WordPress is a content management tool that works on the open-source model. Even with its market leadership, it does not escape errors that create obstacles for its users. In this text, we will highlight such errors and present their solutions. Continue reading!
With a low investment cost and a very intuitive user experience, WordPress is by far the most widely used and respected CMS tool in the world.
According to a study by W3Techs, the platform dominates about 60% of the market, while the second-place reaches a mere 5.2%.
Still, WordPress is not free of errors that disrupt the visitor experience and harm the user of the service. Being open-source – which means it is developed by a huge number of contributors – makes these flaws more common.
With that in mind, we have written this text to list the 20 most recurring WordPress errors. For each item, we will indicate the best way to deal with the problem.
1. The white screen of death
The overly alarming name is no accident. The so-called white screen of death is considered by many to be the most feared failure to use the platform.
The explanation for this is simple: the error is characterized by a white screen, without any additional information that may indicate its origin.
Therefore, it is possible to imagine a developer’s despair when facing a problem whose causes are not visible. Therefore, to deal with the white screen, you may need to use the trial and error technique.
Here are some possible solutions:
Debug is simply a bug hunter. Once you activate the application, it gathers all hidden error messages and displays them on one page.
This gives you the opportunity to understand the causes of an error and take appropriate action to correct them.
To enable Debug, access FTP from your domain and open the file “wp-config-php”. There you will find the code (‘WP_DEBUG’, false). Just replace “false” with “true” and the debugging process will begin.
Use default theme
In some cases, installed themes or plugins face compatibility issues. To check if this is the cause of the white screen, return the theme to the default option and disable all plugins. Then reactivate one by one to try to understand which might be causing the error.
Increase the memory limit
In most cases, the white screen has no direct link to the site’s memory. Still, it is possible for the website to exceed the standard memory limit set in the wp-config.php file.
To increase this ceiling, add the following line of code: (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’). If the cause of the white screen is memory related, this will solve the problem.
2. Internal Server Error
Who has never come across the message “500 internal server error” while surfing the internet? The internal server error is another of the scariest problems for anyone working with WordPress.
The reasons for the problem are numerous. Therefore, the same solutions presented in the previous topic serve to try to find and solve the cause. In addition to these, you should check your .htaccess file.
Among many other functions, this file rewrites your website URLs to make them more attractive to visitors. When this file is corrupted, the internal error message appears.
To check if .htaccess is indeed corrupted, go to the file manager and rename the code “.htaccess / backup”.
Then test if your website is back to normal. If so, visit the permalink settings page and save your changes.
3. Error establishing database connection
If you work with WordPress, you have probably come across this error hundreds of times. This is the most common platform problem, which can be caused simply by a server crash in your database.
In this case, the only possible approach is to try to contact the server and expect help.
In other cases, however, the error may be resolved by you. Often the failed connection is a result of wrong credentials. Therefore, make sure your username and password are entered correctly.
4. Lost Administrator Password
You may feel a little embarrassed to forget something so important, but don’t worry, we’ve all been through this already. In some cases, password recovery can be a real headache, but in WordPress, the process should not be a problem.
The simplest way is to click on the “forgot my password” option, wait for a recovery email, and then create a new password. Did you do that and get no message? Without panic, this is also common and easy to solve.
To do so, you will need to login to PHPMyAdmin and select your website database. Then follow these steps:
- In the table list, select wp_users;
- find your username and click “edit”;
- in the “user_pass” column, activate the MD5 function;
- in the typing bar, enter your new password;
- confirm the edits.
5. Error 404
Another example that every internet user knows is Error 404, which occurs when a page is not found. In many cases, the visitor has access to all areas of the website except one page. Of course, this impairs the user experience.
In most cases, the resolution is very fast and simple. Visit the permalink configuration page and click the button to save changes. This will force WordPress to rewrite the .htaccess file, probably solving the problem.
6. Maintenance mode cannot be turned off
This is a common problem, but one that can cause a lot of headache. Occurs when WordPress is serviced for an update and is stopped before completion.
This makes WordPress unable to set the website back to normal mode, leaving it constantly under maintenance.
To resolve the error, simply delete the .maintenance file from your control panel and refresh your website page.
7. Connection Timeout
If your site has such an error, you probably need to improve memory management. The problem happens when WordPress does not have enough memory to operate.
