Troubleshooting Common WordPress Errors and Issues

22 Dec 2023 | Development | 0 comments

Key Takeaway:

  • White Screen of Death can be caused by plugin or theme compatibility issues. Deactivating plugins and activating the default theme can help resolve this issue.
  • Error establishing database connection can be caused by incorrect database credentials or server downtime. Checking and correcting database credentials or contacting the hosting provider can help fix this issue.
  • Being stuck in maintenance mode following an upgrade can be caused by the activation of built-in maintenance mode during plugin or theme updates. Deleting the .maintenance file can resolve this issue.


WordPress can be an incredibly powerful and versatile platform, but it’s not without its challenges. In this section, we’ll dive into some of the most common errors and issues that WordPress users encounter. From the dreaded White Screen of Death to database connection problems and failed auto-upgrades, we’ll explore these issues and provide insights on how to troubleshoot them effectively. So, whether you’re a WordPress newbie or a seasoned user, get ready to tackle these hurdles head-on and keep your website running smoothly.

White Screen of Death

The White Screen of Death is common with WordPress users. When they visit their website, they get a white screen instead of the expected content. This is both alarming and frustrating.

The cause could be plugin/theme compatibility. The current version of WordPress might not be compatible with certain plugins/themes, leading to conflicts that result in the white screen. Deactivating plugins and activating the default theme can fix this.

Incorrect database credentials or hosting information can also lead to this error. If the database is damaged or the server is down, the website won’t load properly. Fixing database credentials or contacting the hosting provider can help.

Troubleshooting the White Screen of Death requires identifying and addressing specific causes: plugin/theme compatibility, database connectivity problems, and server downtime. By following the solutions mentioned above for each cause, users can regain access to their WordPress websites.

Causes: Plugin or theme compatibility issues

Issues with plugins and themes can cause problems for WordPress websites. They happen when the plugins and themes don’t go along with one another or with WordPress.

  • Badly coded pieces can lead to conflicts and errors.
  • Outdated plugins and themes might not work with the latest version of WordPress.
  • When multiple plugins or themes try to modify the same thing, issues can occur.
  • A plugin or theme may mess up the design of the website.
  • Newly installed plugins and themes may introduce bugs.
  • Changes made to a plugin or theme by its developer can cause trouble too.

These compatibility issues can make the website inaccessible. To reduce the chance of them happening, website owners must update their plugins and themes regularly. Also, they should make sure they are compatible with each other and with WordPress. That way, they can keep the website functioning well. If all else fails, just go back to basics with default themes.

Solutions: Deactivate plugins, activate default theme

Deactivating plugins and activating the default theme can be an effective way to fix the “White Screen of Death” in WordPress. This error is usually caused by compatibility issues between plugins or themes. Deactivating the plugins and switching to the default theme will help identify the problem.

Here’s how:

  1. Access your WordPress Dashboard – log in with your credentials.
  2. Go to the “Plugins” section and click “Installed Plugins”. Select all active plugins, and from the dropdown menu choose “Deactivate”.
  3. In the left sidebar, find “Appearance” and select “Themes”. Look for the default WordPress theme and click “Activate”.
  4. Visit your website and check if the issue is resolved.
  5. Activate plugins one by one to identify the problematic one.
  6. Consider switching back to your preferred theme once you have identified and resolved the issue.

Note: Temporarily deactivating plugins and using a default theme may affect website functionalities or design elements.

In conclusion, deactivating plugins and activating a default theme can help isolate and troubleshoot any compatibility-related problems causing errors like the white screen issue.

Fun Fact: Over 40% of websites on the internet run on the WordPress platform (Source: W3Techs).

Error establishing database connection

When battling a database connection issue, it can be caused by various factors. These can involve wrong credentials, hosting info, a wrecked database, or server downtime. It’s essential to pinpoint the root cause to solve the problem.

Check and correct entered database credentials. Make sure the hosting provider has correct details, as any errors can lead to difficulties in establishing the connection. Get help from the hosting provider when needed.

If there’s no issue with credentials or hosting info, check if the database is damaged. Take necessary steps to repair or restore it.

Server downtime can also cause problems in connecting to the database. Wait for the server to come back online and then try connecting again.

It’s crucial to handle database connection problems quickly and correctly, for a smooth running WordPress website. Verify credentials, contact hosting providers, and address any damages or server-related issues to effectively fix this error.

