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WordPress 101: Troubleshooting WordPress Issues

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WordPress 101 - Troubleshooting WordPress IssuesWordPress is considered a great help to build your dream website. But even the most experienced users run into some typical WordPress problems that make them scratch their heads. If you’re a novice, coping with these topics can be pretty overwhelming. WordPress errors can sound complicated and overly technical. Often, you will not know where to start troubleshooting WordPress issues.

WordPress errors on your blog are no fun. Although others can trigger only slight disruptions, some can cause significant problems. Downtime, faulty upgrades and updates, and missing services can prohibit visitors from visiting or using your site. That is detrimental to your reputation, affects user experience,not get leads on your websiteand ultimately reduces your profits.

It will be almost difficult to know every detail of any potential WordPress mistake inside and out. However, knowing some of the most popular WordPress problems users face will help you plan and troubleshoot WordPress issues as you encounter them.

Common WordPress Issues You Can Encounter And How To Troubleshoot Them

1. Connection Timed Out

If you see “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT”on your WordPress website, it typically means that your website is attempting to do more than it can do all at once.  It is quite popular if your site is on shared hosting.  Some of the key triggers of this issue are resource-hungry plugins, problems with the theme functionality, and PHP memory depletion.

Way To Troubleshoot:

You will start troubleshooting this problem by disabling your plugins one by one. Then after each deactivation, attempt to enter your website. You will then notice one of your plugins is causing an error. Another potential solution is by growing the memory limitations in PHP and WordPress. If none of this works, it’s a smart idea to contact your hosting company to see if it helps.

2. Error Establishing A Database Connection

Error in establishing a database connection issue means that your site cannot attach to your database. That will happen when you have mistakenly updated or inserted your database information, such as your host database,the database’s username, or folder password.

Way To Troubleshoot:

To fix this common WordPress issue, you should first see if you get the same error on your website’s front and back end (WP-admin).

If you get another error on your website’sWP-admin list, such as “One or more database tables are inaccessible.”,this means thatthe database will need to be repaired. You can also check if your plugin or themes are not corrupted. Alternatively, you can also check if your database connection credentials are okay. WordPress files get corrupted for many reasons. For whatever reason it may be, you can also opt to restore the native WordPress files.

 3.    Syntax Error

If a WordPress parse or syntax error happens, it is because you apply snippets of text to your WordPress data. The code may have the wrong encoding, or you may have skipped a character or two when transferring it over.

Typically, you can see an error like the one below:

Parse error- syntax error, unexpected send in /public_html/site1/wp-content/themes/my-theme/functions.php on line 549

 Way To Troubleshoot:

To solve this prevalent WordPress problem, take a look at this beginner’s guide on how to paste snippets from the web to WordPress. That is to ensure that you won’t make any mistakes.

Once you know how to copy and paste excerpts correctly in WordPress, you can resolve the issue. You’ll need to change the code that caused it to correct a syntax mistake. That might feel overwhelming, but it’s easy to repair it don’t stress about it. If you’ve applied a new code snippet to your WordPress dashboard area, chances are you’re locked out of your web. With this in mind, you will need to use FTP to access your site files.

 4.    404 Error

One of the reasons you might see a WordPress 404 error when you view a post or page on your website is that the permalink settings need to be reconfigured.

Another explanation for this mistake could be if you unintentionally removed your.htaccess file or if an error happened in your rewrite rules.

Way To Troubleshoot:

You will need to patch the WordPress Permalink settings to address a 404 Error. You can do this by going to Settings>Permalinks in your dashboard area and simply pressing the Save Changes icon. That flushes your site’s rewrite rules and changes your permalink settings. Typically this is going to fix the 404 error.

5.    Stuck In Maintenance Mode

Often when you make improvements to your website, you can see a message that your site is under planned maintenance.

WordPress can get trapped in maintenance mode during a planned WordPress upgrade or when you update a lot of plugins or themes. If WordPress is disrupted during this process, there is no risk that your domain will be out of maintenance, resulting in your site being locked and rendered inaccessible.

Way To Troubleshoot:

WordPress automatically places the site in repair mode during upgrades so that users cannot see a disabled version of your website. But when you and your visitors are trapped in repair mode, you won’t be able to use it anyway. To troubleshoot this WordPress issue, you’ll need to connect to your server via FTP and delete that file.Once you get rid of that file, your site should function as is and be normal again. Alternatively, you can also clear the cache on your WordPress site to quickly fix this issue.

6.    Not Uploading Images

When you’re working on your website, you can often find that you can’t add photos to the media library correctly. Don’t panic, as it is a pretty popular WordPress issue.  If WordPress is not uploading images correctly, this is usually due to improper file permissions. If this happen, you will usually see the following error message:

“Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2019/04. Is its parent directory writable by the server?”

 Way To Troubleshoot:

To address WordPress’s issue of not uploading photos, you would need to link to your site via FTP first. Then go to your/wp-content/folder. Within this folder, you can see the upload folder where all of your files, including images, are stored. To configure the file permissions for your media uploads, right-click the upload folder, and pick ‘File Permissions’ to access the file permissions dialog box.

First, set the permissions for your upload directory and all subdirectories within it to 744. Then click a button beside the spot where it says’Recurse to subdirectories’ and pick the ‘Apply to directories only’ option. To apply the updates, press okay.

The next move is to configure the files’ file permissions in your upload directory, thenright-click the upload directory and pick File Permissions. Shift the numeric value to 644 in the dialog box.Check the box next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ and click ‘Apply to files only.’ Click okay to apply the changes. When you’re finished, head back to your WordPress dashboard and try re-uploading your images again.

7.    White Screen Of Death

This nickname for the black screen without any details is a nod to the notorious Blue Screen of Death. It can impact both the Front-End and the admin panel, or just particular parts of the installation. According to WordPress, this can be caused by both PHP errors and database errors. This scenario can entail various actions and procedures since it may be difficult to see the problem behind it.

Way To Troubleshoot:

If you have more than one WordPress website hosted on the same domain, start by testing if your other pages have a white screen of death issue. When your other pages showcase the same error, the problem may be the website hosting company. The problem could be temporary and can be fixed soon, but you can contact your hosting service to check on the issue if it is bugging you.

If this is not the error source, you should try disabling your WordPress theme and plugins. Then try reactivating them one-by-one to duplicate the error and find what causes the white screen of death. However, if you cannot gain entry to your WordPress admin field, you may need to access your site files using the FTP app.

Find the files inwp-content/themes or wp-content/plugins and rename them to something else. That should erase the error on the white screen.

Final Thoughts

WordPress is one of the leading open-source content management systems that you can use to build and develop a functional and useful website. Furthermore, you should remember that it is not perfect, and you can encounter several issues along the way. Take note of the above-mentioned common errors that can happen in your website and how to trouble these WordPress issues. Moreover, if the same problem repeatedly occurs, it is wise to obtain assistance from professionals. You can also take part in WordPress communities where you find forums on these issues.


Maricar worked as a marketing professional for almost a decade and handled concerts, events and community service-related activities. Leaving her corporate job for good to pursue her dreams, she has now ventured in the path of content writing and currently writes for Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand.A Harry Potter fan, she loves to watch animated series and movies during her spare time.


Stanislaus Okwor is a Web Designer / Developer based in Lagos - Nigeria. He is the Director at Stanrich Online Technologies. He is knowledgeable in Content management System - Wordpress, Joomla and PHP/MySQL etc

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