Finding PHP Error Logs

With WordPress and WooCommerce, PHP error logs can be useful when investigating an issue with a site. This guide will provide steps and information about accessing the PHP error logs either within WooCommerce or on a hosting server.

WooCommerce Fatal Errors Log ↑ Back to top

WooCommerce 3.2 introduced a log that displays PHP fatal errors. This log can contain pertinent information that would be found in the PHP error logs. It is a good place to start before moving to finding the PHP logs on the server.

To access the WooCommerce Fatal Errors log:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Status > Logs
  2. Choose a log from the drop-down labeled fatal-errors.log
  3. Click View

Example log:

WooCommerce Fatal Errors Log Example

The types of errors caught in this log are PHP fatal errors, runtime errors, and errors purposely triggered in the code by a PHP function. Runtime errors can occur when there is a typo in the code, for example.

Fatal errors occur when the action in the code cannot be completed. Examples of a fatal error include:

  • Calling an undefined function
  • Using an undefined variable
  • Calling a function on a null or otherwise unusable variable

This does not include web server errors, such as timeouts.

The log will include the:

  • Timestamp when the error occurred
  • Error that occurred
  • File and line in the code for the origination of the error
  • Stack trace – a snapshot of the history of the function calls and files leading up to the error

PHP Error Logs on the Server ↑ Back to top

You can find the PHP error logs in a few possible places on the server:

  • in your server’s root folder, called error.log
  • in public_html or similar folder, called error.log
  • in var/logs or similar, called error.log
  • additionally, if you have debugging enabled in WordPress and you have it saved to a file, it will be in the wp-content folder, and called debug.log

If you’re having trouble finding the file, you can have PHP tell you where it is:

  1. Create a file named phpinfo.php in the root of your WordPress’s directory
  2. Open the phpinfo.php file in a text editor
  3. Insert the following code into the file: <?php phpinfo(); ?>
  4. Open the file on your site. For example, if your site’s URL is example.com, you can open the file by visiting http://example.com/phpinfo.php
  5. Search the page for the error_log value. The file path listed here is the absolute file path of the PHP error log – visit that address on your server and you should find the PHP error log. If the value is empty, then you need to set a value to log errors on your site. See the picture below for how it should look like:
Example PHP Info Output

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