When your WordPress site gets stuck in maintenance mode, you feel like you’re in an endless cycle of Coming Soon signs!

Causes: Incorrect database credentials, wrong hosting information, damaged database, server downtime

Incorrect database credentials, wrong hosting info, damaged databases, and server downtime are all common causes of WordPress issues. All of these can lead to website disruptions!

  • Incorrect database credentials: If the wrong info is entered in the WordPress config file, a connection to the database won’t be made.
  • Wrong hosting info: Incorrect hosting details or server issues can prevent the site from accessing resources.
  • Damage to the database: Corrupt or damaged data can cause various errors and malfunctions.
  • Server downtime: When the web server is down or being maintained, the site won’t be available or won’t work properly.

Acting quickly is key to ensuring the WordPress site functions well and remains accessible to users. Other factors may also contribute to issues. Identifying and understanding these can help admins take steps towards resolving them.

Renaming .htaccess file, copying fresh core files, checking plugin/theme compatibility, and increasing PHP memory limit are some suggested solutions. These can fix misconfiguration or provide needed resources.

In conclusion, when faced with any of these issues, troubleshooting methods such as checking/correcting config files or getting help from hosting providers should be used.

Solutions: Check and correct database credentials, contact hosting provider

Having trouble connecting to the database in WordPress? You’re not alone. The error of “Error establishing database connection” can be caused by database related issues. To fix this, check and correct the database credentials! Get in touch with your hosting provider for assistance. Cleaning up any incorrect or outdated database information and having the right server details are essential steps to a successful connection.

In addition, check file permissions – this can also lead to errors when connecting to the database. Not comfortable making these changes yourself? Consult a professional developer or your hosting provider. And don’t forget about those dreaded maintenance mode vacations – when WordPress decides to take a break without warning.

Stuck in maintenance mode following an upgrade

After an upgrade, WordPress users may find themselves “stuck” in maintenance mode. This happens when the built-in maintenance mode is activated during plugin or theme updates. To get out of this, users have to take certain steps.

To resolve the issue, follow four steps:

  1. Delete the .maintenance file. This file gets created by WordPress when it enters maintenance mode. By deleting this file from the root directory, users can disable the mode.
  2. Check for any unfinished updates. Updates may sometimes be interrupted and not completed properly. This can cause the maintenance mode to stay. Double-check if all updates are a success.
  3. Clear the server caches. This issue may come from the server caching outdated information about the website status. Clear the server caches and refresh the browser to get the most up-to-date version of the site.
  4. Disable automatic updates temporarily. If stuck in maintenance mode after upgrades often, users can choose to turn off automatic updates until they find the cause and fix it.

Stuck in maintenance mode can be annoying, but with these steps, WordPress users can easily resolve the issue and continue using their website without any more interruptions.

Causes: Activation of built-in maintenance mode during plugin or theme updates

When updating plugins or themes, WordPress’ built-in maintenance mode can be activated and cause trouble. This activation is a known issue!

Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Find which plugins or themes were updating when the maintenance mode started.
  2. Troubleshooting Common WordPress Errors and Issues can help you solve problems like plugin conflicts or theme issues. Make sure to deactivate those plugins or switch to a default theme.
  3. Delete the .maintenance file in the WordPress installation directory.

Follow these steps to get rid of the maintenance mode and continue updates with no problems.

Remember, these solutions only work when the built-in maintenance mode is activated during plugin or theme updates. Different solutions are needed for other WordPress update errors or issues.

Say goodbye to the maintenance mode by deleting the .maintenance file!

Solutions: Delete the .maintenance file

The dreaded “White Screen of Death” is an issue that can occur in WordPress due to plugin or theme incompatibilities. To identify the source of the problem, try deactivating all plugins and switching to the default theme.

If you find yourself stuck in maintenance mode after an upgrade, follow these steps to delete the .maintenance file and fix it:

  1. Access your site using FTP or cPanel.
  2. Go to the root directory of your WordPress install.
  3. Find the .maintenance file and delete it.
  4. Refresh your page to make sure the maintenance mode is gone.

Remember, deleting the .maintenance file may not be the solution for other WordPress errors or issues. The best approach is to systematically try different solutions until you find the one that works.

Failed auto-upgrade

Failed auto-upgrades of WordPress websites can be a headache. To fix the issue, follow these five steps:

  1. Change file permissions for successful upgrades.
  2. Increase the memory limit.
  3. Deactivate conflicting plugins.
  4. Update themes and plugins.
  5. Backup your website.

