If your blog is throwing a 403 error, a maintenance notice or even a blank white screen, don’t panic. These are just a few of the most common WordPress issues reported to us on a daily basis, all of which with a little know-how can quickly and easily be fixed.

In this post, I share quick fixes you can implement to get your site up and running after experiencing one of these common WordPress errors.

An ‘Internal Server Error’

Internal Server Error

The Problem:

By far the most common error thrown to WordPress users is the ‘Internal Server Error.’ If you are seeing this error, it’s a result of a misconfiguration between your site and the server it’s hosted on. Unfortunately, this error is not very explanatory and involves some digging to unearth the root cause.

The Fix:

Solution 1

The most likely culprit is corrupt .htaccess files. When a new plugin is installed many edit, add and sometime even delete vital characters or information from this file. For example we often see that a plugin or theme install has added an additional ‘s’ to the .htaccess.

Locate your .htaccess file and try to identify anything unusual, or simply replace your .htaccess file with a fresh copy. Replacing the corrupt file will not make any other changes to your site.

Solution 2

If your site still isn’t back at this point, install WordPress in another directory and copy across your admin and includes folder.

 

An ‘Error establishing a database connection’ Error

The Problem:

Database Connection Error

An ‘Error establishing a database connection’ error is caused by a misconfigured database. Often, this error occurs immediately after you’ve installed the app or after a change has been made to a database. Such changes, cause key values within the wp-config.php file to be thrown out of sync with the values in the newly created database.

The Fix:

Head to your public_html folder and open your wp-config.php file. Within this file you should see four very important values:

DB_NAME

DB_USER

DB_PASS

DB_HOST

Ensure these values correspond with the values in the newly created database. If they don’t, change the values within this file to ensure they do.

 

 A ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’ Notification

The Problem:

Unavailable for Maintenance

A ‘Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’ notification is caused when a WordPress update (of any kind) times out before deleting the .maintenance file it placed in your website’s root/home folder.

The Fix:

Manually delete the .maintenance file from within your root/ home folder.

 

Unable to Reset your WordPress Password

The Problem:

At no fault of your own WordPress’s ‘Forget Password’ feature is not working.

The Fix:

Solution 1

  1. Log in to phpmyadmin, select the database and find the table wp_users. (please keep in mind that the table may have a different prefix in some cases.)
  2. Find and open the _users table. Listed you will see all the admin users who have access to your site. Once you locate your username, click the edit button on the right. Here you will be able to reset your username and password. After changing your password you will be presented with a drop down menu, from within that menu, select MD 5.

 

A ‘Warning: Cannot modify header…’ Error

The Problem:

A ‘Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (…)’ error is present when you try to visit your site.

The Fix:

In your home directory, there is a wp-config.php file. Open this file and delete the white space at the beginning and end of the file.

 

I Can’t Delete a WordPress Plugin

The Problem:

You want to delete, uninstall or deactivate a plugin, but can’t.

The Fix:

To permanently delete a stubborn plugin visit your wp-content > plugins folder. Here you will see folders of all the plugins you have installed. Locate the folder of the troublesome plugin and simply delete it.

 

My WordPress Dashboard Looks Horrible

The Problem:

You’ve logged in to wp-admin and your dashboard looks strange- a bit jumbled up and there is no styling. This unpredictable behaviour is usually caused by either a caching issue, a troublesome plugin or because an out dated version of WordPress is being used.

The Fix:

 

Solution 1:

The first thing you need to do is check the Proxy and Firewall of the device you’re using. To clear your cache on a desktop hit Ctrl+ F5. On iPhone Settings > Safari > Clear history and Website Data. If the problem persist attempt to view your dashboard using another device.

Solution 2:

If you recently installed a new plugin or tried a different theme, disable them both. If your dashboard returns, immediately run any overdue WordPress version updates and enable your plugin/ theme again. If you have no luck, the best option is to choose an alternative plugin/theme.

 

My WordPress Site Has Been Hacked, Help!

The Problem:

Your site has been hacked. The most accessible way in for a hacker and therefore the most cause of a hacked site is default usernames, out of date WordPress versions and out of date plugins.

The Fix:

Head over to our hugely popular post that covers how to fix and protect a hacked WordPress site in detail.

 

I’m Getting Lots of Spam

The Problem:

You’re receiving lots of spam comments and emails.

The Fix:

 

Solution 1:

Add the Honeypot plugin to your site. This is a plugin that adds a hidden field at the end of the form. Regular users will never see the field, however bots will see and complete the field. By completing the field bots are automatically detected and are bounced away from the registration process.

Solution 2:

Avoid putting your email address in plain format (me@mydomain.com) on your home page. This makes it very easy for spammers to detect the mail and start sending messages to it. Instead opt to display your email address in one of the following formats: me (at) mydomain.com or me(@)mydomain.com.

 

The White Screen of DEATH

The Problem:

The most dreaded and hated WordPress error of all time is the white screen of death. It’s a white screen with no information that usually stops devices from working altogether.

The Fix:

Solution 1:

Dive into your wp-content/plugins folder and rename the plugins and theme folders. Also switch your theme back to a default theme – Twenty-Fifteen for example. If this fixes the issue, you will need to select a new theme for your site or contact the themes developer to report the error and push for a fix.

Solution 2:

Another popular cause is a corrupt .htaccess file. Replace your current /htaccess file with the default WordPress file.

Solution 3:

There is one other very peculiar case that may explain a white screen. If you have both an index.php file and an empty index.html file, the .html file often has priority causing an empty file to be opened first preventing access to anything else. In this case, you can delete the index.html file and the site should be running fine.

 

That’s all for now. If my suggestions don’t get your site back on track, please do not hesitate to directly contact our support team. We’re here around the clock to help resolve any issues you may have.