Troubleshooting 101: Fixing Theme and Plugin Conflicts

Plugins and Extensions

WordPress is a great platform because of its simplicity. Out of the box, WordPress is fast and stable. Therefore, it can be managed and used to set up a website, or an online shop with WooCommerce, even when you do not have extensive technical knowledge about how a website works.

There are over 40,000 plugins in the official WordPress repository, and each lets you extend the functionality of WordPress. Plus there is a vast number of premium plugins. Installing a WordPress plugin happens in a matter of seconds, but the risk of incompatibility steadily rises as you add more features and also use an advanced theme to control your website’s layout.

Sensei Conflicts ↑ Back to top

Sensei is made to be compatible with all well-coded WordPress themes. There are a few known plugin conflicts: More at: Sensei Plugin and Theme Conflicts.

Incompatibility and JavaScript conflicts ↑ Back to top

Many tickets we encounter at WooThemes deal with incompatibility between plugins or plugins and the active theme. The WordPress backend itself uses the jQuery library to provide many of its features (i.e., dropdown or collapsible panels), and oftentimes JavaScript conflicts between plugins or the plugin/theme disrupt proper functionality of the jQuery library. This frequently results in a faulty backend, which can then render a multitude of errors. For example:

  • Information not being displayed
  • Forms that stop operating
  • Save buttons not working
  • Inability to navigate backend panels or collapse/expand them

Tools of the Trade ↑ Back to top

If you experience one the above-mentioned issues or have a plugin that is not working as it should, or your front-end shows similar errors, then there is likely a conflict on your site. In my years of WordPress support, I have found the following to be helpful. It may help you, as well.

The plugin organizer allows you deactivate plugins on a per-page basis, making it possible to deactivate plugins on your issue page (i.e. checkout), while leaving the rest of your site untouched. Once installed and activated:

  • Go to your plugin organizer settings and enable ‘selective plugin loading’ + ‘selective admin plugin loading’
  • When using WooCommerce or Custom Post Types, check the respective boxes under ‘Custom Post Type Support’ for ‘products’ and your custom post type

You can now disable plugins on a per-page basis, and use this to selectively disable plugins on issue pages. For more information, refer to the plugin FAQ page and dig deeper by playing around with the plugin.

If this does not help, then you can combine ‘plugin organizer‘ with ‘theme test drive.’ The theme test drive plugin allows you to activate a theme for admins only, which means you can activate another theme without customers noticing and without your site’s layout being permanently impacted.

For testing purposes, we recommend our free Storefront theme:

Make a Full Backup! ↑ Back to top

The order in which you apply these methods does not matter. If you suspect your theme is the reason behind the issue, then go with ‘theme test drive’ first.

I hope this helps in troubleshooting pesky conflicts in your WordPress installation.

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