Entry level WordPress debugging often involves the tedious task of turning plugins on and off to track down the culprit that is breaking something on your site. When seeking help in support forums, users are often instructed to deactivate all of their plugins and activate one of the default themes.
This process can become especially complicated when you have, for example, 55 plugins active, 10 inactive, and 4 recently active. Trying to remember which ones were previously active/inactive is maddening, especially if you’re new to the site and not aware of where and how the plugins are in use.
Bulk Deactivate is a new WordPress debugging tool that offers advanced options for saving your plugin list. After attending WordCamp Europe, the folks at Raison, a WordPress development agency, decided to open source the plugin as part of their contribution towards the Five for the Future initiative.
Bulk Deactivate sets up shop under the Plugins menu in the admin and allows for tailoring exceptions via a dropdown select list of your active plugins.
Ordinarily, after doing a bulk plugin deactivation, all your inactive plugins are lumped together. When using the Bulk Deactivate plugin as an alternative, you’ll get a saved list of the plugins that you just deactivated so you can easily re-activate them all again.
Bulk Deactivate is not an all-or-nothing plugin. It can be configured a number of different ways to suit your particular debugging requirements:
- Add exceptions, so essential plugins will not be deactivated
- Save a list of the plugins deactivated
- Activate the plugins you just deactivated
- Activate only a selection of the plugins just deactivated
- Advanced options for how the plugin save list is handled
The next time you have to take up the task of isolating a plugin conflict, you might want to employ the help of the Bulk Deactivate plugin. I tested it and found it to work exactly as expected. This is one that you’ll want to bookmark for later. Download Bulk Deactivate from WordPress.org, or head on over to its GitHub repository if you’d like to contribute code to make it better.