How to troubleshoot AAM

There is no such a thing as the “perfect plugin”. No matter how simple or complex functionality is, somewhere and for somebody it will not work as expected. A lot of times it has nothing to do with a plugin itself but rather the misunderstanding of the features it offers. Sometimes it also can be impacted by other plugins or unusual website setup.

Currently, AAM 6.5.0 or higher is a stable and reliable tool that works perfectly fine with a brand new WordPress installation. Since the time we released the 6.0.0 version, we covered all the known bugs and incompatibilities with other plugins or themes. As of today, 9 out of 10 support requests that we’ve received are related to a lack of good understanding of how AAM features work and typically we reply with a reference to one of the articles on the Articles page.

Sometimes, users report issues that are very specific to their’s website setup or actually bugs in the AAM plugins. These types of requests we treat with extra attention, however they are prioritized as described on the Support.

Before contacting us, we encourage you to do some troubleshooting on your own, and below you can find the list of the most common support requests sorted by their severity.

Website white screen or fatal error

If you experiencing a white screen, 500 Application Error or some sort of printed fatal error, do not panic and please do one of the following:

  • If you still have access to the /wp-admin (backend area), go to Plugins page, deactivate AAM plugin, completely delete it and reinstall from the official WordPress repository;
  • If your entire website is unresponsive, FTP to your website and delete /wp-content/plugins/advanced-access-manager plugin, then try to reinstall it;
  • If you upgraded AAM from version 5 or earlier to version 6 and it caused this type of issue, downgrade to the previous release. You can download all previous version from the official WordPress repository;

Note! If the fatal error is printed on the screen or you have access to your server PHP error log, please send this information to us. We will analyze it with the highest priority.

Latest AAM 6 version does not work the same as version 5

First and foremost, please check our release announcement for the AAM 6. Most likely, you’ll be able to find the answers there.

If critical, you can always downgrade to the previous AAM version, however, notify us about your issues so we can work them through.

Premium add-ons are not loading

Make sure that your premium add-ons are actually plugins and NOT legacy AAM extensions. You can learn more about the difference from the AAM extensions become plugins article. If you installed a premium add-on like any other normal plugin, then it should most definitely do at least something.

Can not update premium add-on

If you do not have an option to update any premium add-on or you even do not see an option for the update, then go to the AAM page, and on the Add-Ons Area insert your license key. If a license is valid, it will persist in the database and all future updates should go just fine.

Post & Terms service is not working as expected

Access management to the WordPress posts, pages, custom post types, terms, and taxonomies is the core concept behind the AAM plugin. That is why you can find many different ways to manage access to your content. Based on our experience supporting thousands of customers, we know that less than 3% of all requests related to posts and terms access management are actually bugs, the rest is a misunderstanding of how WordPress core and AAM work.

If you are not able to restrict access to some post, page, or custom post type, there are few reasons for that. The most common is caching. A lot of sites have installed all kinds of caching plugins or even server cache like Memcache. Make sure that cache is cleared each time you finished making changes to Posts & Terms settings.

FYI! Sometimes there are “special kinds of pages”. For example, blog archive page or WooCommerce shopping/product pages. These types of pages are treated internally by WordPress core as “archive page” and technically are collections of posts or custom post types. That is why it is not possible to manage access to them with Posts & Terms service. Instead consider to protect these type of pages with URI Access service.

Finally, if you feel like nothing is working as expected, it is most likely you are missing something in your settings. Check Manage access to the WordPress posts and terms article to learn more about this topic. Additionally you can check our collection of videos on the Youtube channel.

Media access controls are not working

Access to WordPress media assets is always a very tricky and challenging part for the AAM plugin or any other similar plugins. It is coming from the fact that all physical files are stored in the subdirectory of a site which makes them easily accessible with a direct URL. Additionally, the core WordPress functionality that is related to media file handling is so broad and complex that it is really hard to follow the logic which leads to many unpredictable scenarios depending on the website setup.

If you are not able to restrict access to your files, please make sure that you carefully followed the instructions in the How to manage WordPress media access article. A lot of times, our clients simply did not follow the setup steps correctly.

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