Common Troubleshooting Tips
Table of Contents
We’ve seen a few common problems that site owners run into when using the s2Member plugin. For that reason we’ve compiled a list of common troubleshooting tips that should help you find and correct these problems quickly.
Safety First (Always Have a Backup)
Before we get into the troubleshooting tips it’s important to note that you should always have a backup of your WordPress installation. Please see WordPress Backups for more information. If something goes wrong you can always revert to the backup and start over. However, if there is no backup it may be a lot harder to recover from a problem. Backups are very important.
Also, to protect your s2Member settings and data during updates or reinstallation, please make sure you have s2Member's "Plugin Deletion Safeguards" enabled. See: WordPress Dashboard → s2Member → General Options → Plugin Deletion Safeguards for more information.
Web Server Configuration or Conflicts
To test for server configuration issues and/or conflicts, please install and run the: s2Member Server Scanner
/wp-content/plugins/s2member/s2member-o.php?ws_plugin__s2member_js_w_globals=...), load it, and see if you get it or an error. See this article for more details: Mod Security (Odd 403, 503, 500 Errors)
Sometimes the problem seems to continue even after much troubleshooting, even with a separate clean installation. In that case it's also worth trying a test on a different hosting or server. There have been times when we found the problem stem from some obscure configuration particular to that hosting, and when trying a different one, the trouble wasn't there, helping us narrow it down to something related to the server.
Conflicting Plugins (or a Conflicting Theme)
It's very possible that another plugin or the theme are the ones causing the trouble you're experiencing. A common WordPress troubleshooting action, is to deactivate plugins and checking after each if the problem continues. You can speed this up doing several at the same time, starting with the more relevant to the area where the trouble is. Same for the theme, you can change to the default one, and check if the trouble continues.
When that is not possible on a live site, you can create a copy of the site and test there. Or you can create quick a new WordPress installation to figure this out. Please review this article carefully: Testing in a Clean Installation.
Testing in a clean installation involves you setting up a fresh installation of WordPress, one that does not include any other active plugins and it runs with a default WordPress theme. If you’re using any Must-Use Plugins, please remember to deactivate those as well.
If you test in a clean installation of WordPress and the problem does not exist there, you now know that a theme or plugin conflict exists on your live site. The next step is to begin installing other plugins (one-by-one, on the test installation of WordPress) until you can reproduce the same issue that you're experiencing on the live site.
Reproducing a theme or plugin conflict is 90% of the work involved in resolving such a conflict. Identifying the conflicting theme or plugin will give you a few options:
- Look carefully at the configuration of a conflicting theme or plugin. Are there any config. changes you can make that might resolve the conflict? Either in the conflicting theme/plugin, or in s2Member itself?
- Is there another plugin that offers similar functionality, but perhaps does not introduce a conflict?
- Have you contacted the s2Member developers and also the developers of the conflicting plugin to ask questions?
If your problem seems to be that emails aren't being sent, see this article that covers that more specifically: Troubleshooting Email Delivery Problems
Outdated s2Member Installation
What version of s2Member are running? Bugs are reported often, and issues with the s2Member software are fixed and pushed out in each new release of the software. For this reason, and, so that everyone is on the same page, we ask that you update to the latest available version of s2Member before reporting a bug.
The issue you're having may have already been reported by someone else, and corrected in release. Simply updating to the latest available version may correct it for you. It's good to keep your installation of s2Member and s2Member Pro up-to-date.
Log Files (s2Member's Built-in Debugger)
Please see: WordPress Dashboard → s2Member → Log Files (Debug) → Logging Configuration
It's a good idea to enable s2Member's logging functionality and review log file entries on your own. s2Member's log files can help you learn more about what is going on behind-the-scenes. Are emails not being sent? Are customers not being upgraded to a paid status? Did you receive an error after checkout? Things like this are often caused by HTTP communication failures that occur behind-the-scenes. s2Member's log files will tell you (and us) more about these types of problems.
Note: s2Member support representatives may ask for log files so they can be reviewed carefully during their investigation. Please be sure to enable s2Member's logging functionality and have something in your logs before opening a support ticket; i.e., reproduce the issue with logging enabled please.
Configuration Issues or User Error
There’s also the likely possibility that you’ve configured something wrong, which can happen to anybody, particularly when learning to use something new. User error would be determined in ways specific to the problem. So instead of explaining each possible scenario in this article, I’ll leave that to the s2Member support representative that’s working with you. If you have a question about how something works, please don’t hesitate to ask, or search our Knowledge Base for articles related to the issue you're having.