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Error logs are customized and personalized documents that list the mistakes or errors and how you resolve them. As you get feedback on an error as you write, an entry is made in the error log, including the error, and it's fixed.
How useful are error logs? Remember that most mistakes made by users are repetitive. Often, there is a pattern of errors made more than two to three times. Often, you spend some time during your work fixing the said errors.
When using WordPress, you are likely to encounter several types of errors. Unfortunately, these errors are often challenging to fix, especially for users that lack the technical background and a technical skillset. This is what makes WordPress error logs important.
They support monitoring and diagnosing errors by making the process simple. Every user needs access to their WordPress error logs to effectively and efficiently troubleshoot problems on their site with the help of WordPress debugging.
By using log management software, you can get data from the logs. WordPress error logs record actions on the website and, consequently, record details of problems that may have occurred on your website. The logic behind error logs is giving you data that would be useful in pointing out errors and their solutions.
How Beneficial Are WordPress Error Logs?
WordPress website owners use error logs to administer their website in the following ways.
The primary use of WordPress error logs is troubleshooting. The logs make the process much easier. Most of the time, the error message and data are what a user needs to find a solution and resolve a problem.
It is always easy for users to troubleshoot and resolve issues when they get data from the logs.
2. Improve SEO
Error logs also come in handy in optimizing WordPress websites for SEO. Error codes such as HTTP, for instance, will tell you that you need to address the too many redirects on your website and track bot activity to ensure that your website's SEO is optimum.
3. Increased security
Some error logs will tell you that your website is not exactly secure. Error logs, therefore, contribute to the overall security of WordPress websites. They can help you detect and prevent suspicious activities and evaluate the widespread damage. The logs can also help you establish the vulnerabilities in your website.
Parameters When you Need to Setup Your WordPress Error Log
It is advisable to set up WordPress error logs when:
- You start getting warnings with error codes 401, 404, and 500.
- Your WordPress site crashes.
- You start to experience slow WordPress performance [check out our blog post to improve your WordPress website speed]
- The themes and plugins are not working optimally.
- You get a blank screen when trying to load your website
How to Set Up WordPress Error Logs [a beginner guide]
Having WordPress error logs will go a long way in helping you resolve most website issues like crashes and plugins that are not working correctly and enhance your site's overall performance.
You can set up WordPress error logs manually or through plugins. To set up manually:
1. Edit the wp-config.php file
Access the wp-config.php file through the file manager tool found in your cPanel or FTP client. Right-click on the file once you find it and select the "edit or view file" option.
2. Add a code in the file to turn on the WordPress debug mode
Once you click the file to edit or view in your text editor, create a line of code defined ('WP_DEBUG', true ); to the file, turn on the WordPress debug mode. Once you set the code line, you also need to check whether it has been true or false. If set to false, switch it to true.
Once you are through, you can save the file to your computer. You can then upload the updated file to your website. The upload also needs to be done through the FTP client.
3. Remove the errors alerts from the frontend dashboard
WordPress errors often end up listed on the front of your website. You don't want the errors to be visible to everyone.
While it may appear harmless, having the errors on your front end will weigh down the user experience and confuse the visitors. Also, remember that the errors may also contain detailed information about your website that you don't want landing in the wrong hands.
To ensure that the errors remain in the backend of your website, open the wp-config.php file in the text editor and paste a new code below the debug code you pasted.
// Disable display of errors and warnings define ( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false ); @ini_set( 'display_errors', 0 );.
Once you do this, the errors will not be visible to anyone browsing your website.
Using A Plugin
If you prefer using a plugin instead of walking through all the manual steps, then the WP debugging plugin would be ideal in your situation. Note that debugging mode is usually off by default meaning that WordPress will not be logging any errors unless it is turned off.
You can enable the debug mode using WP debugging plugin. All you are required to do is install the plugin and activate it. With the plugin, you can also choose whether to display debug alerts on your website.
How To View Your WordPress Error Logs
To view your WordPress error logs:
- Go to the file manager
The error logs are available in your file manager. Go to your file manager and open the "wp-content" folder.
- Open debug.log file
Open the debug.log file, and you will find all the log WordPress notices, warnings, and errors.
If you cannot see the file in the wp-content folder, you don't have any errors; the file will only be available when your website encounters errors.
After you open the WordPress error log, the next step is to fix the problems, as the logs will highlight the issue. Alternatively, you can contact the WordPress team for help by providing them with the error message.
Setting up WordPress error logs will save you time troubleshooting errors your website will experience. As you enable the logs on your website, ensure that you backup your site.
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