I have changed the config setting to enable debugging as follows;

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

When I refresh the page I still get he unhelpful message:

There has been a critical error on your website.

How can I get it to spilt its guts on the screen and show the actual error?

  • Add define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', true ); and or define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true ); and set WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY to false and then go check your error log which should be generated in /wp-content/debug.log assuming it is not being set to output somewhere else by your server settings. Useful reading: wordpress.org/support/article/debugging-in-wordpress – Adam Feb 1 at 9:34
  • Is there no way to display the error in the webpage rather than having to open the log file? Thanks. – spreaderman Feb 2 at 4:15

Fatal error handling has been introduced in WordPress 5.1 and 5.2. also known as "Screen Of Death (WSOD) protection." To exclude this "protection" and restore the old way error catching you should add this to your wp-config.php file since WP_DEBUG true is not enough to disable the WSOD protection :


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