Taking a Closer Look at Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them

While WordPress-powered websites are quite easily managed, there are some frustrating WordPress errors you can encounter. Do you see an error message on your screen? Don’t panic, the good news is that someone else before you has already encountered, reported, and solved the same error.  Keep reading to learn about the most common WordPress errors and ways to solve them. 

Before fixing any of the errors below, make sure to have a backup copy of your WordPress website. It’s helpful to research WordPress plugins for backing up your website. 

Syntax Error 

how to fix common wordpress errors

If you see the Syntax error, it means that you’ve made a mistake while adding code snippets into your WordPress. While creating your PHP structure, you might have accidentally missed a character or your code has incorrect syntax.  

How to Fix the Syntax Error?

Solution. The Syntax Error will tell you which file and approximate line in the code contains the mistake. An extra bracket or a missing comma can ruin the entire code. So, the only way you can solve the problem is by fixing the script. 

WordPress White Screen of Death 

how to fix common wordpress errors

The White Screen of Death is commonly known as an operating system error that causes the display of a blank screen with no information. PHP errors and database errors usually result in the white screen error.

How to Fix the White Screen of Death?

Solution 1. Most likely, either your theme or one of your plugins triggers the error. Follow these steps to fix it. 

1.     If the Administration Screens are available to you, try deactivating all your plugins and then reactivating them one by one. 

2.     If you can’t access your Administration Screens, use FTP to log in to your site. 

3.     To deactivate all plugins, navigate to the folder wp-content/plugins. Now, rename the “plugins” folder to “plugins.old”

4.     Next, log in to your administration plugins page /wp-admin/plugins.php to disable any misplaced plugins. 

5.     To reactivate plugins, rename “plugins.old” back to “plugins”.

Solution 2. If the plugin deactivation doesn’t work, your theme may be the one to trigger the error. This is especially likely if you’ve just activated a new theme or created a new site. Follow these steps to fix the error.

1.     If available, go to the Administration Screens and activate the default WordPress theme. 

2.     If Administration Screens are not available to you, log in to your site via FTP. 

3.     To deactivate the theme, locate the /wp-content/themes/ folder

4.     Now, rename this folder for the active theme. 

 (500) Internal Server Error 

how to fix common wordpress errors

Another common WordPress error is the Internal Server Error (sometimes called the 500 Internal Server Error). This error usually occurs when something isn’t working, and the server is unable to recognize the problem. Since the error doesn’t identify the issue, it’s your job to figure out what’s out of order. 

How to Fix the Internal Server Error? 

Solution 1. The first thing you should do if you see the Internal Server Error is checking for corrupt .htaccess file.  

1.     Login to your website via FTP or the file manager in your hosting account dashboard. 

2.     Locate the .htaccess file and rename it to htaccess.old

3.     Try loading your website to see if this solved the error. 

4.     If this worked, go to Settings > Permalinks in the WordPress administration. Make sure to click the save button without making any changes. 

Solution 2. Deactivate all of your plugins. You can do so in your Administration Screens or via FTP. 

Solution 3. Disable your current theme and switch to the default WordPress theme. 

Solution 4. Sometimes this WordPress error might be triggered if you exhaust your PHP memory limit. Try increasing the PHP limit

Solution 5. If none of these solved the internal server error, then it’s worth re-uploading core files. Don’t worry, re-uploading WP-admin and WP-includes from a fresh WP install won’t remove any of your existing information. 

Error Establishing Database Connection 

how to fix common wordpress errors

If you see the Error Establishing Database Connection message, there’s obviously a problem with the connection to your database, and this can happen due to several reasons. Keep in mind that solving this error can be quite challenging for beginners. 

How to Fix the Error Establishing Database Connection? 

Solution 1. In the majority of cases, this error pops up when a user has entered or modified their database credentials incorrectly. The first thing you should do is check that your database name, username, password, and host were entered correctly. 

Solution 2. If your configuration is correct, contact your web hosting provider to discuss the issue. Your database can shut down because it has met the quota or the server is simply down. Either way, your hosting provider can identify the problem and solve it.

Solution 3. If your configuration is correct and you’ve confirmed with your hosting provider, there is a chance that your website has been hacked. Use security tools to scan your website for potential threats. If you find out that your site has been hacked, immediately change your login info and restore your site from backup.  

 Connection Timed Out 

common wordpress errors

The Connection Timed Out error usually appears because of the overloaded shared server. Exhausted PHP memory limit, heavy plugins, and theme function errors can all contribute to the server overload. 

How to Fix the Connection Timed Out Error? 

Solution 1. Try deactivating all of your plugins and see if it solved the issue. If the error doesn’t appear anymore, reactivate your plugins one by one to find which plugin causes the problem. 

Solution 2. Switch back to the default WordPress theme to exclude any theme-related issues.

Solution 3. Increase your PHP memory limit. You can either do it in the wp-config.php or ask you hosting provider to increase your memory limit. 

Solution 4. If none of these worked, try increasing the maximum execution time in the php.ini file. Since it’s not a WordPress core file, you’ll need to contact your hosting provider and ask them to increase the maximum execution time. 


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