Also, keep an eye out for errors that could lead to failed auto-upgrades. This will help you address potential problems before they affect your site’s performance. Dealing with WordPress errors can be mind-boggling!

Causes: Change in file permissions, PHP memory limit exhaustion

File permissions and PHP memory limit exhaustion can cause errors in WordPress.

  • File Permissions: If they are set incorrectly, necessary files may not be accessed or executed. This can lead to many errors.
  • PHP Memory Limit: When a website needs more memory than allocated, issues can arise due to heavy plugins and themes.

There may be other causes, too. To troubleshoot and resolve any issues, it is important to address these concerns.

Upgrade failed? Change those permissions, boost that memory!

Solutions: Change file permissions, increase memory limit

Altering file permissions and boosting memory limit are two common solutions to fix various issues in WordPress. These tackle problems related to file access and system resource assignment.

To change file permissions, go through these steps:

  1. Access your website’s files via FTP or a file manager provided by your hosting provider.
  2. Locate the file or folder for which you need to change the permissions.
  3. Right-click on the file or folder and choose “File Permissions” or “Permissions” from the context menu.
  4. In the permissions dialog box, enter the numerical value of the desired permission level (e.g., 755 for read, write, and execute permission for the owner, and read and execute permission for group and others).
  5. Click on OK or Apply to save the changes.
  6. Test your website to see if the issue has been resolved.

Strengthening memory limit can help solve issues caused by PHP script execution surpassing allocated resources. Follow these steps:

  1. Access your website’s root directory via FTP or a file manager.
  2. Search for a php.ini file in the root directory (if it exists) or contact your hosting provider to create one.
  3. Open the php.ini file using a text editor.
  4. Look for a line that starts with “memory_limit”.
  5. Increase the value after the “=” sign to a greater limit (e.g., from 128M to 256M).
  6. Save the changes made to php.ini and restart your server.

By altering file permissions and increasing memory limit, you can troubleshoot normal WordPress errors caused by restricted access to files and inadequate system resources.

It is important to remember that every website may have different configurations, so it is recommended to consult with an expert if you are unsure about making these changes yourself.

Secure smooth working of your WordPress website by taking these actions today! Don’t miss out on resolving potential issues that could disturb user experience and hurt your website’s performance.

WordPress connection timed out

Troubleshooting WordPress connection timeouts? Deactivate heavy plugins, switch to the default theme, and raise the PHP memory limit. These steps can help resolve the issue.

  1. Disable any resource-hungry plugins that might be slowing down your site’s response time.
  2. Temporarily switch to the default WordPress theme to eliminate compatibility issues between your current theme and WordPress core files.
  3. Increase the PHP memory limit in your server settings or php.ini file to allocate more resources for requests.

Following these tips will ensure connections stay uninterrupted. However, if the issue persists, you may need to seek further assistance. Untangle the headphone cords in the dark and you’ll find the usual suspects – heavy plugins, theme incompatibility, and PHP memory limit exhaustion.

Causes: Heavy plugins, theme incompatibility, PHP memory limit exhaustion

Heavy plugins, theme incompatibility, and PHP memory limit exhaustion can cause errors and issues in WordPress websites. These can lead to connection timeouts, internal server errors, and failed auto-upgrades.

Heavy plugins need a lot of processing power and memory. This can overload the server or exhaust the available PHP memory limit, causing performance issues.

Theme incompatibility can create conflicts and errors. When a theme is not compatible with certain plugins or the latest version of WordPress, it can prevent features from working properly.

Exceeding the allocated PHP memory limit can also cause errors and performance problems. Fatal errors or white screens of death can occur when running resource-intensive tasks.

Address these causes promptly to ensure the smooth functioning of a WordPress site. Deactivate heavy plugins, resolve theme compatibility issues, and increase the PHP memory limit if needed. In more complex cases, further troubleshooting may be necessary.

Solutions: Deactivate plugins, switch to default theme, increase PHP memory limit

Deactivate plugins, switch to the default theme, and increase the PHP memory limit. These are tips for resolving WordPress issues. It can address compatibility issues, memory limits, and other common problems. Here’s a 4-step guide:

  1. Deactivate plugins. Navigate to Plugins in the WordPress Dashboard and click “Deactivate” for each plugin. Check if any conflicts arise with the theme or other plugins.
  2. Switch to the default theme. Go to Appearance > Themes in the WordPress dashboard and use Twenty Twenty-One. See if the problem lies with the current theme.
  3. Increase the PHP memory limit. Modify files like .htaccess or php.ini depending on hosting environment. Ask your hosting provider or developer for help.
  4. Test and troubleshoot. Activate plugins and themes and see if the error reoccurs. If so, find alternatives.

There may be unique details related to WordPress errors. For example, a white screen of death may require copying core files from a reliable source. It’s like a server burp that needs refreshment.

Internal server error

An internal server error is a common issue that can occur when hosting a WordPress website. It happens when something goes wrong on the server, preventing it from fulfilling the request from your web browser. It can be caused by a corrupted .htaccess file, problems in core files, plugin/theme incompatibility, or reaching the PHP memory limit.

To fix this issue, you can:

  1. Troubleshooting Common WordPress Errors and Issues
  2. Copy fresh core files
  3. Address any plugin/theme compatibility issues
  4. Check for PHP memory limits

Increasing the memory limit can help resolve this.

It’s important to act quickly when experiencing an internal server error. If not, it can affect your website’s performance and user experience. Follow the solutions above to get your website up and running again. Don’t let the ultimate recipe for a WordPress meltdown ruin your website!

Causes: Corrupted .htaccess file, problems in core files, plugin or theme incompatibility, PHP memory limit

A corrupted .htaccess file, core files issues, plugin or theme incompatibility, and PHP memory limit are common errors in WordPress. These errors can lead to website malfunctions or unavailability.

Main causes of these errors include:

  1. Corrupted .htaccess file: Improper editing or any kind of unexpected modification made to the file can disrupt the functioning of your WordPress website.
  2. Core files issues: Incorrect coding, missing or modified files, or conflicts between different parts of the code can result in errors.
  3. Plugin or theme incompatibility: Installed plugins or themes that are incompatible with each other or with the version of WordPress being used can cause conflicts and errors.
  4. PHP memory limit: If your website exceeds the allocated PHP memory limit, it can cause issues including errors and slow performance.

It is important to handle these causes quickly to make sure your WordPress website functions properly and gives a smooth user experience. Additionally, taking regular backups and keeping all plugins and themes updated can help prevent these issues from occurring.

Survey by ManageWP reveals 51% of WordPress sites experience plugin-related vulnerabilities at some stage.

Solutions: Rename .htaccess file, copy fresh core files, follow previously mentioned solutions

When confronted with the “white screen of death” in WordPress, there are several fixes to attempt. One of these is renaming the .htaccess file and copying fresh core files, following the prior solutions. To do this:

  1. Rename the .htaccess file. Access the website’s root directory using FTP or cPanel. Find the .htaccess file and change its name, such as “.htaccess_old”. This helps determine if the .htaccess file is the cause of the issue.
  2. Copy fresh core files. Download a copy of WordPress from the official website. Extract these files to a local machine. Find important core files, like wp-config.php and wp-content folder. Upload and replace these files on the server, without overwriting any customized themes or plugins.
  3. Follow the earlier solutions. Refer to the solutions previously listed in this article for common WordPress errors and issues. These include deactivating plugins, activating default theme, checking database credentials, contacting the hosting provider, increasing memory limit, and other relevant steps for specific errors.

By following these steps, you can address the issue of renaming .htaccess, copying fresh core files, and other related solutions as mentioned above. Each error scenario may have its own set of causes and solutions. So, it’s recommended to get professional help or refer to reliable resources if more assistance is needed to resolve specific errors or issues with WordPress.

Maximum execution time exceeded

Text: Issue of Maximum Execution Time Exceeded? That’s when the PHP code fails to finish within the set time. It can happen when running resource-heavy tasks or certain plugins/themes needing more processing time than allowed.

To sort this out, make adjustments in .htaccess or php.ini files. This increases the maximum execution time, so the PHP code can complete.

Remember: increasing the maximum execution time may help, but it’s wise to optimize code and reduce unnecessary processing causing prolonged execution times.

Keep your WordPress website running smoothly by tweaking settings and optimizing code. That way, you can say goodbye to Maximum Execution Time Exceeded!

Let’s explore other errors and solutions to troubleshoot WordPress websites.

Causes: PHP code failing to execute within allocated time

PHP code that won’t execute within the given time can cause errors and issues in WordPress. This happens when processes or functions take too long to finish. Result? The code fails to execute, leading to errors and disruptions.

