Common WordPress Issues and Their Solutions

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WordPress is the most acclaimed content management system. This is so because of its customizability and flexibility. It might be far from perfect yet, it’s easy to use.

As intimidating as WordPress errors can seem, they are easy to fix. As long as you recognize the error and whatever caused it, you can make do with basic troubleshooting independently.

Here we will show you how to diagnose and troubleshoot some common WordPress Issues such as:

White Screen of Death (WSoD)
403 forbidden error
Internal server error

Remember to make significant changes to your website, create a backup of your files, so you have a duplicate if anything goes wrong.

Remember to make significant changes to your website, create a backup of your files, so you have a duplicate if anything goes wrong.

When you are done troubleshooting, clear your browser cache if the changes you made do not reflect on your website.

White Screen of Death

The White Screen of Death (WSoD) shows as a blank screen with no information and is usually a sign of PHP or database errors.

Causes of a WSOD:

*Plugin compatibility issues.

*Problems with your WordPress theme,if you’ve activated a new theme or created a new website on WordPress.

To fix it:
Deactivate and reactivate your plugins to find the error’s root cause.
Activate your theme. Log in to your WordPress dashboard or access your website via FTP and look for the /wp-content/themes/ folder.
Accessing the wp-login.php or /wp-admin/ as an administrator. You would see a WordPress error message saying something like “The theme directory “{theme-name}” does not exist.”
If you see this error message, switch the admin side themes, rename your directory, or edit the “theme” and “stylesheet” records in wp_options.

403 Forbidden Error

A 403 forbidden error will be shown to your website visitors if the server does not allow access to a specific page. Here are different scenarios where you may encounter the error message:

When access is denied on wp-admin or your WordPress login page
During the WordPress installation process
When you visit any page on your WordPress website

Poorly configured security plugins
Corrupt .htaccess file.
If your WordPress hosting company has made accidental changes to its server settings.
If there is an Incorrect file permissions on your server, which can make your web server think you don’t have permission to access those files.

How To Fix it:

Check your security plugins.
Download a backup copy of your .htaccess file. Delete the existing file from your server and access your website. If your website is accessible, the .htaccess file is corrupt. Create a .htaccess file.
Consult your hosting provider. If you suspect that there are incorrect file permissions on your server, ask your hosting provider to check file permissions.

Internal Server Error
An internal server error (also known as a 500 internal server error) is a very confusing error a WordPress user can encounter. The error indicates something is wrong, but the server can’t identify what it is, so you’ll have to investigate it.

A corrupted .htaccess file is often the most common source of an internal server error, but it can also be caused by theme or plugin issues.

How To Fix it:
When you encounter an internal server error, try to access the website root through the file transfer protocol (FTP).

Rename the .htaccess file to something else (such as .htaccess-old).
Reload the website to check if this fixes the problem.
If fixed, reset your permalinks by visiting Settings > Permalinks to create a new .htaccess file.

If after trying the first solution your website still encounters an error, the problem might be incompatible or outdated themes and plugins.

To fix this, deactivate them via FTP. Then, reactivate them one by one until you find the error. Once you find the wrong plugin, report it to the developer. You may also revert to the previous theme used when the website was still working.

If none of the above works,re-upload the /wp-admin and /wp-includes folders by re-installing WordPress.

Upload these using an FTP client and select Overwrite to replace the old files.

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