Easy Debugging of Changes Made Inside WordPress

No, this is not an article about how to debug code in WordPress, but this is about a related scenario.

It’s a scenario what we’re all to familiar with. It starts with email or phone call from your client with a message that’s something along the lines of “my site’s no longer working”. Now, whether that means my site is down, my site is slow, or something broke my site is something you’ll need to figure out.

The first two are easy to solve with our WordPress Uptime Monitor and WordPress Performance Monitor built in your Scanfully Dashboard, but what about the last one? Well, we have a solution for that as well.

Another, quite similar scenario, is wanting, no, needing to know when something has actually transpired on your WordPress site in terms of changes in content. New, added, deleted, move around, all of that. In other words, a kind of compliance.

WordPress Events Timeline

One of the core features of Scanfully is our WordPress Events Timeline. In it, you’ll find an overview of various activities being recorded by the Scanfully WordPress plugin. The plugin records WordPress user and system action and pushes it to the Scanfully Dashboard. Actions related to content, connected to user. Bascially CRUD in WordPress context.

This means that every action from a logged-in user action is displayed in an activity stream and organized for easy filtering by User, Role, Context, Action. Allowing you to easily trace back to any change made, and not only that, you can also see what’s exactly changed, who changed it and when. Because we’ve all seen this answer when we ask the client “What did you change?”, haven’t we:

Client's answer to the question what did you change being "I haven't touched anything".

Not exactly the answer you need, isn’t it? Well, with our WordPress Events Timeline, you don’t need to ask that question anymore. The only question you need to ask is “When was the last time it worked as intended?”. Because with that, you’ll have an idea of where to start looking.

Filters

Inside our WordPress Events Timeline you’ll be able to filter down and find the event that caused the problem. Those problems can be anything like:

  • A plugin was deactivated, deleted
  • A new plugin was installed and activated
  • A theme was deactivated or deleted
  • A new theme was installed and activated
  • WordPress, a plugin, or a theme was updated

This is just a short list, but you get the picture. Having the ability to zoom in on all of the changes made inside the WordPress Dashboard that have happened right before the site is a game changer.

Having that information available in a Dashboard that also allows you to connect what else happened around the fated timestamp makes the information in our Scanfully Dashboard even more valuable.

Can’t I Just Use a WordPress Plugin for this?

That’s a great question. There’s solutions out there like WP User Activity or Stream that capture a lot of data already. But here’s the thing: they store all of that data inside your WordPress installation (or require a complex setup to store that elsewhere). WordPress is flexible enough to allow this to be stored, but it’s really not built for storing the sheer volume of data being recorded and stored.

You’ll end up with huge database that are storing gigabytes of logging data that for most WordPress hosts are tough to serve. So, you might end up having the data, but you can’t actually use it because it’s just too much for the server to handle.

And not only that, you’ll have no way to connect it to other data points like we’re collecting in our Scanfully Dashboard.

You’ll always have an overview in our Dashboard, you’ll always have access and easy filtering in our Dashboard, you’ll always have proper insight.


All this without having to worry about difficult configurations, complicated setups, server limits, advanced installations, et cetera. Plus, all your sites in one convenient dashboard.

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