If you want to troubleshoot this issue, try these steps:

  1. Check plugins: A plugin’s poorly optimized code or resource-intensive tasks can cause PHP code to exceed the allotted execution time. Deactivate unnecessary or resource-intensive plugins to see if this solves the problem.
  2. Use a default theme: Theme compatibility issues can also cause PHP code to fail within the allocated time. Temporarily switch to a basic WordPress theme (like Twenty Twenty-One) and see if the error persists. If not, contact the theme developer for possible updates or changes.
  3. Increase PHP memory limit: Insufficient memory allocation can also contribute to PHP code timeouts. Try increasing the PHP memory limit by editing the php.ini file or adding a line of code in the .htaccess file (e.g., “php_value memory_limit 256M”). This should provide more resources for executing PHP code and prevent timeout errors.
  4. Optimize code and queries: Examine your PHP code and database queries for any inefficiencies or long-running processes that could be causing timeouts. Consider optimizing your code, caching data, and using efficient database queries to improve performance.

It’s important to note that excessive execution time can indicate underlying performance issues with your website. Regular maintenance, performance monitoring, and proper optimization techniques are key in preventing such errors.

For further guidance, contact a web developer or reach out to WordPress support forums.

Solutions: Add line in .htaccess file or edit php.ini file

Fixing WordPress issues involves editing the .htaccess file or the php.ini file. To do this:

  1. Locate the .htaccess file in your WordPress directory.
  2. Open it in a text editor.
  3. Add a code or line related to increasing memory limit or execution time.
  4. Save and upload it back to the server.

These changes should be done cautiously, as improper alterations can create more problems. Before making any modifications, back up your files in case of an emergency.

Tackling WordPress errors can be scary, but with the right knowledge, you can escape the White Screen of Death and other spooky website issues.


So, this reference serves as a helpful guide for sorting out usual WordPress errors and issues. Knowing the possible problems and using the methods and techniques suggested, users can conquer these troubles and have a functional and secure WordPress website. Keeping the site updated and fixing issues frequently is key to having a successful WordPress site.

Some Facts About Troubleshooting Common WordPress Errors and Issues:

  • ✅ The “White Screen of Death (WSOD)” is one of the most common WordPress errors and can be caused by plugin or theme compatibility issues. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The “Error Establishing Database Connection” is another frequent WordPress error and can be triggered by incorrect database credentials or problems with the web host. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The “Internal Server Error” is a common WordPress error that can occur due to a corrupted .htaccess file, plugin/theme incompatibility, or PHP memory limit issues. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Troubleshooting WordPress errors often involves deactivating plugins, switching to a default theme, and checking file permissions and memory limits. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Backup and regular updates are essential for preventing and resolving WordPress errors. (Source: Beginner’s Guide to Troubleshooting WordPress Errors Step-by-Step)

FAQs about Troubleshooting Common WordPress Errors And Issues

1. What is a 504 Gateway Timeout error in WordPress?

A 504 Gateway Timeout error in WordPress occurs when the server takes too long to respond to a request. This can be caused by temporary server glitches, problems with the website’s database, or issues with plugins or themes.

2. How can I fix a WordPress White Screen of Death?

The WordPress White Screen of Death (WSOD) is when the website screen becomes white and unresponsive. To fix this, try deactivating all plugins or switching to a default WordPress theme. This can help identify and resolve compatibility issues.

3. What should I do if I encounter a 403 Forbidden error in WordPress?

A 403 Forbidden error in WordPress occurs when access to a page is denied. This can be caused by incorrect file permissions or a security WordPress plugin. To fix this, check and adjust file permissions or disable the security plugin causing the issue.

4. How can I troubleshoot failed WordPress updates?

If you encounter failed updates in WordPress, it can result in a blank screen, a failed update warning, or a PHP error message. To troubleshoot this, follow the instructions provided for manually updating WordPress or use a backup plugin to restore the previous version.

5. What steps should I take if I’m unable to upload images in WordPress?

If you’re unable to upload images in WordPress, it is usually caused by incorrect file permissions. To fix this, you need to change the permissions for the uploads folder and its files using an FTP client or a file manager provided by your web host.

6. Why am I getting a database connection error in WordPress?

A database connection error in WordPress occurs when the site cannot access its database. This can be caused by issues with the wp-config.php file or problems with the web host. To fix this, check the database credentials in the wp-config.php file and contact the web host if necessary.