Our support team has thousands of chat conversations per month and help our customers every day to report errors and problems with their WordPress websites. In this article, we show you step by step how to fix four of the most common WordPress errors.
No other Content Management System (CMS) is as easy to use as WordPress: themes and plugins can be installed and managed with just a few clicks, without the need for extensive technical knowledge. With a Market share of over 30 per cent has WordPress virtually become the operating system of the Internet.
Due to the easy handling, the active community and the various possibilities to individualize yours sites WordPress perfect for today's web. All the more frustration when your WordPress is suddenly causing problems. But no need to panic! Today I'm going to show you how to make four typical WordPress -solves errors quickly, easily and independently.
Our tips for solving typical WordPress errors
In order to provide you with the best possible support for troubleshooting and to share the knowledge gained from our years of support experience, I will explain the possible causes and the corresponding solutions for four typical WordPress problems today.
The "White Screen of Death" (WSOD) is an analogy to the Blue Screen of Death, which is displayed in Windows in case of a system crash. As the name already says, with the WSOD the Website, in the Frontend or Backend (wp-admin), remains simply white - without error message or further information.
Possible causes and solutions for White Screen of Death
Cause 1: Incompatible Pugins or Themes
The error is very often caused by an erroneous combination of plugins or themes, for example:
- A Plugin is not with another Plugin or compatible with the active Themeone.
- One Plugin/Theme was uploaded twice via S/FTP in different versions.
- On Plugin/Theme is not usable with the set PHP version.
Through one of these mistakes, he lapses WordPress into a state of shock and provokes the White Screen of Death.
Problem analysis: Are yours plugins and themes incompatible?
The first approach is to reverse its recent changes. Think about the changes you've made. Did you perhaps install a new Pluginone or Themechange one? Also updates from plugins and themes can feel to this misbehavior.
First you should determine whether the error occurs on all or only on certain sites ones. For example, is only your contact page affected? If you have just included a contact form on that page, it is likely that the contact formPlugin is responsible for the WSOD.
Does the White Screen of Death appear on all URLs in the entire frontend? Then it can do this Themeitself or a Plugin which is integrated on all sites of them - for example a widget in the footer, a slider in the header or a Plugin for navigation.
If it stays white even when calling the backend (yoursite.com/wp-admin), it is most likely this Themeor a misconfiguration of the webserver.
Check your debugging log!
Often a look into the error.log of your server or the debugging log WordPress itself (WP_DEBUG) helps. You can activate this by using the wp-config.php of your WP installation and before /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ following lines insert:
If your installation already has a 'WP_DEBUG' entry, but this is set to false you can simply set this value to true and only need to place the following line underneath it:
Then, when you return to your problem page, you will see the corresponding reasons for errors instead of the white site . The errors that start with Fatal or Parse Error are usually those that cause the White Screen of Death.
By the way: At RAIDBOXES you can easily turn on the debugging log with one click in your BOX settings. You can get the output of the debugging log under the link mentioned in your settings.
Now you can see exactly which file creates an error at which position and why it occurs. For illustration I have an example for you in my luggage. We see the following information here in the parse error:
So the error occurs:
- In the file /wp-content/Plugins/contact-form-7/wp-contact-form-7.php
- In line 12
- Apparently there is an unexpected sign, in this case a "
For incompatible plugins & themes there are the following solutions:
Solution 1: If you can, restore a backup. This will simply restore your WordPress installation to the state before the error occurred.
Solution 2If you do not have a backup, you have no choice but to use S/FTP to delete the folder of the suspicious plugins or themes rename it. This will disable it. In our example it would be the folder of the plugins "Contact Form 7."
If you are not sure which Pluginone is causing the error, try the following: Rename all Plugin/Themefolders one by one. If the error disappears after renaming a folder, you have the culprit identified. As a RAIDBOXES customer, you can also simply use the plugin and theme management in the RB dashboard for deactivation.
Tip: Often the problem is simply a renamed Themefolder, so you should check it via S/FTP for the correct spelling!
Cause 2: Server error
1) Problem: Not enough PHP memory limit
The typical error message in the error.log is
"Fatal error: Allowed memory size of XXXX bytes exhausted (tried to allocate XXXX bytes) in..."
Furthermore, there may be a white site one on which the error message Internal Server Error appears.
What's happening here is this:
A PHP task consumes more memory than the value set by the hoster allows.
Solution: In this case, it is usually sufficient to add the following line to wp-config.php
The '256M' stands for the amount of RAM to be used in MB. For example, '512M' for 512MB would also be conceivable.
However, you should keep in mind that too high a value can cause your site system to crash completely. Therefore, you should only set your PHP memory limit if you have plan the appropriate amount of memory available. If you are plan low on RAM, you should consider plan upgrading your hoster.
2) Problem: Max execution time exceeded
When installing larger WordPress -Themes or as Pluginswell as larger imports or exports of data, the following error may occur, which is usually displayed in the backend:
Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time of XX Exceeded in XXX
This means: The time a PHP script is allowed to run has been exceeded. This often happens when importing many products into WooCommerceor exporting order data.
Solution: Increase the max_execution_time. A note in advance: Normally, the runtime specified by the hoster is sufficient. To avoid unnecessarily long loading times and problems, the Max Execution Time should only be increased in isolated cases (e.g. for a large file upload) and then lowered again.
At RAIDBOXES you can set the max_execution time for the frontend and the backend separately via the BOX settings:
With other hosters, it is often sufficient to edit the .htaccess via S/FTP and add the line php_value max_execution_time 300 to be inserted. Here the 300 stands for the maximum number of seconds a script may run. In this case, five minutes.
At the latest since the Basic data protection regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, an SSL certificate should be mandatory for you. It is not for nothing that most browsers now give an alert notice off, if a web page not is delivered encrypted. Which makes it all the more annoying when your WordPress site comes to SSL errors.
Possible causes and solutions for SSL problems
Cause 1: Certificate no longer up to date
At the latest with the free certificates from Let's Encrypt this mistake should be a thing of the past. However, there are certain types of certificates that have a term. If it has expired, an SSL error may occur.
SolutionThe easiest way is to integrate a SSL certificate without runtime, which some hosters as well as RAIDBOXES deliver free of charge and automatically renew If this service is not offered by your hoster, you will have to manually request a certificate renewal. The best way to do this is to create an appointment reminder and contact the provider of your certificate in time to renew it.
Cause 2: Domain not yet entered on certificate
When an SSL certificate is issued, you specify the domains to which this certificate should apply. A possible entry could be http://domain.de. If a redirection from http://www.domain.de or set up afterwards, this domain does not have SSL and an error is displayed.
SolutionThe new domain must be added to the SSL certificate and then renewed. As this is a rather laborious and complicated process, you should contact your hosting provider for this.
It is RAIDBOXES sufficient to turn SSL off and on again after adding the additional domains in the BOX settings.
Cause 3: Mixed Content Error
If set up in WordPress SSL, the http:// address in the database must be replaced by https:// by default. This is RAIDBOXES done automatically when SSL is set up. In about 5-10 percent of the cases it can still happen that there are resources that are loaded via HTTP. This can be the case with hardcoded images or CSS/JS files, for example. In Chrome, the URL is then grey and not green.
Problem analysis and solution:
First you have to check if you actually have mixed content errors on yourssite .
- Press F12 on your website (on the MAC CMD+F12) and the developer console will open. Fields with "Mixed Content" appear at the bottom of the "Console" with a yellow background:
- Now make a backup of your site . You can do this by RAIDBOXES simply creating a backup in your dashboard BOX backups.
- Install the Plugin Better Search Replace. After activation you will find it Pluginunder "Tools" -> "Better Search Replace".
In the "Search for" field, enter: http://
and in "Replace with": https://
Then you select all tables in the table field and at the bottom of "Test run?" there should be a check mark.
Now click on "Start search/replace" at the very bottom
- When the test run has found some tables, you can uncheck the "Test run?" box and start the real run.
