WordPress is a stable and secure platform, but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter errors on your website. There are several issues many users face that prevent their visitors from accessing content and carrying out key functions.
By learning about the most common WordPress errors and hiccups, you can prepare yourself to resolve them quickly. Getting your site back up and running fast will minimize any losses of traffic or revenue.
In this post, we’ll share five of the most common types of errors that could show up on your WordPress site. We’ll also give you information on what to do if you encounter them. Let’s dive right in!
1. Plugin Conflicts
One of the best things about WordPress is how easy it is to customize your site’s functionality with plugins. Unfortunately, because these extensions, the platform itself, and its available themes are all created by many unique developers, they don’t always get along.
Plugin conflicts may result in many frustrating problems for your site, including:
- Certain features not working. This is a little vague, but plugin conflicts aren’t always easy to diagnose. If part of your site is broken and you aren’t sure why, checking for incompatibilities is a standard troubleshooting best practice.
- Timed Out Connections. An error reading “Connection timed out” may be an indication that there is a plugin conflict on your site.
- A Call to Undefined Function. This means that a plugin on your site isn’t able to access code that it needs to work properly. Sometimes this is due to incompatibilities.
- The White Screen of Death (WSoD). This error causes your site to appear as a blank white screen. It’s often the result of a plugin conflict.
The standard practice for dealing with these common WordPress errors is to switch to a default theme and deactivate all your plugins. Then, reactivate them one by one until the symptoms reappear. You’ll know that the most recently activated tool is the one causing the conflict.
If you’re locked out of your admin area, you can do this by connecting to your server via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) with an FTP Client such as FileZilla. Then, navigate to wp-content > plugins and rename each of the directories:
To reactivate your plugins, restore their original names. Once you’ve identified which tool is the source of the problem, it’s best to remove it.
The best way to run these tests is to use a staging site, which is an exact copy of your live WordPress site. Typically, hosting providers will provide staging sites for testing purposes.
2. Error Establishing a Database Connection
At some point or another, you may see an error message reading “Error Establishing a Database Connection” while trying to access your site’s back end:
This article was written by Will Morris and originally published on WP Mayor.