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7 Common WordPress Problems (And How to Fix Them)

30% of websites across the entire web use WordPress. Its simplicity and versatility make it so attractive to millions of users.

Despite its ease-of-use, it’s common to stumble upon an issue. If you’ve recently encountered a problem, don’t panic. It doesn’t take a tech wizard to solve it.

Take a look at our list of some of the most common WordPress problems, and get your website running smoothly again.

1. White Screen of Death

You attempt to access your WordPress website, only to find your worst nightmare. The entire screen is blank and shows nothing but the color white. This is the white screen of death (WSOD).

There are several causes for the dreaded WSOD, but they can all be fixed. Try out some of these solutions and see if they work for you:

Disable Your Plugins

A faulty plugin is enough to shut down your entire site. Disable every single plugin that you have, and then turn them back on one at a time. This will help you determine which plugin is causing the issue.

Change Your Theme

Broken themes are another common cause of the WSOD. In this case, you should choose a different theme, or consider using one of WordPress’ default themes instead.

Add More Memory

If your website doesn’t have much available memory left, you need to increase it. This requires a little bit of coding knowledge.

First, you’ll need to access wp-config.php, and find the area that says “Happy blogging.” Add this line of code right after that phrase: define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M).

Your memory limit will now be 64MB, however, you can also choose to increase it to 128MB or 256MB as well.

Turn on Debug Mode

When nothing else works, you’ll need to make your site go into debug mode. Access wp-config.php, and type this code: define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);.

This enables debug mode, which will allow you to see notifications and errors about what’s going wrong with your site.

2. Internal Server Error

You might see a page that reads “Internal Server Error” or “500 Internal Server Error” on your website. This is a sign that your website malfunctioned, but the server can’t figure out why.

WordPress issues like this can be frustrating, but you’ll be relieved once you know how to fix it:

Upload WordPress Core Files Again

One of your core files might be corrupted. To solve this, all you need to do is download the updated version of WordPress. Then you’ll need to replace the wp-admin and the wp-includes folders of your previous download with the ones you just installed.

Ask Your Host

When you can’t seem to solve the issue on your own, that means that there could be an error within the actual server. Contact your host to see if they’re experiencing any issues.

Disable Your Plugins

Just like with the WSOD, you’ll need to try disabling your plugins and turning them on one at a time.

Increase Memory

This solution was also discussed under the WSOD. The same applies to an internal server error as well.

3. Pictures Not Appearing

Users are often confused when the images on their website don’t show up or even upload. You might even find that an image appears as broken or that your image library doesn’t display correctly. Fortunately, the solution is quite easy.

Most often, problems with WordPress images arise from a broken file and folder permissions that prevent WordPress from displaying them.

If you haven’t already, download the FTP client called FileZilla. Once you have it, access the wp-content folder and find uploads. Right-click uploads and select File permissions. 

Now, you’ll need to change the upload directory to permission level 744 by typing it into the box at the bottom of the menu. Check off the box that says “Recurse into subdirectories” and fill in the bubble that says “Apply to directories only.” Then simply click OK.

You’ll need to do the same exact thing to the files, except you’ll be changing the number to 644. At the bottom of the menu, select “Apply to files only,” and you should be all set.

4. WordPress Won’t Exit Maintenance Mode

Every time you update your site, users will see a screen that says your site is under maintenance. However, when something goes wrong with the update, the maintenance screen might not disappear.

To fix this, you’ll need to access your FTP and find your root directory. Just delete the file named .maintenance, and that irritating maintenance message should be a thing of the past.

5. Your Website Is Too Slow

Have you noticed your website getting progressively slower? This is one of those problems with WordPress that you shouldn’t ignore.

Slow websites can steer users away from your site. Using some of the marketing strategies suggested by HIVE Digital Strategy becomes almost pointless when your website is sluggish. These simple WordPress fixes will make your site faster:

Check Your Host

Your current host might be cheap, but that doesn’t mean it provides fast loading speeds. Finding a quality host can get your website up to speed.

Use Caching

Caching plugins help your site run faster. Install one of these bad boys, and your site will be faster than ever.

Disable Bad Plugins

Some of your plugins might be faulty. This slows your website down and provides a non-ideal user experience. Get rid of the plugins that have terrible reviews and start fresh.

6. Syntax or Parse Error

It’s common for WordPress errors to pop up when your code is incorrect. If you see a syntax or parse error page, that means you probably missed something as small as a bracket or a semicolon.

To fix this, just access your server with FTP and find the problem file. Begin editing it, and locate the area that the error message alluded to. You can either delete this section or fix the syntax.

Once you upload the corrected file, you should no longer see an error message.

7. Error 145

When your WordPress database has been damaged, you’ll see an “Error 145” message. phpMyAdmin can be used to fix WordPress databases.

Select your database in phpMyAdmin, and then check off which tables you want to be restored. Once you’ve chosen them, select “Repair Table” from the dropdown menu at the bottom of the list. Don’t forget to backup your database before editing it.

Solving Common WordPress Problems

Trying to fix your WordPress problems might seem intimidating, but with a little bit of time and research, your website should be back to normal. When you know some of the most common causes of problems, you’ll soon become a whiz at solving WordPress issues.

You’ve finally fixed those pesky WordPress errors, and you want to increase the number of visitors to your site. Find out how web designs can drive more traffic to your website here.

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