How to Fix Common WordPress Errors

WordPress maintenance company Manchester

Over 35% of all websites are built using WordPress, mainly because it’s such a stable platform. But that’s not to say issues don’t arise. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of the most common problems and show you how to fix them.

Errors in WordPress

There are two main reasons why errors occur in WordPress:

  1. Problems with the server. It’s important to host your website with a provider who has the know-how to keep it up and running, error free.
  2. Your own maintenance. Updating your WordPress website is important. If you don't do this regularly, sooner or later your website will have a problem.

If you are facing a problem with your server, there is not much you can personally do to resolve the issue unless you have the detailed knowledge . Call your provider, explain what’s gone wrong, and they should be able to help you quickly. You may, sometimes, be able to fix it yourself, but you’ll need to have access to the server settings. However, most website owners won't have sufficient access rights because they’ll be using basic shared hosting, which is perfectly suitable for most websites.

Most of the time though, it won’t be server issues causing you trouble. Instead, it’s usually down to lack of maintenance by website owners, who forget to update their plugins, making their websites easier targets for cyber attacks because the software is out of date.

Your website should run error free if you maintain it well and run the updates on time. But even then, your website can sometimes break down; then what do you do?

Solutions to Common Errors in WordPress

White Screen of Death (WSoD)

This issue sounds like the title of a horror movie and if you’re dealing with this on your website it might feel like you’re in one too. It refers to an error in which your whole website is changed into one blank screen, without showing any error messages.

This error comes in different variations; it can pop up on your site’s front end (what the customer sees), your admin area (the backend that only you can see) or even both. If it's the front end that’s showing a blank page, it’s probably an issue with a plugin or the theme of your website.

Luckily, the solution for this problem is quite simple. Just work your way through the active plugins, accessed via the menu on your WordPress dashboard. Turn them on and off again one by one, each time checking whether the blank page has vanished. This way, you’ll hopefully find the plugin that’s causing the error. If you have done this and you still haven't found the error, then switch to the WordPress default themes.

Sometimes it happens that you don't have access to the dashboard, if so, you need to manually disable the plugins. The best way to do that is by using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP), such as FileZilla. 

You can connect your website to FTP, search for public_html/wp-content/plugins. There you will find different folders, each corresponding to a plugin on your website.

Rename every folder. When you’ve finished renaming the first plugin, check if the WSoD has changed. If not, change the next one and so on. If you find the plugin that caused the issue, then change the name of this file.

It is important to change the files back to their original title after you’ve found the issue. If not, WordPress won't recognize the page. The above explanation works the same for deactivating your current WordPress theme. Instead of the public_html/wp-content/plugins just search for public_html/wp-content/theme then apply the previous steps for these folders.

We’ve tried to simplify the process above, but in reality it can be lengthy, difficult and technically complex. Many websites owners therefore choose to employ WordPress experts to help. Complete our contact form, tell us what’s wrong and we’ll be in touch.

Internal Server Error

There are three main reasons why an internal server error might occur. The first is faulty plugins and themes. As we’ve mentioned that above, we’ll jump straight to the second: a low PHP memory limit. We won’t go into what that means in detail here, but we will try to provide a quick solution.

To increase the memory limit, go to your root folder through FTP (FileZilla) and look for this file: wp-config.php. You can open this by using a text editor and adding the following code:

define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’128M’);

ini_set(‘post_max_size’, ’ 128M ’);

ini_set(‘upload_max_filesize’, ’ 128M ’);

You have now added 128MB to the memory, which should be more than enough to conquer any additional memory-related errors. Don't forget to save the change towp-config.php and see if the problem has been resolved. Whilst adding code is a fairly straightforward process, we know that if you’re not really ‘a computer person’, it can seem a daunting process. If it all seems a bit much, give us a call and we’ll do it for you.

If you’re still experiencing issues, this might be because of a corrupt .htaccess file, which is responsible for any interaction between the server and the website. This is located in the same place as wp-config.php. It is important to handle this with care; an incorrect configuration can break your whole site. Reset the .htaccess file back to the default configuration, then save the changes. If this doesn't solve the problem then contact your hosting provider. Again, given how much trouble an incorrect configuration can cause, we strongly recommend that you have these issues looked at by a company with experience fixing them.

Error Establishing a Database Connection

WordPress websites store their information in a unique database. This database will connect to someone who tries to visit your website and collect all the information that it needs to display the correct webpage to them. An error will occur if it can't make this connection.

9 times out of 10, this error is a result of the following issues:

The first is when WordPress tries to log in to your database with the wrong login credentials, though this problem is very rare unless you have made changes to your wp-config.php file, where the database credentials are stored.

The second is that there is an issue with the database server, though again, this problem is also not very common. This error is usually due to an unreliable web host.

Finally, the database could be corrupted; this problem is more common than the other two. The cause of this problem can be, for example, a simple update of your website.

Luckily WordPress offers a solution for this problem. To do this, you have to implement the function wp-config.php. As previously mentioned, this can be done with FTP. Just enter the following code: define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);

When you have saved this, you then need to type your domain (url) into your browser and add /wp-admin/maint/repair.php to the end. For example: Now WordPress will ask if the database needs to change. Click on the Repair Database button, and WordPress will get to work. This normally doesn’t take too much time. When WordPress has finished the repair, check the website and the error should be gone.

You’re not quite finished yet, though. All you need to do now is to get rid of the line of code that you added to wp-config.php, otherwise visitors will be allowed to execute the database repair without your permission.

Maintenance Mode

WordPress automatically sets itself into maintenance mode while there’s an update running. Normally this only takes a few seconds, but sometimes your website gets stuck in maintenance mode. To solve this problem, go to your site’s control panel, find its WordPress Root folder, which stores all the files for your website and look for the file named .maintenance.

This file is created automatically by WordPress when your site enters maintenance mode. The solution is quite simple; just delete this file and your website should be back to normal again. If you don’t know what a control panel is, how to access yours, or you don’t feel comfortable deleting files, get in touch with the team at and we’ll be happy to help.

Missed Schedule Error

One of the most useful tools WordPress offers, is the ability to set a date for the publication of a post on your website. To do this, it uses a scheduling command called a cron job. This system sometimes misses a publication date. To get the post published, have a look at your posts tab; it’ll tell you which posts have yet to go live.

To avoid this problem again, use a plugin like Scheduled Post Trigger. It’ll check if WordPress has published your post; if it hasn’t, the plugin will do it for you.

Support for WordPress

Everyone wants a website that’s 100% bug-free, 100% of the time, but that’s just not possible. When you run your own website, you will encounter errors regardless of which platform you use. Although WordPress is known for being stable and secure, it isn’t completely flawless. Have you got an error on your website? Don’t know how to fix, even after reading this blog? That’s where we come in. We’re a WordPress maintenance company in Manchester, specialising in website repairs, upkeep and content production.

Get in touch with the team now by filling out our contact form. Let us know what the issue is and we’ll have a look at your website and advise you what needs to be done to fix it.

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