- After the real run is finished, check again on the site , if you still have mixed content errors (see step 1).
- If mixed content errors still occur, check the source code to see where the resources are still included with "http" instead of "https" and replace them accordingly.
A 504 gateway time-out error can occur quite often if you plugins have a variety of, depending on the external services you are communicating with. The error message means that a PHP process takes longer than 30 seconds.
As a website owner, the error is often directly related to a problem on the server. However, this is not always the case.
Possible causes and solutions for 504 gateway time-out
A 504 Gateway Time-Out error occurs when a server acting as a gateway, i.e. the server connecting to another server, cannot reach this other server in a specified time.
This error can be caused by a variety of elements involved. It could be your local network, your browser, your ISP (Internet Service Provider), your web server, or even a third-partyPlugin or Theme.
Cause 1: Local problem
Browser settings changed, a proxy activated, your internet provider has problems, your local DNS cache is outdated and many other possibilities can cause this error.
Solution: Test the URL on the website http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/. If you receive the message that the website is online ("YourUrl.com" is UP and reachable), there is a local problem.
But if the result of the test is "DeineUrl.de" is DOWN, then this indicates a problem with your DNS, your web server or a WordPress -Plugin orTheme
Cause 2: DNS problems
The DNS (Domain Name System) is responsible for converting your URL (such as raidboxes.io) into an IP (e.g. 184.108.40.206).
With a new registration or a domain-migration it can take some time until all computers, DNS servers and providers have recognized the adjustment. Under certain circumstances this can take up to 24 hours.
Solution: First you should check for a local problem. Empty your DNA cache for that:
To clear your DNS cache on your device, first open your command line as follows
- Windows: Press [Win key + R], there cmd enter and press Enter
- Mac: Start the terminal via the dock on Programmes > Utilities > Terminal
Then you enter the following:
- Windows: ipconfig /flushdns
- Mac: dscacheutil -flushcache
After that, your local DNS cache is empty and you can try again.
If the error persists, see what other servers in the world have to say about it. To do this go to www.whatsmydns.net and enter the URL in the search line (Note: Please make sure that "A" is selected in the second selection field so that only the A-record is checked. This is responsible for the correct resolution of the domain name to the IP address. Then start the scan!
If the DNS record is up to date on all servers, you should see a green tick everywhere and the same IP. This IP should in most cases point to the IP of your server (exception: if a CDN is upstream).
If errors are displayed in the form of a red "X", this server does not yet have the correct entry. If there are different IPs, the server still has the old entry and has not yet updated to the new one. The only way to do this is to wait and see.
Cause 3: Server problem (e.g. performance or hosters)
Visitor-intensive websites and eCommerce sites like shops that are WooCommercerunning generate a lot of requests to the server, which cannot be cached due to their content and thus lead to a high server load - up to the collapse of the server.
Solution: If the performance of your hosting package is not sufficient for your website, you may need to upgrade it. Alternatively, it is often helpful to switch to another hosting company whose server architecture offers better performance. You are welcome to use your WordPress site one free of charge Test migration to RAIDBOXES ...to be carried out. This will not disturb your live-site in their operation, because you get a completely own environment with its own URL, which is not indexed by search engines. In over 80 percent of the cases there is a significant performance increase and a reduction of the 504 errors to 0.
Cause 4: Traffic spam, DDOS attacks, bot attacks
DDOS attacks and SPAM traffic can crash yourssite , as they generate so many (uncached) calls that your server crashes.
Solution: To filter such attacks, a CDN like Cloudflarewhich filters access to your website and blocks spam bots and attacks. In very persistent cases, you can block the IP addresses of the attackers from accessing your website.
With RAIDBOXES you can do this easily via your BOX settings:
Cause 5: Problems with plugins and themes
In individual cases, very long requests from plugins or Themesto 504 Gateway Time-Out errors may occur. If you have just plugin updated on theme or try to disable this first.
With RAIDBOXES you can do this via your plugin/theme-settings of your BOX even if you can't get into your WordPress backend anymore.
