How to check for plugin conflicts

You have likely arrived at this article because you spotted a conflict on your site. Your WordPress site consists of WordPress core, a theme, and various plugins like Yoast SEO or Yoast SEO Premium. Unfortunately, sometimes these aspects conflict with each other. Therefore, we want you to test if your problem still exists in a controlled environment. This will help you identify the cause of the problem, so you can contact the right team to report the issue. Having the right teams working on the issue is a benefit to you.

We highly recommend using the Health Check plugin method as it allows you to run a conflict check without affecting normal visitors to your site. However, if you cannot install plugins, please use an alternative option.

Step-by-step guides

Common questions & concerns

How to check for conflicts using a plugin

The fastest way to rule out conflicts is to deactivate all non-Yoast plugins and switch to a standard theme like Twenty Twenty. If this resolves the issue, you have indeed a conflict. You can then switch back to the theme you are using to check if you can reproduce the issue. If the issue isn’t reproduced when your theme is active, you can enable one plugin at a time to check when the issue reappears. Doing this will narrow down the conflict to a specific plugin or a theme conflict. The steps below will walk you through the process using the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin.

  1. Log in to your WordPress website.

    When you’re logged in, you will be in your ‘Dashboard’.

  2. Make sure you are running the latest versions

    Make sure you are up to date with the latest versions of your theme, plugins, and WordPress. If there are any open updates ready to be installed, go to ‘Dashboard’ then ‘Updates’ and install the available updates. Newer versions of plugins and themes can already contain a fix for the issue you are experiencing. After updating, check if the issue persists.
    Note: before installing (any number) of updates, please keep in mind to create a site backup.

  3. Click on ‘Plugins’ then ‘Add New’.

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Plugins’.
    The ‘Plugins’ settings will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Add New’.

  4. Type ‘Health Check & Troubleshooting’ in the search bar, as shown below.

    add new search plugins

  5. In the plugin box, click the ‘Install Now’ button.

    This will give you a page of search results. The Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin should be visible now. Click the ‘Install Now’ button.

  6. When the installation is done, click the ‘Activate’ button.

    Click the ‘Activate’ button that appeared where the ‘Install Now’ button was previously located.

  7. Click on ‘Tools’ then ‘Site Health’.

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Tools ’. The ‘Tools’ menu will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Site Health’.

    Note: There are multiple tabs that provide a lot of information about your website and server setup. If you see errors on the ‘Status’ or ‘Info’ tabs, please resolve the issues before continuing.
    WordPress Tools Site Health

  8. Click on the ‘Troubleshooting’ tab, read the warning information, and click ‘Enter Troubleshooting Mode’.

    Troubleshooting mode automatically disables all plugins and switches to a default theme. Troubleshooting mode is only active for you and does not affect normal visitors on your site.

  9. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing in the default environment with no active plugins and a default theme.

    The first thing to check is whether or not the issue happens in a default environment with no plugins while using a default theme. This is the default state when you click ‘Enter Troubleshooting Mode’.

    If the issue occurs when Yoast SEO is not active, this means our plugin is not causing the unexpected behavior. Click here for advice.

    If not, continue to step 10.

  10. Click on ‘Plugins’ then ‘Installed Plugins’.

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Plugins’. The ‘Plugins’ menu will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Installed Plugins’.

  11. Click ‘Enable while troubleshooting’ next to Yoast SEO first.

  12. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing with just Yoast SEO active and a default theme. If the issue doesn’t occur, then also activate Yoast SEO Premium and try again.

    The second thing to check is whether or not the issue occurs with only the Yoast SEO plugins active while using a default theme.

    If the issue occurs when just Yoast SEO is active or when just Yoast SEO and Yoast SEO Premium are the only active plugins, the issue is caused by our plugin. Please hover over ‘Troubleshooting Mode’, click ‘Disable troubleshooting mode’ and click here for advice.

    If not, continue to step 13.

  13. Click on ‘Dashboard’ then ‘Home’.

    On the left-hand side, click on ‘Dashboard’ at the top. The ‘Dashboard’ menu will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Home’.

  14. Under ‘Available themes’, click ‘Switch to this theme’ on your preferred theme (or the parent theme, if you are using a child theme).

    Note: If your preferred theme is a child theme, please enable the parent theme first. This will help determine if the conflict is with the parent theme or customization in the child theme.
    Additionally: if your theme requires any plugins to be activated, you can enable this/those plugins at this stage too.

  15. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing.

    If the issue occurs, Yoast SEO conflicts with your preferred theme. Please hover over ‘Troubleshooting Mode’, click ‘Disable troubleshooting mode’, and click here for advice.

    If not and you have a child theme, repeat the steps to enable and test the child theme.

  16. Click on ‘Plugins’ then ‘Installed Plugins’.

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘ Plugins ’. The ‘Plugins’ menu will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Installed Plugins’.

  17. Click ‘Enable while troubleshooting’ on the first disabled plugin.

    Note: If the issue is related to a Yoast add-on or a specific plugin, please enable this plugin before other plugins.

  18. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing.

    The next thing to check is for the minimum plugin environment required to reproduce the issue. To check, this requires some patience and time. Activate plugins one at a time while testing for the issue. This step will be repeated many times as you layer on one part of your site until you find the minimum setup required.

