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WordPress® All-in-One For Dummies® by Michael Torbert, Andrea Rennick, Kevin Palmer, Cory Miller, Lisa Sabin-Wilson

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Locating Plugin and Theme Conflicts

Conflicts that occur between a plugin and a theme are common, especially where a theme takes on some of the functionality usually performed by a plugin. Locating these conflicts can be difficult and requires some understanding of PHP and how themes work in WordPress.

A theme is a collection of templates and CSS files that control the look of your WordPress site. However, themes can perform complex actions, such as SEO and image display. This functionality can conflict with plugins that perform the same tasks.

When identifying a conflict between your theme and your plugin, look for an error message, which can point to a specific line in a file. If no error message displays in either the WordPress Dashboard or on the front end of your site, you need to identify the specific element that is broken. To do this, duplicate your live site on the test site that you set up in Book VII, Chapter 3 and follow these steps (after you have things working correctly on your test site, you can apply the changes to your live site — this way, you're doing all your testing first in an environment that does not affect the live site):

  1. Deactivate all plugins except the one causing the conflict with your theme.
  2. Remove all widgets from widget areas.

    These can be common causes of conflicts.

  3. Test your site in several browsers to see whether the problem affects only a particular browser.
  4. Comment out any changes you may have made to the theme or plugin files, including changes ...

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