During development, quite a bit of time is spent on testing and debugging. Testing the features you are implementing, just to make sure everything works fine. And debugging any errors to find out the cause. In WordPress, there are several plugins available that help make the task a little easier for developers. Below listed is our pick of a few plugins we find very useful, during testing and debugging.
User Switching during Testing
This plugin is indispensable when the feature development involves testing for various users. Before this plugin, I used to open the same site in multiple browsers and login as different users. But this simple plugin allowed me to switch between users with a simple option.
The User Switching plugin simply adds a ‘Switch To’ option to a user profile. The plugin also provides a ‘Switch off’ option, which works the same as logging off. You have to be logged in as the administrator to use this plugin. This of course makes sense in terms of security. Using this you can switch to any user profile, and switch back to your administrator profile. The plugin uses nonce security to ensure that only the intended users can switch to the respective profile.
The User Switching Plugin does not have a list of features, but it has only one feature. But this focus makes the plugin implementation, robust.
Query Monitor for Debugging
The query monitor plugin is a real handy plugin when debugging errors. Many a times, we usually try to find errors in the code. But sometimes the problem could be deeper. Sometimes the issue could be a conflict between two plugins, or could be a problematic query made to the database. The Query Monitor Plugin helps track and view database queries made.
The Query Monitor plugin adds an option in the admin menu bar, to view queries made. You can filter these queries based on the type of query, or the caller, or the component making this query. The query monitor lists slow database queries along with a bunch of other notifications.
Testing Themes and Plugins
A very useful site for plugin and theme developers is the WP Test. WP Test provides test data which you can directly use to test any plugin or theme. Just download the data from the site, and import it to your site (you could use the WordPress Importer plugin for this). It saves you a lot of mock-data-hunting-and-creating time, and can help you unit test your themes or plugin features.
WordPress plugins are not just available to provide usability features, they also aid in debugging, testing, performance improvement, etc. Are there some interesting plugins that you use during development? Share with us your favourite plugins in the comment section below.