To fix it, unplug all plugins and return to the default platform theme. Reconnect the plugins one by one to try to identify any abnormalities.
If it does not, the problem is a memory. So a simple increase in available capacity will solve the case.
8. Sidebar Appearing Below Content
A sidebar should be displayed next to the content, correct? Because of this, you may be startled to find the sidebar moving under it. This destroys page layout organization and impairs site usability and interactivity.
The cause for this symptom is usually a problem with HTML code present in themes, plugins and widgets.
So ask yourself if you made recent changes to the code. If so, you may have missed some detail that is now impairing the sidebar display.
A tip is to check if the specific post has <div> code properly structured. Deleting or including an extra <div> may be the reason for the clutter.
9. Locked image upload
As we know, images are crucial for Digital Marketing, so they should get the proper attention on a website or blog. So it’s a huge setback when they disappear from the site, fail to complete the upload, or appear broken.
For starters, make sure that the disk in your hosting provider has enough space. Discarding the hypothesis of out of memory, this error probably has to do with changing the permissions of one or more files.
This can happen for several reasons. Perhaps the server has performed an upgrade or one of the installed plugins may have mistakenly changed the general permission settings. Contact your server and change the permissions back to normal.
10. Scheduled Posts Are Not Posted at the Right Time
One of the great qualities of WordPress is the scheduling of posts, a function that allows marketing automation in various strategies. This is a great hand on the wheel for managers who don’t have that much time to post frequently.
On the other hand, if WordPress crashes and doesn’t post what was scheduled, your entire strategy could be undermined. To avoid adversity, you can use a plugin aimed at identifying and repairing errors in the wp-cron.php file, which triggers scheduled tasks.
Among the plugins available for this purpose, one of the most recognized is wp-missed-schedule. Every 15 minutes, the application maps the system to find and post posts that have been forgotten by WordPress.
11. WordPress Does Not Send Emails
All WordPress errors are harmful in some way. The fact that the platform does not send emails has even greater weight as it can directly affect the email marketing strategy adopted by a huge number of companies.
The problem comes from the platform itself. In many cases, the host used is not able to send emails. In others, email service providers perform a true anti-spam check, which can veto WordPress messages because they fail to verify their origin.
Therefore, the recommendation is that WordPress is not used to feed your newsletter or nutrition stream. To do this, look for an email triggering tool that meets your needs.
12. Website Marked as Insecure by Google
Notoriously, Google values the experience of its users. As a result, the company displays a warning signal when a user attempts to access a page considered insecure.
If your site is one of these pages, you may be missing out on business opportunities and wasting time and money.
To avoid this inconvenience, do not serve advertising of dubious quality and origin. If the pieces are linked to websites that distribute malicious material, your site will also be affected.
13. Error 502 Bad Gateway
Another WordPress bug that often intrigues its users is the 502 Bad Gateway. This happens when a user’s request for access takes too long to authorize without any other errors being pointed out.
The error may simply be a temporary crash caused by over-usual traffic, but may also be the result of a plugin or theme containing faulty code. Therefore, if the problem persists, follow these steps:
- reload the website;
- clear browser cache;
- disable the firewall;
- update the themes and plugins.
14. Destination Folder Already Exists
When trying to install a plugin or theme, the developer may come across a message stating that the destination folder already exists and therefore the installation failed.
The cause is such a silly detail that it may well go unnoticed. It is likely that one of the previously installed plugins, however different, will have the same name as the one you are trying to install. In this case, just rename the file.
15. 403 Forbidden – No Permission to Access
This error message is displayed when the server does not grant permission to access any page.
This failure mainly occurs through the use of website security plugins that are configured inefficiently. They block IP addresses because they consider them malicious, even if they are not.
The first point to check once again is the installed themes and plugins. Disable them and re-enable them to see if they are causing the problem. If not, you are probably dealing with a permissions issue. This way, the server assumes that you do not have permission to access the content.
If not, you are probably dealing with a permissions issue. This way, the server assumes that you do not have permission to access the content.
This situation can be resolved with a dialog with your WordPress server. If good service is offered, he will certainly intervene to solve the problem without leaving further consequences.
16. Auto Update Error
You know that updates are essential to prevent errors in your WordPress, but eventually, something can go wrong and the process fails. The root of the problem may be a plugin that, when installed, caused some unexpected modification.
