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Fabrizio Van Marciano

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How To Fix Broken WordPress Website CSS After Logging Out


Does your WordPress website break or appear messed up after you log out? No need to panic! Here are some solutions that can help you fix it.

A few days ago, I ran into a little bit of a pickle with Fabrizio Van Marciano Dot Com. For some strange reason, every time I logged out of the site, it would appear broken.

After scouring the web for a solution, and finding none, I decided to investigate the matter myself to find a fix.

By the way, what I mean by a broken website is that on some of the pages, the actual CSS appeared to be missing. Leaving just the HTML template.

Anyhow, after a few hours of investigation, I found a few solutions that helped to restore my website to its normal state, and I never experienced the problem again.

So, if you’re experiencing something similar, perhaps your WordPress website appears broken and all messed up when you log out and have no idea why; here are a few things you can do to try and fix it.

Here’s what we’re going to look at –

  1. Deactivating the cache plugin
  2. Deactivating all other plugins
  3. Deactivating or changing the theme
  4. Cleaning up your database
  5. Flushing server cache
  6. Clearing browser-cached files

OK, let’s dive into each one in more detail.

1. Deactivating the cached plugin

If you run a cache plugin on your WordPress sites, such as WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, first, deactivate the plugin. Next, log out of your site, then reload your website to see if the problem persists. If it fixes the problem, then great.

I recommend either reactivating and reconfiguring the cache plugin or researching to see if anyone else has experienced the same problem. You could always get in touch with the developer of the plugin too. Or, look for an alternative. If your website still appears broken after deactivating the cache plugin, try the next step.

2. Deactivating all other plugins

Deactivate, but do not delete, all other plugins you have installed on your WordPress website. Launch your site in a different browser window to see if the problem is fixed with all the plugins deactivated.

A quick tip: To save time logging in and out, I recommend opening up a new browser in incognito mode (Chrome). Just run the URL in private browsing each time you modify your site.

If this works, you’ll need to re-activate one plugin at a time and then reload your site afterward until you find the culprit plugin that breaks your site, you can then simply remove it.

If removing the plugin is not an option, consider contacting the developer to explain the issue you experienced. Hopefully, they will try and create a fix or patch for the bug.

If you find that none of the plugins are responsible for your messy WordPress website after logging out, try the next step.

3. Deactivate or change your theme

It could be that your WordPress theme is causing the issue. Maybe the CSS file isn’t loading correctly. The only way to find out is to try a different theme.

Perhaps you can revert to something like the default Twenty Twenty One theme. Reload your website in your private browser to see if that fixes the issue.

If this turns out to be your issue, make sure the theme is updated. If you’re using a free WordPress theme and have no idea when it was last updated, I strongly recommend using a premium-quality theme.

Premium themes cost a little money, but you’ll get a well-coded theme that receives regular updates. Plus, you’ll get access to premium support which is priceless. Check out Bricks or Oxygen Builder.

If your theme isn’t causing the issue, try the next step.

4. Clean up your WordPress database

This isn’t hard to do, but it’s something that you should be doing regularly. Check out this post to discover and learn about some useful plugins for cleaning up your WordPress database.

Word of advice, though: Make sure you back up your WordPress site before you do any database cleanup. I use and recommend BlogVault for premium backup and complete peace of mind. Don’t rely on free backup solutions because these only backup files and provide zero methods to restore your website should you need to.

The plugin I use for cleaning up my website database are Clean Options and Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions.

The first plugin hasn’t been updated in over ten years, so please use this plugin at your own risk. Even though it hasn’t been updated, it’s a more thorough plugin to remove orphaned options from the wp-options table in WordPress. Again, please use this plugin with care and caution. I will not be held responsible if you screw something up on your site.

If the Clean Options plugin is too risky for your taste, there’s another plugin you can use called Advanced Database Cleaner. You can find it here.

How To Fix Broken WordPress Website CSS After Logging Out

If your site still appears messy and broken after cleaning up your database and refreshing your site in the private browser, try the next step.

5. Flush server cache

This is the trick that worked for my website recently. Previously, finding an incompatible plugin was the reason, but now it’s all about flushing the old server cache…

Now, I’ll be honest; I didn’t know how to do this initially. The other tactics outlined above have always worked in the past, until a few days ago.

Flushing the server cache is easy. All you have to do is log into your web hosting account to access this feature.

If you are using SiteGround, good news! Here’s how to do it.

After logging into your SiteGround account –

  1. Go to websites.
  2. Go to Site Tools for the website you want to fix.
  3. In the left-hand navigation column select Security.

If this fixed your broken WordPress website, then great. Happy days! If not, then I have one last option for you.

6. Clear browser cache

Last on my list is to clear the cache in your web browser. It doesn’t matter what browser you’re using this feature should be available. If you are using Google Chrome, here’s what you need to do –

On the right-hand side of the screen, with the browser open, you will see three dots stacked on each other. Click on this to open a drop-down menu.

In the options, you will see ‘More Tools.’ Hover your mouse over this option, and another sub-dropdown menu will appear. You will then see an option called ‘Clear Browsing Data…’ Click on this.

A new tab will open with options to clear browsing data. Make sure the first two checkboxes are unchecked. You don’t want to clear the browsing history or cookies if you don’t have to. You only need to check the ‘Cached images and files’ option. Then click clear data. See the image below.

Reload your site in an ordinary window, it doesn’t have to be private to see if that works. If, after doing all of the things mentioned above, your site still appears broken and messed up. Consider contacting your hosting provider to see what they can do to help. Or pursue a WordPress specialist to see if he or she can diagnose the problem and come up with a fix.

I hope this post was useful to you, I wish you the best of luck!

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