How to write a good bug report?

While every effort is made with code reviews, automated unit-testing, and usage of best practices, software may not always be completely bug-free.

If you happen to discover a bug, we’ll need your help in understanding why the bug happens and how to reproduce it.

Follow this guide to learn how to write a good bug report.

Bug report checklist

1. Steps to reproduce

When you encounter software behavior that doesn’t seem right, is this something that happens consistently? Do you know what triggers it?

List step-by-step on how to recreate the bug, and then take screenshots or a screen recording to complement your descriptions. The better you can communicate the issue you’re running into, the quicker we can provide a fix.

Programs to help assist with this step:

2. What did you expect would happen?

When you noticed the bug, what were you trying to accomplish at the time? What was supposed to happen?

Sharing details on what you were trying to accomplish helps establish context and allows us to see things from a different point of view.

3. Error messages

Make a record of any error messages you encounter. These messages are useful for narrowing down a problem.

It’s best to copy and paste the error message in full when sharing it.

If you know how to view the Console log in your browser, please also share any error messages that pop up there (screenshots are welcome).

4. WordPress Version and Plugins

What version of WordPress are you running? What version of ExactMetrics is active? Are you running a multi-site?

List these things in your bug report. Software versions are important for establishing the conditions that caused the bug to appear.

It will also be important to test if the bug appears because of a conflict with a plugin or theme. See our guide on how to test this: How To Check For Plugin Conflicts.

5. (Web)server details

If possible, also try to include details about the server your website is running on:

  1. What’s the operating system of your webserver?
  2. Which webserver is in use (Apache, NGINX, IIS, other) and what version?
  3. What’s the PHP Version and (extensions if applicable)?
  4. What’s the MySQL Version?

6. What device/browser did the problem occur on?

Does the bug only appear in one browser? If you used a different browser, does the bug disappear?

Sometimes a bug can be device and operating system specific. For better testing conditions to replicate the bug, please list:

  • Which devices you’re able to see this on.
  • Which browsers the bug appears in.
  • Which operating system you were using.

7. Do you have an (educated) guess as to the cause of the problem?

If you have an idea about the cause of the problem, please feel free to share!

8. Can you suggest a solution or how it should work instead?

We welcome any feedback about how something should work or how something can be improved.

Once you’ve gone through the checklist and have all of the information ready, submit it directly to our support team through our contact form.