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Debug bar is a mandatory when it comes to WordPress  development no matter when you are developing a template or a plugin for the application. The plugin will add a link to the action bar which is displayed only when a user is logged in and it will be displayed for each page where the action bar is displayed.

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How to start using the plugin?

Debug Bar is available at http://wordpress.org/plugins/debug-bar/ or if you search for the “Debug Bar” string directly in the search box provided in the wp-admin area of your blog -> Plugins -> Add new.

If you prefer to download the plugin please do so via the “Download” button at the home page of the plugin we have provided you above with. Once the plugin is downloaded you should extract the plugin installation archive and upload the plugin folder to the wp-content/plugins folder. Then you can access your admin area and activate the plugin.

I have installed the plugin! Now what?!

Well, once you have the plugin installed you will probably  notice that it will not create a new menu item and also that there is no settings page for the plugin. The reason for these facts is that the plugin does not actually need such. It is well written and configured to provide you with the debug information you need.

Debug Bar will automatically create a “Debug” link into the main action bar of you admin area. Whenever you need to see the debug information provided by the plugin you should simply access that menu and the information will be displayed properly.

Initially right after the installation of the plugin its homepage will look similar to the following:

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As you can see at the header section  there is system information about the server hosting your blog with some additional notice we will cover in the next lines of this post.

The next section is the left vertical menu where you will find useful links for the debug features the module provides. You will most probably find the default features quite insufficient. The authors of the plugin cover such scenario by expanding the debugging functionality of the plugin with the WP_DEBUG function and also the SAVEQUERIES function.

In order to enable these you will need to add the following lines into the wp-config.php file of your Blog:

define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);

define(‘SAVEQUERIES’, true);

It is possible that the first line will already exist in your wp-config.php file and you will most probably need to simply change the default “false” value to “true”. Once you have these functions enable you will be able to take advantage of the full plugin functionality:

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