This is my first time messing around with PHP, making a plugin based on other plugins to try to understand how PHP works.
I really needed debugging enabled though. WordPress defaults to a blank white screen of death if any errors are posted.
I went through 10 different ideas for displaying debug messages all the way to php. It turns out all you need enabled are a few options in wp-config.php for wordpress display the errors.
The big problem for googling this answer is that only this post has the KEY that I needed: “WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY”
WP_DEBUG alone didn’t do it, moving php.ini to my user on dreamhost and enabling errors didn’t do it..
So that’s it:
The php.ini settings may be required as well, but the bottom line is WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY.