If you’re managing a website, encountering errors can be a daunting experience, especially if your site is built on WordPress. Though WordPress is renowned for its ease of use, like any robust platform, it’s not immune to occasional glitches. However, these common issues often have straightforward fixes that even non-tech savvy users can implement.
In this guide, we’ll break down how to troubleshoot the most prevalent WordPress errors, providing step-by-step solutions to get your site back up and running efficiently.
The White Screen Of Death (WSoD)
The dreaded White Screen of Death is as terrifying as it sounds: your website is replaced by a blank, white screen, and no error messages give clues about what went wrong. This issue can occur for many reasons, including plugin/theme conflicts, exhausted memory limits, or PHP errors.
- To start, you should try to remember the last changes you made. This information can be incredibly helpful in pinpointing the issue. Did you install a new theme or plugin? If so, that could be the culprit.
- If you suspect a theme or plugin conflict, access your WordPress files using an FTP client. Navigate to the ‘wp-content’ directory and rename the ‘plugins’ folder to something like ‘plugins_old.’ This action deactivates all plugins, potentially resolving the issue if a plugin was the cause. If your site works after this step, reactivate plugins one by one, refreshing the site after each to isolate the problematic plugin.
- If the issue persists, repeat the process with the ‘themes’ folder to check for a conflict there. It’s also helpful to share screenshots with technical support if you’re working with a team to resolve the issue. Visuals can aid in quickly resolving problems.
- If deactivating themes or plugins doesn’t work, another possibility is that you’ve reached your PHP memory limit. You can increase this limit by editing your ‘wp-config.php’ file, adding the code: define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);
Error Establishing A Database Connection
This error means your website is unable to connect to the database, and it could be due to incorrect database credentials, a corrupted database, or an unresponsive database server.
- First, check if the error appears on both the front-end and the back-end (wp-admin) of the site. If it’s both, it’s more likely a server error, and you’ll need to contact your hosting provider.
- If it’s a credential issue, confirm that your ‘wp-config.php’ file has the correct database connection information. If you’ve recently changed your database password or moved your site to a new host, you’ll need to update these details.
- In case of a suspected corrupted database, access the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to ‘Tools’ > ‘Health Check.’ This page can provide information on your database status and offer a troubleshooting mode that disables themes and plugins.
404 Error On Posts
404 errors occur when a webpage is not found. If your WordPress site’s posts return a 404 error, it typically points to a problem with your permalink settings.
- In the WordPress Dashboard, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Permalinks.’ You don’t have to change anything, simply click ‘Save Changes’ at the bottom of the screen. This action refreshes your permalink structure and can often resolve this error.
Encountering errors on your WordPress site is undoubtedly frustrating, but with the right approach, they can be opportunities to understand your website better. By methodically troubleshooting these common WordPress problems, you not only get your site back on track quicker, but you also deepen your knowledge of the WordPress platform.
Remember, frequent backups are your best defense against any significant website issues. They provide peace of mind, knowing that your site can be restored to a functioning state if a troublesome error persists.