It usually happens at the worst possible time: You are about to head out the door for a meeting and you think, “Ive got five minutes. That will give me enough time to log in to my website and bring my plugins up to date.” Unfortunately the update goes wrong and you see:
There has been a critical error on this website
This usually means one of two things:
- The new version of one of your updated plugins now contains a bug inadvertently introduced by the plugin’s author.
- The new version of one of your updated plugins now contains an incompatibility with one of your existing plugins.
When this happens, you’ll find a filenamed “error_log” in the root folder of your website containing the error message. If you are technical, there will be enough information there to get you back up and running.
The alternative for the non-technical is to leverage your nightly backups. (you do make nightly backups, right?):
- Restore from yesterday’s backup.
- Log in and update plugins one at a time until the error reoccurs. When it reoccurs you know which plugin is the culprit.
- Restore from yesterday’s backup again.
- Update all plugins except the culprit.
You should then contact the culprit plugin’s author, explain the error and include a copy of the “error_log” file.
NOTE: If you are a WebsiteOverwatch subscriber we take care of all this – including plugin updates – fore you.