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10 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Debug Them

Updated on  16th May

6 Min Read
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Creating a WordPress website and putting it online, with a basic configuration, is relatively simple, even for a beginner. Many hosts offer a 1-click installation system, impressive system and probably underestimated, although perfectible from the point of view of security. It allows for the rapid establishment of a decent-looking website for a wide range of people who would not likely install websites otherwise.

WordPress error

Of course, the problem with quick install solutions is that the configuration is not at all exhaustive. After all, the installation process is designed to meet the minimum requirements. You will end up with a functional WordPress website, but of relative quality.

Often, this process will leave you with configuration errors. Today, we will address 10 most common WordPress errors along with their simple solutions. While WordPress is designed to be usable by everyone, it is important that you have a good understanding of what you need to know if you want to have a clean installation that prioritizes security and the user experience.

Learn how to fix them ahead of time.

  1. The Internal Server Error
  2. The Syntax Error
  3. Errors Establishing a Database Connection
  4. Sidebar Below Content Error
  5. Memory Exhausted Error
  6. Returning 404 Error
  7. Missing Buttons & White Text
  8. Image Uploading Issues
  9. The White Screen of Death
  10. Login Page Redirecting

1. The Internal Server Error

Internal Server error

Internal server error, also known as ‘500 Internal Server Error is one of the common WP errors that most WP users experience at least once in their lives. The issue with a theme’s function and plugins are usually responsible for it.

To fix this error, first, you may check for the corrupted .htaccess file. Access this file and name it something like .htaccess old. Save the file and reload your site to see if the issue has gone.

If the error is still there, try increasing PHP memory limit.

2. The Syntax Error

This error usually arises when you try to add code snippets to your WordPress website but mistakenly miss something. It can be anything such as syntax, bracket, one extra comma, etc. If you are not sure where the exact problem is you can use the following debugging tools to debug the code.

  • JS FIddle
  • Cloud 9
  • Debug Mode
  • JS Bin, etc.

3. Errors Establishing a Database Connection

Errors Establishing a Database Connection

It is another WP error that you may come across. It often occurs when you use wrong database credentials (DB host, DB username, DB password).

To resolve this issue, the very first thing you have to do is ensure that you’re receiving the same message on both sides (back end & front end) of your website. In case they are different, it means your database is corrupted or if they are the same you have to add the following code to your WordPress configuration PHP file.

Allow Repair

This code will repair your file. After the completion of repair process, don’t forget to remove this message from your wp-config.php file. Note- Don’t forget to create a backup of your site before trying to fixing this error.

4. Sidebar Below Content Error

It is one of the most irritating errors in WordPress that is directly associated with the appearance of your site. CSS or HTML errors can be primary culprits for this error. There is a possibility that you have forgotten to close HTML or CSS tags.

In case, you’re using a custom theme, the problem with float property or width ratio can be responsible as well. Make sure you have set a correct ratio for your custom theme.

5. Memory Exhausted Error

When you encounter memory exhausted error you see the error message like ‘Fatal error: memory size exhausted. It often happens when you use by default memory size limit. To resolve this error, you have to add the following code to the primary PHP tag of your WordPress configuration file.

Memory Exhausted Error

This code will increase the memory limit up to 64M.

6. Returning 404 Error

Returning 404 Error

It is another most common error that most WP users face at some point. There are a couple of things that play a crucial role in bringing Returning 404 error. However, the most common among them is corrupted .htaccess file.

In case you see 404 error message only on just one page of your site while the other pages are working accurately, probably you need to configure your permalinks setting. To reconfigure the permalinks, first, you have to navigate to the Settings>Permalinks and then hit “Save Changes” Now your settings are updated.

If this method isn’t working for you, try updating .htaccess file manually. For the same, you have to log in to your server through File Transfer Protocol. Next, modify your .htaccess file. The simplest way to do this is, make the file writable and change its permission to 666. Now again update your permalinks settings.

Check if the error has disappeared. Note- Do not forget to change the permission back to 660 if you the issue has resolved.

7. Missing Buttons & White Text

Missing Buttons & White Text

Sometimes, instead of buttons you just see white spaces in WordPress visual editor. Most of the time, it is due to a tiny error which you can fix quickly.

Go to your admin panel and check if JavaScript is working correctly. Check if small MCE files are not corrupted or missing. Sometimes, this error can be resolved by clearing the browser cache. If these solutions are not working, add the code given below into your WordPress configuration php file just after the opening tag.

define(‘CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS’, false);

8. Image Uploading Issues

If you are experiencing the broken image issue on site, most probably, it is because of an inaccurate directory or file permission in a WordPress installation.

You can fix it using the FTP client such as FileZilla. Just access your site using FTP, and change the permissions of your image directory.

9. The White Screen of Death

The white screen of death is an error in which you see a plain white screen without any message. There can be various possible causes for this error. There is a possibility that PHP memory of your site has exhausted. Increase the PHP memory limit and reload your website. However, if your website already has an adequate PHP memory limit, you should try another method.

Disable all the plugins you have installed on your site. Re-enable these plugins one by one and see which plugin is causing this error.

10. Login Page Redirecting

Login Page Redirecting

You try to log into to your site, but instead of accessing your dashboard, you are redirected to login page. It could be issues with the incorrect values for home URL or site URL fields. One of the most straightforward solutions for it is clear the cache & cookies and restart your browser.

Final Words

We hope this post helped you learn about most common WP errors ahead of time and made you aware of how to fix them. So the next time you install a WordPress website, remember that you may need to put your fingers in the grease and manually change the configuration of a few things and make some changes if you want your website to be beautiful to watch and show that you are a real pro.


Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Claudio Pires, co-founder of Visualmodo WordPress themes, he is building responsive themes and plugins for every site purpose since 2010, offering the best support on site creation process and help thousands of people to raise their brands and online presence.

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Sajjad Shahid

Sajjad is an Ecommerce Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves helping out Ecommerce store owners, merchants and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups. Sajjad enjoys playing table tennis and cricket over the weekend.

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