9 Common Errors on WordPress You Can Actually Prevent
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms on the planet. Many people use WordPress, but others avoid it. The reason is the daunting task of keeping up with technical issues and errors.
Having to go through numerous steps to set up and configure a site can stop one cold in their tracks. Yet, for those who use WordPress, it can be quite life-changing and well worth learning.
Regardless of whether you’re an experienced WordPress user or a newbie, just getting their feet wet, you’re bound to come across these top nine common yet preventable errors on WordPress.
You can avoid obstacles like 404 errors by having a sound site structure or prevent database errors by having the correct info in your wp-config.php file.
If this sounds too technical already and your eyes are starting to glaze over, don’t give up just yet! Read on to find out how to simply fix these easily preventable errors.
1. The Blank Page aka White Screen of Death
Your heart skips a beat. Panic sets in. You’ve put all this work into perfecting your site, yet there’s nothing but a white screen. You attempt to access your dashboard, but you can’t get in!
Incompatible themes or plugins are your most likely culprit. These can cause database and PHP errors. Limiting the number of plugins and themes installed on your site is good practice and reduces the chances of getting that dreaded WSoD.
Only download from reliable sources. If you upload a sketchy theme or plugin from an unreliable source, you run the risk of infecting your site with malicious code that can damage your site. Do some digging and make sure the reviews, version compatibility, and the total number of active downloads align with what would make for a trustworthy theme or plugin.
You’ve managed to follow all the precautions, yet you’re still receiving that pesky WSoD. Go ahead and deactivate all your plugins then go down the list and reactivate one at a time to pinpoint which one is causing all the trouble.
If the issue came up recently right after activating a new theme, consider switching back to the default theme.
2. Internal Server Error
Getting an ISE sucks. But it isn’t the end of the world. The reason it’s frustrating is because there isn’t a single solution and the reason behind the error could be any one of these problems:
- A Corrupt .htaccess File. To fix this, rename your .htaccess file after you’ve logged back into your site. You can change the name to whatever you like, just don’t forget it! Reload your site. Problem solved? Just generate a new .htaccess file and reset all the permalinks.
- Memory Limit Issue. Running out of memory leads to internal server errors. Simply edit your wp-config.php file and increase that memory. If all else fails, contact your web host provider.
- Core Installation File Missing. Get yourself a fresh install of the latest version of WP and re-upload folders: wp-includes and wp-admin.
- Plugin or Theme Problems. Re-upload the default WordPress theme and go through and deactivate all plugins to see if the problem is solved.
3. Error Establishing Database Connection
Houston, we have a problem! You may not be able to connect with your site database for a few reasons. The worst case is a hacked website. Using a cybersecurity service or a security plugin can help mitigate any potential attacks.
Some shared web hosting providers have limited capacity. Your DB may have reached its max capacity. Increase the limit, or hit up your web host provider to get some more space.
Inconsistency within the wp-config.php file. Double-check that your wp-config.php file isn’t broken by ensuring your username and password info is correct. Your host and database name should also be correct.
A frustrating message and the last thing you want to see is: “This page isn’t working right now. YourWebsite.com redirected you too many times”. ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS is a browser error code. Different browsers can result in different kinds of error messages, but the main reason for this is:
- Outdated browser cache
- Browser cookies
- Bad HTTPS or server settings
- Third-party service issues
- Faulty WordPress plugins
- Poor website address configuration
Try these solutions to fix the issues mentioned above:
- Check your URL settings if you’ve made a domain name change or migrated to a new host
- Delete your browser history
- Disable incompatible, corrupt, or outdated plugins
- Clear WordPress and browser cache
- Assess your .htaccess file for conflicting redirect rules that lead to redirect loops
5. 404 - Page Not Found
Errors with numbers in them are always pesky. A 404 error occurs when there isn’t a webpage to be found. Something is wrong with the site’s hyperlink structure.
Be diligent and check for broken links to replace. If you move or delete a page, always add redirects so you won’t see this error.
If you keep seeing this error, make sure to re-upload the page resource and update your .htaccess file and hyperlink structure.
6. Connection Timed Out
If your website is trying to do too much and your server can’t handle it, this error occurs. It’s common with websites using shared hosting where restrictions are put on the memory limit of your site.
A sudden traffic surge not only affects your site but all other sites on the same server and is one of the main reasons for a connection time-out.
Understanding how resource-heavy your site is can help you better prepare and upgrade your web hosting plan to prevent this error as your site grows.
For the time being, deactivate any clunky plugins and get rid of large files that take up storage.
Try contacting your hosting provider and see if you can increase the memory limit to your site, as well.
7. Auto-Update Fail
It’s nice to not have to think about things, especially if you’re busy. Who has time to constantly check if your website is up to date? Luckily, WordPress enables an auto-update feature, so you can just sit back and relax while your site runs smoothly with the latest and greatest updates.
But suffer a hiccup with your internet connection and you’re bound to have an error during an update or encounter incorrect File Permissions.
Three main things to look out for when auto-update fails is:
- PHP error message
- Blank screen with no info
- Warning that the update failed
Stay on top of things and make sure to update to the latest version of WordPress whenever you can. If you’re in your dashboard and see a notification to update your WordPress software, do it. Instead of relying on auto-update, you may also consider updating your website manually.
8. Where Are My Changes!?
You’ve put a lot of care and love into your website. It’s your baby! You hit refresh, but see nothing! Worried that all your work was done for naught, you hit refresh again but get the same results.
This is due to a caching issue. Your browser is lazy, and instead of reloading the entire webpage from scratch, it just reloads the saved (cached) version. This is done so sites load faster, but if you want to see the changes you’ve made, you’ll need to clear your cache.
Give this a shot: reload the page in a different tab (use Incognito) or clear your cache to resolve the problem. If you’re still getting this error, then consider using a caching plugin.
9. Common PHP Errors
Syntax Error and Memory Size Exhaustion are a couple of PHP errors. As the latter indicates, this error occurs when your site doesn’t have enough memory. A simple fix is to increase your memory limit. Get a bigger sized brain for your site! Just head on over to your wp-config.php file and up the MB limit. Syntax Error is simply something wrong with the structure. This can be missing brackets, the wrong quotation marks, or something so miniscule as a period. Your browser will indicate where these errors are (the file and line). Simply go to the file and make the necessary changes.
If you’ve been tediously scanning for errors, yet can’t seem to locate where the problem is, consider getting professional WordPress developers to lend a helping hand.
If you’ve made it this far then you can breathe easy now. Your WordPress site is in good hands and hopefully, you’ll have the confidence to tackle any errors that come your way. You’re pretty much an expert now!
Always keep in mind what your site’s resources and limits are to ensure minimal errors. Only download trusted themes and plugins. And keep your eyes on your site’s security to protect yourself from hackers and malicious code.
Best of luck with growing and preventing any errors on your site!