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5 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them

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wordpress errors

WordPress is indisputably the most popular Content Management System these days, preferred by both technical and not so technical users. While WordPress is extremely flexible and easy to use, WordPress errors are frustrating for everyone.

In this tutorial, we have listed five of the most common WordPress errors along with some solutions to fix them. Users with no technical background would especially find this guide useful. So whenever WordPress decides to throw an error message at your face, punch it back with the following solutions.

1. WordPress 404 Errors

wordpress errors

You spent a few hours working on your new blog post; you proofread the piece, you tweaked the title a few times, and everything is ready for publishing. But just to make sure everything is how you want it to be, you decide to preview it once more before the post goes live. You hit the preview button then *gasp* it’s a 404 page! *sigh…*

When this happens, the first thing to check is your post’s permalink—look if it matches the URL from your 404-page tab. In most cases, this issue arises if you changed that a few times by yourself and didn’t click “preview”.

If you are adding a post through a plugin, chances that you’ll encounter a 404 screen are big, which is one of WordPress’s most widely known problems.

To fix this issue, go to the “Settings” section of your WordPress admin panel navigation and visit the “Permalinks” page. Don’t change anything, just hit save and refresh your 404 page. Problem solved!

2. White Screen After Installing Theme

Every once in a while, websites need to change their look—whether it’s a quick design update or a complete redesign.

So let’s say you bought a shiny new theme, installed it on your website, and clicked activate. So far, everything looks fine. But then you view your site’s front page, and surprise, everything is white! What happened?

wordpress errors
The White Screen of Death

The first thing to check is to see if this is a theme problem. You can do that by changing back to your old theme or by trying any other theme with all of your plugins still activated. If in that case, your website functions properly, then we need to check if your new theme has any plugin conflict.

Do that by deactivating all plugins that you use, and check if that fixed the problem. If it’s working, then we need to find which plugin the new theme has a conflict with. Just activate one by one and check if the white screen appears after every activation.

When we find what’s not working properly, just find a substitute on the WordPress plugin repository.

3. White Screen After Installing Plugin

If you are a regular user who likes to experiment with different plugins and your site’s functionalities, then you have probably encountered white screens often.

This problem is common when you have two activated plugins both doing the same thing, you installed a plugin that is not maintained anymore, or the plugin is not compatible with your WordPress version.

For example, you decided you want to change your caching plugin because your website is now bigger. So you installed and activated a new one but didn’t deactivate the old one. Chances are, your admin panel works fine but your website will display a white screen. To solve this problem, just deactivate one of them.

The same solution works when you install an outdated plugin or an incompatible one.

When your website and your admin panel are both displaying a white screen, you’ll need to deactivate your plugins through an FTP client.

If you don’t know how to do this, it’s best to ask for help from expert developers who know how to solve this problem.

4. Error Establishing a Database Connection

This error is common in the WordPress world and can be confusing, especially if you are a beginner. The bad news is, there are many different reasons why this error happens. But generally, this is what happens when your site can’t make a connection to your database. Here are some things that can cause this error in connection:

File Change:

In case you did any file change earlier, the first thing to do is to check your wp-config.php file. Check if your database user, database name, host, and password all match. Sometimes this will resolve your problem, especially when you moved your website to another host or did any database change.

High Traffic:

It’s not uncommon for websites to sometimes go down because of traffic. That’s because whenever someone starts a website, nobody expects to have a lot of readers as soon as they have clicked the publish button.

But weird things can happen, especially if the article you published goes viral. The volume of traffic the article receives could cause errors, that’s why it’s advisable to always have a hosting plan slightly bigger than you need.

If you are not sure if this is the case for you, it’s best to contact your hosting provider customer support and check with them.

Read more: What to Do When Your Website is Broken

Website attacks

Website attacks are not uncommon today, even for newly created sites. Recently, some WordPress site owners encountered this problem which was coming from a large volume of traffic. But in this case, that traffic was from attacks.

The first, and best, line of defense is to have the best hosting possible for your WordPress website. You can find recommended ones at wordpress.org.

Also, you can prevent attacks by installing plugins for disabling XML-RPC Pingback which is used for DDoS attacks. Head over to the WordPress plugins repository and install “Disable XML-RPC Pingback” plugin. That’ll save you a lot of headaches.

5. Memory limits exceeded

wordpress errors

Working with WordPress is generally a smooth experience, especially with how good the media manager handles files. But one of the most common problems with media in WordPress is the upload limit, which depends on your WordPress version. Here are some ways you can resolve issues from different file types.

When you are uploading a larger video, audio file, bigger image or any other larger media file format, that limit can sometimes be a problem. Although the limit is larger in the latest WordPress versions, and will not be a problem for everyone, it is common with users who are not using one of the latest versions.

Resolving this issue is easy, and you have a few options if you are not using shared hosting:

Change 64M with a bigger number.

Adding these lines in your themes function.php file:

	@ini_set( 'upload_max_size' , '64M' );
	@ini_set( 'post_max_size', '64M');
	@ini_set( 'max_execution_time', '300' );

Editing a php.ini file in your installation root folder and adding these:

	upload_max_filesize = 64M
	post_max_size = 64M
	max_execution_time = 300

or editing your .htaccess file:

	php_value upload_max_filesize 64M
	php_value post_max_size 64M
	php_value max_execution_time 300
	php_value max_input_time 300

Conclusion

As you can see, working with WordPress can be a joy, but sometimes things don’t go quite so smoothly. So, it’s necessary to take all the right steps for your website as early as possible, to make it work.

Things like choosing a top hosting provider, adequate plugins and themes from the best developers, and general WordPress setup are a must. Apart from that, using solutions from this article will help you avoid some of these problems, but as we all know, things are not always great.

So use these solutions a guide, and apply them the right way. If you are still having trouble solving your problems, or you are not sure what to do, it’s best to talk and seek help from professionals.

Fortunately, over at Codementor, you can find expert developers that are more than happy to help you.

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Author’s Bio

wordpress errorsMisel Tekinder is a Front-end/WordPress theme developer specializing in development of custom, responsive user interfaces with the focus on performance and usability.




Questions about this tutorial?  Get Live 1:1 help from WordPress experts!
Kelvin Çobanaj
Kelvin Çobanaj
5.0
Web & Mobile Engineer
Web & Mobile Software Engineer. Currently doing private consulting. Used to work for a Y-Combinator backed company at age of 15.
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RajhaRajesuwari S
RajhaRajesuwari S
5.0
Full Stack PHP /Angular js web developer
I am an experienced full stack developer 11 years in the field with consistent knowledge in developing web portals with expertise in all opensource...
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