Learn how to fix the 20 most common WordPress mistakes – WAU
WordPress is a content management tool that works on the open source model. Even with its leadership in the market, it does not escape errors that create obstacles for its users. In this text, we will highlight such errors and present their solutions. Read on!
With a low investment cost and a very intuitive user experience, WordPress is by far the most used and respected CMS tool in the world.
According to a study by W3Techs, the platform dominates about 60% of the market, while the second place reaches a mere 5.2%.
Still, WordPress is not free from errors that hinder the visitor experience and harm the user of the service. The fact that it is open source – which means that it is developed by a huge number of collaborators – contributes to these flaws being more common.
With that in mind, we have prepared this text to enumerate the 20 WordPress errors that happen most frequently. For each item, we will indicate the best way to deal with the problem.
1. The white screen of death
The overly alarming name is no accident. The so-called white screen of death is considered by many to be the most feared failure to use the platform.
The explanation for this is simple: the error is characterized by a white screen, with no additional information that can indicate its origin.
Therefore, it is possible to imagine the despair of a developer when faced with a problem whose causes are not visible. That is why, to deal with the white screen, it may be necessary to use the trial and error technique.
Here are some possible solutions:
Debug is, in a simple way, an error hunter. Once you activate the application, it collects all hidden error messages and displays them on a page.
That way, you have the opportunity to understand the causes of an error and take appropriate action to correct them.
To activate Debug, access your domain’s FTP and open the “wp-config-php” file. There, you will find the code (‘WP_DEBUG’, false). Just replace “false” with “true” and the debugging process will begin.
Use the default theme
In some cases, installed themes or plugins face compatibility issues. To check if this is the cause of the white screen, return the theme to the default option and disable all plugins. Then reactivate one by one to try to understand which might be causing the error.
Increase the memory limit
In most cases, the white screen has no direct link to the site’s memory. Even so, it is possible for the website to exceed the standard memory limit established in the wp-config.php file.
To increase this ceiling, add the following line of code: (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘64M’). If the cause of the white screen is related to memory, this will solve the problem.
2. Internal server error
Who has never encountered the message “500 internal server error” while browsing the internet? The internal server error is another of the most frightening problems for someone working with WordPress.
The reasons for the problem are numerous. Therefore, the same solutions presented in the previous topic are used to try to locate and resolve the cause. In addition, you should check your .htaccess file.
Among many other functions, this file rewrites your website’s URLs to make them more attractive to visitors. When that file is corrupted, the internal error message appears.
To check if the .htaccess is, in fact, corrupted, go to the file manager and rename the code to “.htaccess / backup”.
Then, test whether your website is back to normal. If so, visit the permanent link settings page and save your changes.
3. Error when connecting to the database
If you work with WordPress, you’ve probably encountered this error hundreds of times. This is the most common problem on the platform, which can be caused simply by a crash on your database server.
In that case, the only possible approach is to try to contact the server and wait for help.
In other cases, however, the error can be resolved by you. Often, the connection failure is the result of wrong credentials. Therefore, check that the username and password have been entered correctly.
4. Loss of administrator password
You may feel a little embarrassed about forgetting something so important, but don’t worry, as we’ve all been there. In some cases, password recovery can be a real headache, but on WordPress, the process shouldn’t be a problem.
The simplest way is click on the “forgot my password” option, wait for a recovery email and then create a new password. Did you do that and received no message? Without panic, this is also common and easy to resolve.
To do this, you will need to log into PHPMyAdmin and select your website database. Then, follow the steps below:
- in the list of tables, select wp_users;
- find your username and click on “edit”;
- in the “user_pass” column, activate the MD5 function;
- in the typing bar, enter your new password;
- confirm your edits.
5. Error 404
Another example that every internet user knows is Error 404, which occurs when a page is not found. In many cases, the visitor has access to all areas of the website, except one page. This, of course, detracts from the user experience.
In most cases, the resolution is very quick and simple. Visit the permanent links configuration page and click the button to save changes. This will force WordPress to rewrite the .htaccess file, probably solving the problem.
6. Maintenance mode cannot be turned off
This is a common problem, but it can bring a lot of headaches. Occurs when WordPress is serviced for an update and is stopped before completion.
This results in WordPress not being able to set the website back to normal mode, leaving it constantly under maintenance.
To resolve the error, simply delete the .maintenance file in your control panel and update your website page.
