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Error log checks - FAQ

You say I need to ask my host to check the server's error logs... but what exactly am I supposed to do here?

You'll need to contact your host's support team, and ask them to look for entries around the time the error occurred (if you're not sure when it occurred, please take the steps necessary to reproduce the error). You will need to provide them the following:

  1. The approximate time of the error (including timezone)
  2. Your IP address: http://www.whatismyip.com/
  3. The URL in your browser at the time of the error

That will put them in a much better position to give you those entries.

My host just pointed me to my error log file, can't I just send that file to you?

No. Just sending us the entire error log file isn't useful, as there's no way to tell which log entries are relevant to the error you encountered.

But my host says that there's nothing in the error logs!

Please ask their support team to make extra sure that error logging is enabled. Also, depending on the error, there can be as many as three types of error logs to check (so you'll want to ask them to ensure that they've checked those):

  • The error logs for PHP
  • The error logs for your server (e.g. Apache, NGINX)
  • The error logs for the database (e.g. MySQL, MariaDB)

  • If the support tech you're talking with doesn't see anything, you may need to:

    A) Try contacting their support via a different means (e.g. phone).
    B) Politely ask to be escalated to a higher level of support.

    My host can't/won't help! What do I do?

    If you've run into the unfortunate situation where your host can't help with getting you the error logs, you can try enabling WordPress's error logging measures. It's only going to give PHP errors, but in your case, perhaps that's enough.

    Please see this section for more on how to enable WordPress's debugging measures: https://wordpress.org/support/article/debugging-in-wordpress/#example-wp-config-php-for-debugging

    Once you've enabled them, please take the necessary steps to reproduce the error, and note down when it occurred (as advised previously). Then, please send us the entries that you found from around that time.

    Note: Error log entries are usually in UTC time. You can use a tool like this: http://everytimezone.com/ - to compare your timezone with UTC time.

    Is there anything else I should know here?

    Yes. If at any point you have a problem with this... tell us this in your reply, don't be shy. :)

    It's hard to offer support when it's not clear whether you've taken the steps laid out here, and communication is crucial, as we want to get this resolved for you as quickly as possible.

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