Troubleshooting Plugin Conflicts

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Troubleshooting plugin conflicts is fun.

Yes, I know, you can’t have plugins on WordPress.com sites. That is, you can’t unless you have the Business plan (more about that another time).

So this is for people who run self-hosted WordPress sites.

Today I had a plugin conflict. 

There. I said it.

Actually, in about ten years of running self-hosted WordPress sites, this is maybe only the second time I have had a plugin conflict.

So what does it look like?

In this particular case it looks like this; a bar that will not move stuck across the text in the back end as I am writing.

It was actually worse than this because I had an image to the left and text to the right, and I couldn’t get to it because the bar covered everything.

What caused it? My first thought was that the latest version of Yoast was conflicting with Gutenberg.

A moment’s thought said that wasn’t the case because I would have heard about it.

The worst possible answer would have been that the Yoast plugin was conflicting with the theme I was using. There was no way I wanted to stop using it, but at the same time there was every reason I wanted to continue to use the Yoast SEO plugin.

So I asked Yoast on Twitter and he/his team suggested a plugin or theme conflict. 

It looks like a theme or plugin conflict. Can you please perform a conflict check? How to check for plugin conflicts. Also, can you confirm if the issue persists with the latest versions of Yoast (9.0.3), Gutenberg and your theme?

The article on Yoast recommends using the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin to troubleshoot the issue.  Here is the blurb for it:

Once you install and activate the plugin it puts you in Troubleshooting Mode. This has no effect on your site visitors, they will continue to view your site as usual, but for you it will look as if you had just installed WordPress for the first time.


Here you can enable individual plugins or themes, helping you to find out what might be causing strange behaviours on your site. Do note that any changes you make to settings will be kept when you disable Troubleshooting Mode.

You really have to see the Healthcare Check plugin in action. If you have a self-hosted site, go try it out even if you don’t have a problem. Actually, no, better not because it might screw up the database.

Take my word for it that is is amazing to see the site revert to a plain vanilla WordPress site and be able to turn plugins on and off to see what affects what. But only you, who is logged in as the admin see the site like that. The site looks normal to your visitors.

If you detect that I got all excited doing it, imagine how I felt when I turned off one particular plugin and the problem went away?

It was like the holidays came.

I know, what kind of person gets a kick out of a problem like this being solved?

Well I did.

Next step was to disable the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin and deactivate the plugin that was causing the problem.

Then I contacted the plugin author and asked if he might try to fix the issue with his plugin.

I was aware that in a tussle between two plugin authors, who is to be the final arbiter of who should accommodate who?

Yoast is used in millions of websites, so the Yoast plugin has the big guns of numbers on its side, so I think the ball is in the other plugin author’s court.

The final stage, pending the other plugin getting updated, was to thank team Yoast for their help.

And that’s the story.

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