7. Connection timeout
If your website has such an error, you probably need to improve memory management. The problem happens when WordPress doesn’t have enough memory to operate.
To solve it, turn off all plugins and return to the platform’s default theme. Reconnect the plugins, one by one, to try to identify any abnormalities.
If not, memory is the problem. Then, a simple increase in available capacity will solve the case.
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8. Sidebar appearing below the content
A sidebar should be displayed next to the content, correct? Therefore, you may be frightened when you encounter the sidebar moving under it. This puts an end to the organization of the page layout and impairs the usability and interactivity of the website.
The cause for this symptom is usually a problem in the HTML code present in themes, plugins and widgets.
So, ask yourself if you’ve made recent changes to the code. If so, you may have missed some detail that is now impairing the sidebar display.
A tip is to check if the specific post has the code
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9. Image upload stuck
As we know, images are crucial for Digital Marketing, therefore, they must receive due attention on a website or blog. So it is a huge setback when they disappear from the site, fail to complete the upload or appear broken.
To begin, make sure that the disk at your hosting provider has enough space. Excluding the hypothesis of lack of memory, this error is probably linked to the change in the permissions of one or more files.
This can happen for several reasons. Perhaps the server has performed an update or one of the installed plugins may have mistakenly changed the general permission settings. Contact your server and change the permissions back to normal.
10. Scheduled posts are not published at the correct time
One of the great qualities of WordPress is the scheduling of posts, a function that allows marketing automation in several strategies. It is an excellent hand on the wheel for managers who do not have as much time to make frequent posts.
On the other hand, if WordPress fails and does not post what was scheduled, your entire strategy may suffer. To avoid adversity, you can use a plugin aimed at identifying and repairing errors in the wp-cron.php file, responsible for triggering scheduled tasks.
Among the plugins available for this purpose, one of the most recognized is wp-missed-schedule. Every 15 minutes, the application maps the system to find and publish posts that have been forgotten by WordPress.
11. WordPress does not send emails
All WordPress errors are harmful in some way. The fact that the platform does not send emails has an even greater weight, since it can directly affect the email marketing strategy adopted by a huge number of companies.
The problem comes from the platform itself. In many cases, the host used is not able to send emails. In others, email service providers perform a real anti-spam check, which can veto WordPress messages because they fail to confirm their origin.
Thus, the recommendation is that WordPress should not be used to feed your newsletter or nutrition flow. To do this, try to find an email trigger tool that meets your needs.
12. Website marked as unsafe by Google
Notoriously, Google values the experience of its users. For this reason, the company displays a warning sign when a user tries to access a page considered unsafe.
If your website is one of those pages, you may be missing out on business opportunities and wasting time and money.
To avoid this inconvenience, do not run advertisements of dubious quality and origin. If the pieces are linked to websites that distribute malicious material, your website will also be affected.
13. Error 502 Bad Gateway
Another WordPress error that often intrigues its users is the 502 Bad Gateway. This happens when the access request made by a user takes too long to be authorized, without any other error being pointed out.
The error may simply be a temporary failure caused by traffic above the usual, but it may also be the result of a plugin or theme containing defective code. Therefore, if the problem persists, follow these steps:
- reload the website;
- clear your browser’s cache;
- disable the firewall;
- update themes and plugins.
14. The destination folder already exists
When trying to install a plugin or theme, the developer may encounter a message stating that the destination folder already exists and that, therefore, the installation has failed.
The cause is such a silly detail that it may well go unnoticed. It is likely that one of the previously installed plugins, however different, will have the same name as the one you are trying to install. In that case, just rename the file.
15. 403 Forbidden – no permission to access
This 403 error message is displayed when the server does not grant permission to access any page.
This failure occurs mainly through the use of website security plugins that are configured inefficiently. They block IP addresses because they are considered malicious, even if they are not.
The first point to check, again, is the installed themes and plugins. Disable and re-enable them to see if they are causing the problem. If not, you are probably dealing with a permissions issue. In this way, the server considers that you do not have permission to access the content.
If not, you are probably dealing with a permissions issue. In this way, the server considers that you do not have permission to access the content.
This situation can be solved with a dialogue with your WordPress server. If a good service is offered, it will certainly intervene to solve the problem without leaving any major consequences.
16. Automatic update error
You know that updates are essential to avoid errors in your WordPress, but eventually, something can go wrong and the process fails. The root of the problem may be a plugin that, when installed, caused some unexpected modification.
