Did you just try to access your WordPress site only to be met by the error establishing a database connection in WordPress warning?
There are a lot of things that can trigger errors connecting to your database. For example, it might be corrupt files on your website – either from themes, plugins, or WordPress core itself. Knowing how to fix these issues can help you minimize the time your website spends being unavailable.
In this article, we’ll show you what an error establishing a database connection in WordPress looks like. Then we’ll go over four steps to fix the problem.
Let’s get to work!
What are database connection errors in WordPress
As far as website errors go, this one is pretty easy to recognize. You’re told exactly what’s wrong, without convoluted HTTP error codes (which we’ve dealt with in the past):
While we know what the error entails, the problem is that there are a lot of things potentially preventing you from establishing a connection with your database.
Your database stores your site’s information. Without access to it, your site is crippled, so we want to troubleshoot this error fast, then keep it maintained in the future.
Four steps to fix the Error establishing a database connection in WordPress warning
In very few cases, WordPress might not be able to establish a connection to the database due to incorrect credentials. If everything else fails, you can check if your credentials are set correctly.
Additionally, it’s possible that your WordPress host is experiencing issues. Some WordPress hosting providers host databases on a separate server from the rest of your site. If the database server goes down, that can also trigger the warning.
With those caveats out of the way, let’s dig into four ways to troubleshoot the Error establishing a database connection warning in WordPress.
1. Restore a recent backup that includes your database
In short, you should have a recent backup of your website available at all times. This backup should also include a copy of your database, so you can restore the entire website to a working state before the connection error.
Restoring a backup without access to the WordPress admin can be tricky though. In fact, if you depend on a plugin solution, you might be out of luck altogether.
Ideally, you’d have already set up automatic backups with your web host – and you can usually restore them from your control panel: