WordPress is one of the best ways to start a website. Most people can click a few buttons and get a site set up in around five minutes.
The ease of setup has made WordPress the most popular platform to host websites. Reports show that it now powers 35% of all sites on the internet.
While WordPress is a great platform to run your site on, you’ll need to do some work to keep things running smoothly.
Below are five common WordPress issues that you’ll encounter running your website.
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1. White Screen of Death
If you’ve ever browsed your website and saw a white screen, you’ve seen the WordPress white screen of death. This problem happens when a theme or plugin that you use doesn’t play nice with the rest of WordPress.
You’ll need to run a few experiments to fix these issues. You can start by disabling the themes and plugins you’re currently using.
The chances are that you won’t be able to browse your WordPress administration section to do this. You’ll need to use an FTP client to access your site.
You can disable your current themes and plugins by renaming the folders. Go back to your website to see if it’s live.
If you don’t have a white screen anymore, you know third-party code is the issue. Start renaming the folders back to the original file name one by one. You’ll find the problem folder by looking at your site after you re-enable each plugin.
2. Error Establishing Database Connection
WordPress uses a MySQL database to store information about your website. Every time your site loads, it needs to connect to this database to show your visitor the page. If WordPress can’t find this database, you’ll get an error establishing database connection message.
The first place to look when you get this message is your wp-config.php file. You can find this file in the root WordPress folder when you browse your site files using FTP.
Double-check your MySQL username and password in this section. You may need to change these if you have the wrong login credentials.
The next reason for a database error is corruption. To check this, you’ll need to open your wp-config.php file again.
Add the following line to your file: define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);
Once you add the line, visit the following URL: http://mysite.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php
This file will run a repair on your database. If things still aren’t working, your database host might be down. If this is the case, get in touch with your hosting company so they can resolve the database issues.
3. Website Redirect Issues
Are your visitors getting redirected to spam websites when they visit your web pages? If so, you might have a malware issue on your site.
Redirection problems happen when a security issue is exploited in WordPress or third-party themes and plugins. These exploits replace your WordPress files with ones that redirect your users.
The first step to solve this issue is to copy a fresh install of WordPress with FTP. These files will overwrite the malicious files on your server.
Unfortunately, this likely won’t fix the security hole. At the bare minimum, you need to make sure that all your themes and plugins are up to date.
Once you update everything, you need to install a security plugin on your server. These plugins will scan all your WordPress files to look for things that shouldn’t be there. If the security plugin finds something suspicious, it will quarantine the file and replace it with the original version.
4. Stuck in Maintenance Mode
WordPress doesn’t just update files when you tell it to run an update. You never know what will happen when you start modifying things. There is a special mode your site goes in for WordPress maintenance.
The problem is, updates don’t always finish. You can run out of disc space, lose connection to an update server, and several other things. When this happens, the update pauses so that WordPress doesn’t keep using resources trying to update.
When the update is paused, WordPress doesn’t reach the part of the update process where it takes the site out of maintenance mode. You have to do this yourself.
Load up your website files in your favorite FTP browser. In the root WordPress folder, you’ll find a maintenance file. Once you delete it, WordPress will come out of maintenance mode.
5. Internal Server Error
An internal server error is one of the issues with WordPress that doesn’t typically have anything to do with WordPress itself. It happens when you don’t have a properly configured server.
The first place to check is your .htaccess file. This file helps your web server understand how you want your page links to appear in the visitor’s browser.
Open this file in your FTP program and delete everything in there. If everything is fixed, you can then go back to your permalinks section in WordPress to restore your page structure.
This problem can also happen if your file permissions are incorrect. Incorrect file permissions occur when files get copied to your WordPress installation with the wrong user account or if another plugin sets the wrong permissions.
You’ll need to open your FTP program and modify the permissions there. Select the folders and files in your folder, right-click, and click on change permissions. You’ll need to set folders to 755 and files to 644.
Learn About All the Common WordPress Issues Out There
Don’t think that the WordPress issues above are the only ones that you’ll have to deal with on your site. WordPress is a big platform and is prone to breaking when things get updated. Learn about the other WordPress problems out there, so you’re ready for when problems occur.
Once you have an idea about how to handle issues with WordPress, you can feel more confident about exploring its marketing tools. Read our blog to learn how to optimize your website to start bringing in more business.