In these cases, it is not exactly an error, but a change that is compromising access to the installer. The main symptoms are the slow admin panel and error messages when trying to add a plugin.
In the log files, a line similar to this can be found:
PHP message: PHP Warning: An unexpected error has occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or the configuration of this server. If you continue to have problems, try the Support Forum. (WordPress was unable to establish a secure connection to WordPress.org. Contact your server administrator.) In web / wp-admin / includes / plugin-install.php on line 83.
This means that the installation process has been interrupted and the installer is waiting for a response. As a result, a hidden file with the PHP request number is created.
As in item 6, the problem must be solved by deleting the .maintence file in the control panel.
17. Syntax Error
Syntax errors occur when a programming language rule is broken. The problem can be caused by improperly installed plugins, but it also happens when users accidentally add some incorrect code to the site’s PHP scripts.
The solution, therefore, is to identify the code block in which the error is and fix it, and doing so is easier than you think: the error message that appears when accessing your site contains the full path of the responsible file and the defective line.
If the location indicated is a theme folder, uninstalling it may solve the problem. On the other hand, if you made any accidental changes to the site code, just browse via FTP to the indicated file, right-click on the folder and select “View / Edit” to open the editor.
Removing the indicated line is enough to solve the problem in some cases, but the ideal is to analyze the code and correct the incorrect characters.
If you have no knowledge of programming language, the last option is to restore your WordPress from a backcup prior to the error.
18. Redirect Loop on Login
You are about to access your WordPress dashboard, enter your data correctly, but continue to be redirected to the login page. This frustration is very common and is sometimes not even directly related to WordPress.
If the problem arose right after installing a plugin, you can access your website’s database using an FTP client and uninstall the plugin manually.
If the redirection still persists, it is probably because the .htaccess file is corrupted. In this case, the guidelines are the same as in item 2.
19. RSS Feed Error
The RSS Feed is one of the most traditional means of distributing content on the internet. With it, users can receive the publications of a blog in a browser interface, but its most frequent use is in marketing automation.
If your blog uses e-mail triggering tools integrated with RSS, probably the first malfunction you identified was the interruption of sending messages. The confirmation of the problem is in the error messages displayed in your site’s Feed.
Failures vary depending on the browser used, but in general, most errors are caused by some incorrect formatting. Since the XML language used in RSS Feeds is very rigid, just an improper space or a lost line is enough for the resource to stop working.
Defective themes and plugins, as well as manual changes to the website, can also cause the error. However, fortunately, there is a plugin to perform this type of repair automatically: Fix My Feed RSS Repair.
20. Error 503 – Service unavailable
This is another WordPress error to test user patience. As the message does not make clear the reason for the problem, the causes can be diverse: themes and plugins with bugs, servers with exhausted resources, server failures, bad behavior of a PHP script and even attacks by hackers and malicious software.
The codes that refer to this fault are usually:
- 503 Error;
- HTTP 503;
- HTTP Error 503;
- HTTP Server Error 503;
- 503 Service Unavailable;
- Http / 1.1 Service Unavailable.
The 503 is an error similar to the white screen of death, as both force the user to become a true WordPress fault hunter. The procedures listed in the first topic are also valid here, but if the problem continues, there are some other hypotheses.
To find out if a faulty plugin is causing the problem, the simplest way to find out is to disable and re-enable all of them. Via FTP, access the wp-content folder, located in the WordPress directory, and rename the “plugins” folder to “plugins-old”. This will disable all plugins at once.
Then, rename the “plugins-old” folder back to “plugins” and reload your site. If error 503 is no longer there, it is certainly a plugin that caused the problem.
To identify it, access the Panel and activate its plugins, one by one, always reloading the site at each installation. When the error comes up, you’ll know what caused the problem. Finally, just delete it directly from the database.
If the source of the error is a server failure, in most cases, everything will be back to normal within a few minutes. However, if the error persists after all the attempts presented here, it will be necessary to activate the support of your hosting service.
Even with all the qualities of the tool, some WordPress errors are very common, mainly because it is an open source platform.
Throughout the text, we select some of the most common cases and indicate ways to resolve them. Even so, completely mastering the platform requires a good deal of practice – or, simply, hiring a service specialized in the subject.
So, did the text help you understand and solve a problem in WordPress? Do you want to learn more about this important platform? Download the free ebook “WordPress for corporate blogs” now, which details its main features.