In these cases, this is not exactly an error but a change that is compromising access to the installer. The main symptoms are slow admin panel and error messages when trying to add a plugin.
In log files, a line similar to this can be found:
PHP message: PHP Warning: An unexpected error has occurred. Something could be wrong with WordPress.org or the configuration of this server. If you continue to have problems, try the Support Forum. (WordPress was unable to establish a secure connection to WordPress.org. Contact your server administrator.) In web / wp-admin / includes / plugin-install.php on line 83.
This means that the installation process has been interrupted and the installer is waiting for a response. As a result, a hidden file with the PHP request number is created.
As in item 6, the problem should be resolved by deleting the maintenance file on the control panel.
17. Syntax Error
Syntax errors occur when any programming language rules are broken. The problem may be caused by improperly installed plugins, but it also happens when users accidentally add some incorrect code snippet to the site’s PHP scripts.
The solution, therefore, is to identify the block of code the error is in and fix it, and doing so is easier than you might think: the error message that comes up when you access your site contains the full path of the responsible file and the faulty line.
If the specified location is a theme folder, uninstalling it may resolve the issue. On the other hand, if you have accidentally made any changes to the site code, simply browse via FTP to the indicated file, right-click on the folder and select “View / Edit” to open the editor.
Removing the indicated line is enough to solve the problem in some cases, but it is ideal to parse the code and correct the incorrect characters.
If you are new to the programming language, the last way out is to restore your WordPress from a pre-error backcup.
18. Login Redirect Loop
You are about to access your WordPress dashboard, enter your data correctly, but continue to be redirected to the login page. This frustration is very common and sometimes not even directly related to WordPress.
If the problem arose soon after installing a plugin, you can access your site database using an FTP client and uninstall the plugin manually.
If the redirect still persists, it is probably because the .htaccess file is corrupted. In this case, the guidelines are the same as in item 2.
19. RSS Feed Error
The RSS feed is one of the most traditional means of content distribution on the internet. With it, users can receive blog posts from a browser interface, but their most frequent use is in marketing automation.
If your blog uses RSS-integrated email triggering tools, probably the first malfunction you identified was stopping sending messages. Confirmation of the issue is in the error messages displayed in your site’s Feed.
Failures vary by browser, but in general, most errors are caused by incorrect formatting. Since the XML language used in RSS feeds is too rigid, just an improper space or stray line will stop the feature from working.
Defective themes and plugins, as well as manual site changes, can also cause the error. Fortunately, however, there is a plugin to do this kind of repair automatically: Fix My Feed RSS Repair.
20. Error 503 – Service Unavailable
This is another WordPress error to test user patience. As the message does not make clear the reason for the problem, the causes can be diverse: buggy themes and plugins, depleted servers, server crashes, misbehaviour of a PHP script, and even hacking and malicious software attacks.
The codes that refer to this fault are usually:
- 503 Error;
- HTTP 503;
- HTTP Error 503;
- HTTP Server Error 503;
- 503 Service Unavailable;
- Http / 1.1 Service Unavailable.
The 503 is a white screen of death error, as both forces the user to become a true WordPress bug hunter. The procedures listed in the first topic are also valid here, but if the problem continues, there are some other assumptions.
To find out if a bad plugin is causing the problem, the simplest way to find out is to disable and re-enable them all. Via FTP, go to the wp-content folder, located in the WordPress directory, and rename the “plugins” folder to “plugins-old”. This will disable all plugins at once.
Then rename the “plugins-old” folder back to “plugins” and reload your site. If error 503 is no longer there, it is certainly a plugin that caused the problem.
To identify it, go to the Dashboard and activate your plugins one by one, always reloading the site with each installation. When the error arises, you will know what is causing the problem. Finally, simply delete it directly from the database.
If the source of the error is a server failure, in most cases, everything will be back to normal within a few minutes. However, if the error persists after all the attempts presented here, you will need to trigger support from your hosting service.
Even with all the qualities of the tool, some WordPress errors are very common, especially because it is an open source platform.
Throughout the text, we select some of the most common cases and indicate ways to solve them. Still, fully mastering the platform requires a good deal of practice – or simply hiring a specialist service.
So, did the text help you understand and solve a problem in WordPress? Share your feedback using the comment section below.