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Top WordPress Errors and Solutionss

WordPress is the commonly used open source tool for website development. Among other types of freedoms, it provides freedom to create a website without any license fee. As a result, it has more users than most of the commercial platforms.

WordPress is an easy to use platform, but some common errors occur while one uses it. These are some common errors which can be easily resolved. In this article we have discussed the most common errors and their solutions in WordPress.

Syntax Error

The syntax error may be caused due to a missing bracket, colon or any character in the script. This can also happen if some codes are copied & pasted from somewhere else. Thus, may lack a fragment of the template.


Due to this error the user may be blocked out of his own site. This can be sorted if the whole error is removed or edited. The problem can occur if the code is written through the WordPress dashboard Appearance which will prevent the entry of user to the site. To prevent this, the user has to go through an FTP platform to the site to improve on the error, once entered he can edit or remove the issue. The user can take help of the error code to reach exact error location. After removing the error press the refresh button.

Internal Server Error

The HTTP 500 internal server error is encountered by all website users. This can be caused by the following factors:

  1. Corrupted .htaccess
  2. Corrupted plugin functions
  3. Corrupted theme functions
  4. Exhausted PHP memory limit

This error is a bit more complex as the error code doesn’t show the path to the error. This error can only be sorted by going through all four of these causes.


a) Edit .htaccess files

The user needs to go straight to the root directory of WordPress through FTP and rename these files e.g. .htaccess.old. After refreshing the browser if the error is removed, then one has to go to the setting and save changes.

b) Deactivate all Plugins

An old plugin or a recently inserted plugin can be the cause of the error. In this case the plugin has to be replaced by a new plugin. But if the WordPress admin gets totally shut down, making it inaccessible for the user to go through it and remove the error; the user needs to remove all plugins and reinstall one by one to see which plugin is causing the error. It can be done by 2 ways:

Using FTP:
It can be done by using FTP or the host’s file manager. Go to /wp-content/folder and locate the folder called plugins. Rename plugins folder to any other name say ‘X’. The plugins will be deactivated. It may result in the user being locked out of the admin panel. Login to /wp-admin/. Go to /wp-content/ folder and rename ‘X’ back to plugins. Now activate the plugins one by one until the error occurs.

Using phpMyAdmin:
In the WordPress Database, the user needs to go in wp_options table to locate “active_plugins”. Change option value by following method:
Set option_value = ‘a:0:{ }’ where option_name = ‘active_plugins’

c) Changing Themes

The error may occur when a new theme is activated. The user needs to activate the default theme by logging onto the admin screen. If there is no access to admin panel, the server can be accessed through FTP from where the user needs to navigate to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. Rename the folder of the current theme. This will enable the default theme (WordPress 1.5 – 2.9.2) or the twenty ten themes (WordPress 3.0 and above) automatically. In case of the latest version (WordPress 4.4 and above) the default theme is twenty sixteen. If deleted, the default themes can be downloaded here

d) Increasing PHP memory Limit

If the error is not caused by any of the above then the PHP memory may be the culprit. The user needs to make a code file phn.ini. Inside this file a code needs to be added:
1 memory=64MB
The file needs to be saved and uploaded to the /wp-admin/ folder. If this is a problem solver then the user needs to get in touch with the web host and pinpoint the problem which is using up all the memory. The web host will facilitate you with the information from your server logs.

Failed Auto Update

An essential feature of WordPress is Auto Update. As there is no user input in this error it can be traced by:

  1. A PHP error message
  2. A blank white screen
  3. A warning that says the update failed

The auto update sometimes fails due to a broken internet connection, disrupted connection with the WordPress files, wrong file permissions.


This error can be easily removed by updating the website manually. If a user is not able to update the website himself then he needs to look for Updating WordPress-Manual Update post at WordPress Codex.

Error Establishing a Database Connection

This error explains itself, it occurs when there is a break in WordPress database connection. The error is caused due to:

  1. wp-config.php error
  2. Issues with hosting provider


a) Edit wp-config.php file
The user needs to go to their wp-config.php file through FTP and check if the data name, password, username and host are correct. E.g.
define ('DB_NAME', 'database-name');
define('DB_USER', 'database-username');
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'database-password');
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
In some cases replacing localhost with IP may resolve the issue. If all the above are correct then the problem must be at the server ends.

b) Fixing issues with the web host

If the wp-config.php file is right then the user needs to check with the host provider that server is down or database has been shut down due to maximum usage. If the host provider gives a green signal to both these issues, then the security to the WordPress needs to be increased.

Error showing ‘Briefly unavailable due to maintenance’

Sometimes after an update the .maintenance files don’t get deleted leading to this error.


This error can be evaded by updating the WordPress Manually. The user needs to delete the .maintenance file himself by going to the WordPress root directory through FTP.

About the Author:

Vaishnavi Agrawal loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training.
The courses offered by Intellipaat address the unique needs of working professionals. She is based out of Bangalore and has an experience of 5 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Hadoop (, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, IT, SAP, Project Management and more.

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