WordPress Troubleshooting Flowchart

It happens to the best of us: you refresh your WordPress page and you have a mini-heart attack when you discover that your sidebar is now suddenly below your blog posts, or your footer is missing, etc.

The good news is unless you have been making changes to your WordPress theme files (CSS or PHP), it’s very likely that the issue is caused by a rogue HTML tag in one of your blog posts or widgets, or you’ve got a faulty plugin.

I have a weird obsession with infographics and hoard them on Pinterest, so I thought this would be a fun topic to create a flowchart for. If you’re a WordPress user, you may want to keep this handy!

(Click the image to view it full size)

Post by: Jessica Barnard


  1. This is awesome! Thank you Jessica!

    • You’re welcome! :) I thought this would be especially helpful for designers who have clients who are new to WordPress. I get those “help! I broke my blog!” emails all the time!

  2. Please don’t promote center and font as HTML tags that content creators should be using. They are deprecated in HTML4 and well and truly obsolete (http://www.w3.org/TR/html5-diff/#obsolete-elements) in HTML5.

    Equally, the u element has been re-purposed as it “now represents a span of text with an unarticulated, though explicitly rendered, non-textual annotation, such as labeling the text as being a proper name in Chinese text (a Chinese proper name mark), or labeling the text as being misspelt.” – that means it’s not strictly an underlining annotation, which is what authors might previously have used it for.

    Your point that the img element is also the only element with no closing tag is wrong. As of HTML5, area, base, br, col, command, embed, hr, img, input, keygen, link, meta, param, source, track, and wbr are all void elements and should all be self-closing to ensure the output forms a polyglot document which may then be served as XHTML.

    • Points well made, Gary! I am aware that many of the tags I included are no longer best practices for HTML, but I created that section based on the tags I see bloggers most commonly using and misusing in their blog posts and widgets, often causing problems if they aren’t closed (which is the main purpose of the bottom section of the graphic: giving bloggers who are new to HTML a reference for spotting problem code in their posts and widgets). I concede to your point that IMG tags are not the only tag that does not require a closing tag. I should have worded that more carefully. ;)

  3. This happened to me awhile back. I forgot to close a center tag. It took me DAYS to find it. Horrible experience.

  4. This is a great resource and awesome infographic. I need to paste this to my forehead..no then I wouldn’t be able to find it. Okay, to my wall right over my desktop. Anyway – it gets an important place!

  5. This is a flowchart right, not an inforgraphic, its all about the process and how it flows. Its very informative thanks for sharing!

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