same error.

Any suggestions on how to proceed with debugging?

Thank you.l

WordPressAzure

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Last Comment
Scott Fell

8/22/2022 - Mon
David Favor

1) There is no debug=true WordPress debugging facility... whatever debug=true might mean.

2) The normal way to debug WordPress is first to just review your system logs.

This will tell you if the problem is Webserver, PHP, Database, WordPress.

3) If problem is not Wordpress, you fix the problem where ever it's occurring.

4) If problem is WordPress, then add the following to your wp-config.php file to output debug info into a log file.

define('WP_DEBUG', true);
ini_set('display_errors', 0);
ini_set( 'log_errors', 1 );

Open in new window


These directives enabled debugging, with output to a debug.log in your DocumentRoot, and no debug errors to display (visitor view of rendered content).

Likely the log will show you the exact problem.

5) WordPress sites... never just start failing out of the blue...

Something else happened.

Maybe PHP was updated or a plugin or theme or WordPress Core was updated where there's a mismatch between PHP version + installed update (very common).

First data to extract from client, "Well now... Mr. Client... tell me exactly what you did to destroy your site..."

Using... more diplomatic... verbiage/language...

Once you know how Mr. Client destroyed the site, fix speed will streamline.
Lev Seltzer

ASKER
WordPress debugging had been on, but there were no errors displayed. I changed the debugging as per your instructions, but a log file was not created.

I understand that there was probably an update which caused the site to fail, but when I removed all plugins by renaming the plugin folder, the site didn't come back up.

The client never touches the site - only I do,

The database seems to still be there. THhe critical files are there because I reinstalled them from www.wordpress.org/latest.zip. PHP is at version 7.4, and there is no option from the AZURE admin panel to select a newer or older version.

Any other suggestions?

Thank you.
lenamtl

Hi,
I went to the website the SSL certificate expire yesterday.
I would  renew and install a new SLL certificate ASAP.
The expired certificate may have cause issue as it display a privacy error.

Anyhow for security reason because now we can see the setup-config.php put the website in maintenance ASAP as anybody can setup the installation...
As WP is no more installed just put a PW protection on the page or install the new version and put the website in maintenance mode.
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William Peck
Scott Fell

"Not working" can mean different things.

Typically when something goes wrong, the database has been infected and it is not always easy to see.  If you have a database back up from when it stopped working, sometimes just replacing the database will do the trick. However, that still means there is a security issue and making sure all plugins are up to date and in some cases it is the theme or if the theme came with a builder, that could be the issue too.

If you don't have a good database back up, the best option is to start over. If you need content, use archive.org to find old content or search for the domain name in quotes in google and on any results, click the the three dots next to the result to get the cached page

David Favor

https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=sanhedria.co.il suggest HTTPS coverage is good.

https://webpagetest.org/result/211223_AiDcEA_1797338b5ddfea6f1e48aa9ac8972dcf/1/details/#waterfall_view_step1 shows site to be functional + long wait times on many assets suggests hosting being used is glitchy/flakey... likely to fail in all sorts of ways... with only minor traffic.

You mentioned, "My client's WordPress website on MS AZURE stopped working" with no description of what "stopped working" might mean, as @Scott mentioned.

Define "stopped working" first, as every test I run, including Browser visits all suggest site is working.
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Lev Seltzer

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David Favor

If you were using WAMP (with Azure), then moved to LAMP hosting, this cures many problems...

As...

WAMP != LAMP

Trying to run LAMP software on WAMP always means you'll be debugging many config + performance + functional problems... likely for the entire life cycle of the project...
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David Favor

Glad you got this working!
Lev Seltzer

ASKER
@david-favor I prefer to have someone else deal with my hosting, but my not-for-profit clients get a sponsored AZURE website, so I use the $3500 credit Microsoft gives us. The only WordPress that I've been able to figure out is WAMP. Maybe one day someone will offer a real one-click WordPress installation that is easy to setup and reliable to use.
Until then....

Thank you - and to all - for your comments and suggestions.
David Favor

Hang in there!
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Scott Fell

one day someone will offer a real one-click WordPress installation that is easy to setup and reliable to use.
I use Plesk Panel. It has built in very good tools for on-click WP installation, backing up, migrating moving, securing etc. I'm sure you can add it to your Azure.  It's nothing to spin up a WP site and keep it managed.