Fixing a WordPress error that could be due to a broken plugin

There are some WordPress errors that prevent you from even getting in to your admin panel. When these are caused by a broken plugin, it can be alarming. Here’s how you can painlessly disable all your plugins so you can login. After that you will then be able to re-enable them all and then from within your admin panel selectively enable them as you please.

You need to access the folder structure directly in the server hosting your WordPress Blog. cPanel will have a link to “File Manager”; use that.

In short:

1. Rename the /wp-content/plugins folder to anything, e.g. rename it so after the rename the folder structure looks like this: /wp-content/plugins_tempRename.

2. Log in to your admin panel
– You will likely get a message about needing to update the database due to a WordPress update. For me this was quick – I think it only did some minor changes to some DB table that probably reflected the change to the plugins folder name you just did.
– If you still can’t log in, then that means the problem is *not* due to broken plugins. I’d suggest looking for some option in cPanel to “reset WordPress core files”, then try logging in again after that.

3. Once in your admin panel, navigate to the Plugins section and then “activate” the plugins one at a time (after maybe updating them if there are any updates available).

4. Profit, however marginal that may be 😉

I had seen some error message that tipped me off to there being a plugin-related problem… in my case it was an older version of W3 Total Cache:

“Fatal error: Call to undefined function wp_cache_get()”