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What to Do If Plugin Deactivation Breaks Your Blog

Posted on May 21st, 2010 in Plugins, WordPresswith 0 Comment(s). Tagged with: .

Say you just disabled a plugin, and now your WordPress blog’s front-end says “Fatal error: Call to undefined function.” Part of your site may even be missing.

The problem is that your theme is calling on the plugin you deactivated. However, since that plugin is gone, the site displays an error and then stops rendering the rest of the page.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to your WordPress administration. Click “Design” (or “Presentation”), then click “Theme Editor”.
  2. Where on your site did the error appear? If it was on your sidebar, click “Sidebar.” If it was only on a search page, click “Search Template.” If it was in the comments section, click “Comments,” etc.
  3. Now look for a function call that might be related to the plugin you just deactivated. For example, if you deactivated the Related Posts plugin, you might see some code like this:
    <?php related_posts(); ?>

  4. If you don’t plan on using the plugin again, and if you’re sure the code belongs to the deactivated plugin, just delete the code.

    Or instead, you can follow these instructions to alter the plugin function call so that it won’t break your blog when the plugin is deactivated.

    (If you’re new to theme editing, you might want to backup your theme first just in case.)

  5. When you’re done, click the “Save” button to save your changes.
  6. If you couldn’t find any relevant code, or if the problem still isn’t fixed, repeat steps 3-5 for the rest of your theme files.

If all else fails, reactivate the plugin to get rid of the error, and then consult the plugin’s documentation, contact the plugin author, or file a support request at the WordPress Support Forums.

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