[wp-hackers] How do you debug a plugin in production when you don't have server access?

skretch at gmail.com skretch at gmail.com
Thu Jan 23 12:14:04 UTC 2014

Being a plugin developer, I encounter the following problem very often - sadly I am yet to find a stable resolution.

Every hosting provider has their own PHP build with different extensions and restrictions.
Every now and then a user would send a message saying that my plugin doesn't work for them.
Most of the users are not tech savvy and the most they could do is browse their WordPress Dashboard and perform point and click operations in the UI.
I find that asking for access to user's server is out of their comfort zone and only one every 5 or 6 users is willing to do that.
I added a feedback form which ships with the plugin and when the user submits a feedback (likely about a problem with the plugin) I submit data about their server configuration along with their message to zendesk. The form include a checkbox where I tell the users what is going to happen when they submit this feedback form.
The problem here is that knowing their server configuration is not always enough.
How do you debug your plugins and are there any hidden WordPress gems that could be used by WordPress plugin developers?

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