If you don't have access to your WordPress backend on other hosters, you can connect via S/FTP and store your data in the folder ../wp-content/Themes , ../wp-content/Plugins search the corresponding Theme/Plugin and rename the folder. This automatically deactivates the corresponding item.
If you're not sure which Pluginor Theme causing the problem, first switch to a standardTheme like twentyseventeen.
If this solves the problem, it's most likely due to the Theme or at a connection of theme and plugins. To do this, contact the manufacturer of the Themes. If not, disable all plugins and activate them again little by little until you have identified the corresponding "problemPlugin".
Then try to use this Plugin to reinstall. If that doesn't help either, contact the Plugin-manufacturer.
The "Establishing a Database Connection" error is a super-GAU among the WordPress errors. The error message means that your server no longer has access to the database or can no longer reach it.
Your WordPress database stores almost all the information that your site needs to run correctly. Not only the content of your sites and your posts, but also the login information of your users and plugin their theme settings are stored in the database.
Only images, Plugin- and Theme-files and WordPress -core files are not stored in the database, but in the file system of your website, which you can reach e.g. via S/FTP.
Possible causes and solutions for Error Establishing a Database Connection
If yours remains site white and only the error message "Error Establishing a Database Connection" appears, your site database cannot connect to your database or the necessary information is missing or incorrect. In most cases you will not be able to log into the WordPress backend in this case.
Cause 1: Incorrect data in WP-Config
Most of the time it is simply wrong information about the database connection that causes the error. This error often occurs after you have moved migration to a new server or hoster and is quite easy to fix:
Solution: For all system relevant errors (and this one in particular!), you should make a backup of yours site before. RAIDBOXES customers simply create a manual backup in their BOX backups. At other hosters, you may need to back up the entire site file or at least the files you change locally on your system.
Now you get the information needed to connect to the database. These are:
- Database name (DB_NAME)
- MySQL user name (DB_USER)
- MySQL user password (DB_PASSWORD)
- MySQL Hostname (DB_HOST) [This is the server].
- Table prefix ($table_prefix) [mostly 'wp_']
Usually you can find this information in your hoster's dashboard. Usually not all information is needed. For example, you only RAIDBOXES need the table prefix, because the remaining entries are read and controlled automatically.
If you have the necessary information, download the "wp-config.php" from the root directory of your WordPress installation via S/FTP, make a local copy of it as a backup and edit the original with e.g. notepad++.
There you will find the following lines (note: $table_prefix will not be included in all cases):
You compare this information with the information you have just obtained.
Save these changes and reload the file into the root directory of your server (overwrite the original file, you have a local backup).
If the information is now correct, you should be able to use your website normally again.
Cause 2: Faulty database
An error may have crept into your database.
Solution: WordPress can possibly repair the database automatically. To do this, call DEINEURL.de/wp-admin If you see here that your database can be repaired, add "/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */" the following line in the WP-Config:
Then call DEINEURL.de/wp-admin/maint/repair.php.
If this fixes your problems, don't forget to remove the line from wp-config.php.
Cause 3: Problems with your hoster
Under certain circumstances, the SQL server is down and not available. If necessary, a maximum with regard to database size is also reached. Or the resources of your hosting provider are exhausted.
Unfortunately, this is often the case with SharedHosting . There you share a server with many other websites, and if one site of them consumes a lot of resources, this is of course at the expense of your site . For this reason, we always recommend that you use a specially WordPress adapted High-performance hostingto avoid such overloads.
SolutionContact your hosting provider or check their statussite (if any) to see if there are currently problems with the server. If necessary, check the CPU load of the provider and if it is too high, switch to another server. If this does not help, you should consider switching to another hosting provider.
Everyone WordPress -user knows the touch of panic when you suddenly sit in front of a white screen or do not get into the WordPress -Backend can log in. The important thing is to keep a cool head, get to the bottom of the cause systematically and then work through the appropriate steps to solve the problem. I hope that this article will help you in the future to analyze and fix these typical WordPress -error can support.
What WordPress -problem have you had to deal with most so far? Leave me your feedback in the comments.