5 Common WordPress Errors and How to Solve Them

Whether you are a WordPress developer with experience in coding or just a user who gets things done by installing themes and plugins, you are likely to come across errors that are common to most WordPress websites.

Often such errors are frustrating and push you to the extreme edge of patience. But all these errors are common and happen with other users as well. When you face such errors and just grope over the web for a similar query in forums and ideal solution for the problem, you end up leaving the problem where it started from.

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of trying to find your queries and answers across web resources, you can find all these major issues and their respective solutions just in one place? Just to do this only we are here explaining 5 most common WordPress errors and solutions to fix them:

1. Lost Admin Password and Not Getting Email

When you have lost your WordPress admin password you try to retrieve it through email and that’s normal. But what happens when such retrieval process fails to leave you completely clueless? Well, there two definite ways to solve the problem.

1.1. Retrieve through phpMyAdmin

  • Login to your cPanel dashboard and then click on phpMyAdmin under the Databases.
  • Now select the database with your username.
  • Now within the database go to wp_users and look for your username.
  • Click on the Edit button to change the password.
  • Now, click on the drop-down menu under the Function, and then select MD5.
  • Now, click on the Go button and you are done.

1.2. Via FTP account

To begin with login to your FTP account and then go to wp-content/themes/(your active theme)/ and download the entire functions.php file. Now open the functions.php and add this below mentioned code just after the first <?php:

wp_set_password('YourNewPassword', 1);

Now all you need to do is to replace the old password with a new one. When you completed the editing you need to upload the newly edited functions.php file directly to your FTP. As soon as you have ensured a secure login remove the code and upload the same with FTP.

2. 500 internal server error

500 Internal Server Error is the most common server error that causes regular pain to many WordPress websites. While it is one of the most annoying error, solving it requires a few cautious steps. First of all check with the hosting service of your company. Here we explain some solutions to this common problem.

2.1. Deactivate and Reactivate Plugins

Some plugins can interfere with WordPress website performance. Sometimes two plugins working for a similar purpose can interfere with each other and cause server side errors. To solve this deactivate the recent plugins and then make them active one by one. While doing this you can easily know about the culprit plugin responsible for the error.

2.2. Solving the problem of PHP Memory Limit

Internal server errors are also caused by more consumption of memory by some plugins. When you are using shared hosting this may lead to a resource crunch. You can request your hosting provider for increased space. Otherwise, a few simple steps can help you increasing memory space. Here are the steps.

  • First of all, prepare a blank text file called php.ini
  • Now copy and paste this code on this blank text file: memory_limit = 64M
  • Now save and upload the file right into your WordPress folder using FTP or your file manager.

See the How to Increase WordPress Memory Limit article for various ways of increasing memory in WordPress.

2.3. .htaccess file

Internal server errors are also caused by a crucial file called .htaccess file. Whether this file has been corrupted you need to check and fix. Login to cPanel and move inside the File Manager and there inside the root folder where all your website files are located and here you will find .htaccess file.

Right-click on this file and rename it. Now download this renamed file. Now with the help of notepad create a text file in your system and save the file with an extension .htaccess. Now upload this new file again to the root folder. Now see if the website is reloading perfectly in the previous tab. In most cases, this trick will work.

If the above trick does not work go to the permalink settings of WordPress dashboard. Here you should save the permalink settings here as you have just uploaded a new file. Now check reloading your website once again.

2.4. Cache Cleaner

The uncleared cache also contributes to the server errors. You should use a cache cleaner to address this problem.

3. White Screen of Death

Facing the blank white screen is a common issue faced by WordPress users worldwide. To find the issue causing this enable the debug mode by bringing some changes in code in the wp-config.php file. Here below we provide the codes to upload.

define('WP_DEBUG', true); //enter debug mode
define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true); //debug to a debug. log file located in wp-content
define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false); //don’t display any debug info on the actual screen

You can also try to solve the problem by taking the website to the previous condition before the crash. If the problem is happening after a theme or plugin has been activated, deactivate that theme or plugin and see if the problem has been solved.

4. WordPress syntax error

Errors in code syntax can cause your website to load and show properly. WordPress syntax error is a common problem which happens when one adds code snippets through the functions.php.

To prevent such things from happening do not paste code snippets directly into the live website. Instead, taste them in a development environment. Your browser only will tell you the location of the code line with such parsing error. All you need to do is to edit the line of code or delete the added code snippet. When it’s done reload save and reload the web site.

5. Error establishing database connection

It is a common issue when we see the connection with the database gets broken. Some of the common causes of this problem include the following.

  • Problem caused by your hosting server
  • wp-config.php file errors
  • The website has been hacked

First, check with the hosting provider to know whether there is any issue with the server or database. If all are ok with hosting you need to concentrate on the next possible reason.

Now go to your wp-config.php file using the file manager or FTP. Check whether the name, host, username and password of the database are correct. If you see any change correct it immediately. If you do not have PHP knowledge get it done by someone who knows.

Lastly to check whether it has been hacked or not, use a security plugin or tool to scan the site. Finding any irregularity you should change the login details and restore the website from backup.

The bottom line

Are these all? No, certainly there are several other issues that need equal attention. But the above-mentioned ones are critical and often more baffling than other common problems. Can you enlighten us about some grave WordPress issues? Please share with us.

Author bio

Keval Padia is a co-founder of Nimblechapps, a prominent iOS app development services provider company based in India. He follows different tech blogs and current updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.

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  1. Ken Dreger on May 2, 2017

    Great info, wish I would of found this last week! Spent 5 days with Startlogic trying to resolve a issue that they could not figure out so I have to reload the entire web site. Only good thing that came out of it was I found your Plugin for Newsletters! This is great and our Homeowners Assn will be happy with it. Thank you for your efforts.

    • Antonie Potgieter on May 26, 2017

      You’re very welcome, I’m glad that you found the post useful and that you four our WordPress Newsletter plugin in the process. Enjoy and thanks for commenting!


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