    If the issue occurs in a specific environment, Yoast SEO conflicts with the plugin you just activated. Please hover over ‘Troubleshooting Mode’, click ‘Disable troubleshooting mode’ and click here for advice.

How to manually check for plugin conflicts

The fastest way to rule out conflicts is to deactivate all non-Yoast plugins and switch to a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty. If this resolves the issue, you have a conflict and should activate one plugin at a time until you locate the conflict. Finally, after all plugins are activated, switch to your theme. This will narrow down the conflict to a specific plugin or a theme conflict. The steps below will walk you through the process.

  1. Deactivate all plugins and switch to an unaltered default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty.
  2. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing.
    If the issue occurs, this means our plugin is not causing the unexpected behavior. Click here for advice.
    If the issue does not occur, continue to step 3.
  3. Activate only Yoast SEO.
  4. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing.
    If the issue occurs, the issue is caused by our plugin. Click here for advice.
    If not, continue.
  5. Activate Yoast SEO Premium.
  6. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing.
    If the issue occurs, the issue is caused by our plugin. Click here for advice.
    If not, continue.
  7. Activate your preferred theme (or the parent theme, if using a child theme).
    If the issue occurs, the issue is caused by your theme. Click here for advice.
    If not and you have a child theme, repeat the steps to enable and test the child theme.
    If the issue occurs, the issue is caused by your child theme.
  8. Activate one of the previously active plugins.
    If the issue is related to a Yoast add-on, please enable Yoast plugins before other plugins. If the issue is related to a specific plugin feature, activate this plugin before other plugins.
  9. Reproduce the issue you were experiencing.
    If the issue occurs, Yoast SEO conflicts with the plugin you just activated. Click here for advice.
    If not, repeat the steps to activate the next inactive plugin until you’ve found what minimal combination is causing the issue.

Results of a conflict check

There are three important questions that you should be able to answer after completing a conflict check.

  1. Does the issue occur with no active plugins on a default theme?
  2. Does the issue occur with only Yoast SEO (free or premium with no add-ons) on a default theme?
  3. If no to both above, what is the minimum setup required to reproduce the issue consistently?

Issue happens with no plugins & default theme

As much as we’d love to help, the issue is not caused by our plugin. This may be a WordPress issue, a conflict with your specific setup, or something related to your server or web host. Opening a topic in the WordPress support forums may help point you in the right direction.

If you were using the Health Check plugin, please hover over ‘Troubleshooting Mode’ and click ‘Disable troubleshooting mode’. This will, also, automatically disable when you log out of your WordPress admin account.

Issue happens when only Yoast SEO (Premium) is active

Please file a bug report for our development team.

If you were using the Health Check plugin, please hover over ‘Troubleshooting Mode’ and click ‘Disable troubleshooting mode’. This will, also, automatically disable when you log out of your WordPress admin account.

Plugin or theme conflict

Once you have identified a possible conflict, please hover over ‘Troubleshooting Mode’ and click ‘Disable troubleshooting mode’. Then repeat the conflict check steps activating the conflicting plugin or theme without Yoast SEO (free or premium) active. If the issue happens while Yoast SEO (free or premium) is not active, please report the issue to the author of the plugin or theme.

If the issue happens while Yoast SEO (free or premium) is active alongside another plugin or theme, please file a bug report for our development team. As the issue is a conflict with another plugin or theme, we highly recommend reporting the issue to the development or support team of the other plugin or theme. Having both teams work on the issue is a benefit to you.

If you were using the Health Check plugin, please hover over ‘Troubleshooting Mode’ and click ‘Disable troubleshooting mode’. This will, also, automatically disable when you log out of your WordPress admin account.

Common questions and concerns

I can’t do this on my live site

The Health Check plugin used above allows you to run a conflict check without affecting normal visitors to your site. However, we understand if you wouldn’t want to deactivate your plugins and switch themes on a production site, so it may be preferable that you set up a staging environment for your tests.

Some popular web hosts offer quick setups for a staging site so please contact your web host for assistance. If your web host does not offer staging sites, this article will help you create a staging site.

Will I lose my plugin settings?

Yoast settings are stored in the database and are saved when you deactivate Yoast plugins. Deactivating other plugins or changing themes should not cause you to lose any settings, however, we cannot guarantee it. For the health and safety of your site, we recommend making a complete backup of your website. This simply provides you with a safety net in the event something doesn’t reset correctly.

Why can’t I just deactivate the Yoast plugin?

If you’re reading these steps, something has already failed within Yoast so deactivating Yoast plugins won’t provide the full picture. Our development team must be able to reproduce the issue in order to provide an accurate solution.

How do I view and search the source code to check for meta tags or schema?

In some cases, you will need to review the source code as you deactivate plugins to check if certain tags have been removed. This guide explains more about how to check and search the source code: How to view and search the source code.

If you are using an external tool, like the Google Structured Data Testing tool, please switch to a code snippet view for the external tool and use the source code instead of the post/page URL as the live post/page URL may be cached with outdated information or not be modified due to the way the plugin handles troubleshooting.

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